Selling a green image, product or service has become trendy in the past few years. At least one survey has shown that travelers are more apt to stay in properties that are environmentally friendly. That is good news for all of us. That does not mean, however, that being green is an easier sell than anything else. It still requires an investment of time and dollars to get the word out to potential customers.
As publish and editor of a green publication, I get to learn about hotel companies that are doing everything they can to reduce their impact on the environment through green cleaning, fluorescent lighting, recycling programs and much more. Sometimes these companies shout about it to their customers; other times they keep it quiet, missing out on a perfect marketing opportunity.
I also see vendors that successfully position themselves as environmental leaders in their particular niches. They know a thing or two about the value of good public relations, advertising and networking. I see them at trade shows and read their press releases and ads. However, I also see vendors that fail to recognize the power of a press release or the value of being seen at industry events. How can they expect to grow their businesses?
Selling Green Takes Patience
Green is still a tough sell at times. I know firsthand from all of the calls that I make that are not returned. I often hear tales from other vendors who struggle to sell their green products. They battle the perception that being environmentally friendly costs more. The reality is that may have been true 10 years ago but is much different today.
Hotel owners and operators should not fear green initiatives but some still do. One guestroom energy management system vendor told me his company made the upfront cost to install a system almost nothing but an hotelier still