Tag Archives: experiences

Do You Know Your Signature Hospitality Story?

What's Your Story, Five Stars book cover by Carmine Gallo, megaphone

 

In Carmine Gallo’s bestselling book Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get from Good to Great, he teaches that you must be able to persuade others to buy into your vision. Also, you must answer the question, “What’s your story?” Innkeepers should answer, “What’s your signature hospitality story?

 

According to Mr. Gallo, your “signature story” has the following components:

  • It is a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end (resolution)
  • It’s intriguing, thought-provoking, novel, informative, interesting, entertaining
  • It’s authentic (it must be true, or it could harm your credibility)
  • It includes specific details that enhance its authenticity
  • It reveals a surprise (people love surprises)
  • It introduces empathetic characters (your audience should be able to see themselves in your shoes)
  • It includes conflict and tension as well as overcoming a meaningful hurdle to achieve success
  • This signature story will help you, your product, and your brand story stand out
  • It differentiates you from your competition because no two brands share the same story
  • You must appeal to your audience’s emotion in order to persuade them
  • The story is about your brand or company

Keeping Mr. Gallo’s advice in mind, ask yourself:

  • What is my story of how I became an innkeeper?
  • What is the beginning, middle, and end (present day)?
  • What true facts should I tell others so that my story is worthy of their attention?
  • What specific details can I add to enhance the authenticity of my story?
  • What surprises have happened to me along the way as an innkeeper?
  • How can I connect my past to the present day in a way that others could picture themselves in my shoes?
  • What conflicts and tension did I experience as I overcame obstacles to achieve what I have today?
  • Does this story help me, my inn, and my brand story stand out?
  • Does this story help set me apart from my competition?
  • Does this story appeal to my audience’s emotion so I can persuade them to stay at my inn?
  • Is this story a positive representation of my business?

Great storytellers build trust. Think about the overall message you want to convey to your guests. The world needs to know what makes you different from other innkeepers and accommodations.

If you do not have an “About Us” page on your website, consider having one. Many guests would like to know who they are staying with before they book a room at your bed and breakfast inn. This is an opportunity to share about your signature hospitality story.

Feel free to share your experiences both inside and outside the hospitality industry. This will help you look more well-rounded. You can even include volunteer experience (if it is relevant).

You may want to include the names of some of the countries you have visited, if you have traveled across the world. This encourages guests outside your country to visit your inn. If you speak more than one language fluently, be sure to include that in your story.

If you have a talent (like playing a musical instrument) or skill (teaching cooking lessons) you are welcome to include that in your story. This is part of what sets you apart from other innkeepers and bed and breakfast inns.

When you can show what makes you and your inn special, then guests will be more likely to stay with you. If you (or your inn) has earned awards and distinctions, or earned media attention, be sure to add that to your website as well. The better you are at communicating what makes your inn special, with your signature hospitality story, the more likely you are to receive bookings.

Make It All About Your Bed and Breakfast Guests

Book Cover: All About Them

Make it all about them. Make it all about your bed and breakfast guests.  Author Bruce Turkel, in his insightful book All about Them: Grow Your Business by Focusing on Others makes it clear that what really matters to consumers is their own self-interest. Business owners (including innkeepers) can use that knowledge to make their businesses (specifically bed and breakfasts) about the people they are trying to reach (potential guests).

Author Bruce Turkel states that successful businesses created for today’s “all about them” economy realize what you do is less important than identifying who you are and why that resonates with current and potential customers (guests).

Turkel stresses that “good brands make you feel good, but great brands make you feel good about yourself.” Things sell not because of what they can do, but because of how they make consumers feel.

What attracts business to you and separates you from the competition (other accommodations)? Understand exactly what your customers are buying.  What do you provide that they cannot find anywhere else?

Figure out who you are and what you stand for then communicate that identity.  Translate your message into customer centered communication that resonates with your audience.

What opportunities does your business provide for increasing customer satisfaction and company revenue?  What do you stand for?  Can you describe that in just a few words?  To determine what those few words are, Turkel recommends you consider five components.

  • First, write down your company features and benefits.  This means everything you and your business offer including products, services, talents, skills, experiences, and so on.
  • Then write down your points of distinction.  What sets you apart from your competition? What do your clients identify about you?
  • Next, focus on the functional side of your business.  What features and attributes do you offer?
  • Then focus on the emotional side of your business.  How do your customers feel?
  • Lastly, this is when you can take reflect upon that information and know what you stand for and know who you are.  This is your brand promise.

Innkeepers, do you make it all about your bed and breakfast guests?  Do potential guests know how you are different from other accommodations in your area?

If you need help defining what makes your inn unique, so you stand out from other lodging choices, the Bed and Breakfast Blogging team is here to help.  Contact Kristi Dement for a free consultation today and she can start help you share your inn’s story with the world!

Katie Couric: The Best Advice I Ever Got

the best advice I ever got

 

The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives by Katie Couric is full of practical information for people from all walks of life. Each chapter features a famous person who gives us a sneak peak into what they have learned from their own experiences. At the end of this post is a YouTube video of Katie talking about how she wrote the book and which celebrities contributed their stories.

Comedian and Actor George Lopez: “If you quit, you’ll never find out what could have happened.”

Celebrity Chef and Restaurateur Mario Batali: “As you cook up your own life, never let anyone else’s recipe for success intimidate you…”

 

Emmy Award-Winning Television and Radio Host Larry King: “Learn how to listen.  You don’t learn anything when you are talking.”

Emmy Award-Winning Television Broadcaster, Journalist, and Co-Host of Good Morning America Robin Roberts: “Be patient and persistent.  Life is not so much about what you accomplish as what you overcome.”

Professional Football Player Drew Brees: “What is meant to be will happen for me, and all I should concern myself with is the things I can control.”

Figure-skating Champion Michelle Kwan: “Your finest moments in life aren’t necessarily those in which you finish first but, instead, the times when you know you simply gave your best–when you did it heart and soul, and held nothing back.”

Co-founder of Twitter Biz Stone: “Think about what is valuable before thinking about what is profitable and know that there’s compound interest in helping others–start early!”

Professional Psychologist, Bestselling Author, and Television Host “Dr. Phil” McGraw: “Instead of ignoring these dreams and hoping you can get around to them later on, you have to be committed to developing an action plan, to creating a “life script” with measurable goals, and to building a core of supporters around you to keep you going in the right direction.”

Grammy Award-Winning Artist, Musician, Entrepreneur, Actress, and Activist Alicia Keys: “When you make a decision because you really love what you’re doing, because you’re really passionate about it, believe in it, and because you’d do it no matter what the outcome–that’s when you become most successful.”

Bestselling Cookbook Author and Television Host Ina Garten: “You can’t figure out what you want to do from the sidelines.  You need to jump into the pond and splash around to see what the water feels like.  You might like that pond or it might lead to another pond, but you need to figure it out in the pond.”

Sixty-sixth United States Secretary of State and Stanford University Professor Condoleeza Rice: “The point is that life is full of surprises and serendipity.  Being open to unexpected turns in the road is an important part of success.  If you try to plan every step, you may miss those wonderful twists and turns.”

Four-Star General and Sixty-Fifth United States Secretary of State Colin Powell: “So it doesn’t matter where you start in life but where you finish and, along the way, whether you do something that you love and enjoy doing.  Never settle for anything less than what you love doing and do well.”

Olympic Speed Skater Apolo Ohno: “It’s not really about the destination, but about what it took to get you there.”

Taking Larry King’s advice to learn how to listen, identify at least 3 people who have achieved success and ask them to share their thoughts.  Possible questions could be:

  • What was your greatest challenge?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • What do you know now that you wish you could have known earlier in life?
  • Was there anyone who mentored you?
  • How did you become so successful?
  • Is there anything you wish you could have done differently?
  • What are you most excited about for your future?

Essentially, informally interview them (much like Katie Couric interviewed these people) to gain more insight.  If the person you are interviewing knows you well, they will be able to relate this to your goals.

While we each need to do something that aligns with our own personal interests, passions, and goals; we can benefit by the wisdom and experience of the successful people around us.  In addition, we should all be open to sharing the lessons we have learned with those who come to us for advice.

Here is a YouTube video of Katie Couric talking about how she wrote this book!

B&B Guests: Adventurers

adventurers

 

Adventurers are guests who want to stay busy with physical activities since they love to stay active and explore.  Adventurers enjoy and seek exciting, and sometimes daring, experiences. This could be climbing mountains, golfing, hiking, horseback riding, skiing, or any other outdoor activity or sport.

 

If your bed and breakfast is located near anything that offers fun activities such as the ones mentioned, consider putting together a special promotion or package by contacting these businesses to get guests:

  • 36 holes of golf
  • passes to hiking trials or skiing mountains
  • horseback riding lessons or explorations
  • whitewater rafting adventures

By having a blog and a small part of your website marketing this, you will attract potential B&B guests who have adventurous spirits.  Be sure to think about what opportunities are available in your local and surrounding areas. Have fun with it and you can even create a guidebook of possible adventures for your guests!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Successful People Help Others Get What They Want

Successful people help others. The late success consultant, speaker, and author, Zig Ziglar, said that

“You can get everything you want in life, if you help enough people get what they want.”

So we must ask ourselves what we can offer people that they would want?  The answer to that question depends upon several factors.

First, do you have positive role models in your life?  Even if you do not personally know someone who is successful in your field of interest, of course you can read about accomplished people. Their success can motivate you.  Do what they did.  Read what they read. Learn what they learned.  Just take action!

In addition, use your resources (this includes your education and experiences) to seek out ways to meet the needs of others.  You can also use your skills (such as communicating or leading or researching) to your advantage.  Use the skills that people tell you they admire about you.

Also, the more connections you develop, the easier it is to refer people to others and to receive referrals from others.  Social media (such as Face Book, Linked In, and Twitter) makes it even easier to be connected to other people.

I think Mr. Zig Ziglar’s point was that when you put others needs before your own, then your needs will be taken care of as well. It is only natural that people will hear about how you helped other people and want you to help them, too.

So take your eyes off of yourself for the moment and look to solve someone else’s problem. In doing so, you will have solved your problem. That is the beauty of what Mr. Ziglar was talking about.

Zig’s most popular book is See You At The Top. Much of his sage advice is timeless wisdom that can be applied in modern everyday life.

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Reasons to Love Change

I love change.  Life is about change. Here are the Top Ten Reasons to Love Change:

1.  Change happens whether you want it to or not–so you might as well embrace it.

2.  Being open to change allows you the freedom and courage to take on new and different things.

3.  People will admire your ability to roll with the punches.  You make it look effortless.

4.  Others will come to you for advice because you stay on the cutting edge of information and technology.

5.  Change can mean improvement if you seek to make things even better than they are right now.

6.  Change means not the same old, same old.  It is out with the old and in with the new.

7.  Welcoming new changes can lead to awesome opportunities.  Don’t be afraid to do something different.

8.  If it is not working, then why stick with it?

9.  Change brings about new experiences that could impact your life in many wonderful ways.

10. If you love change, then you love life because life is full of change.  So love life!

That is a general success principle in life–to always seek improvement (which, by the way, requires change)!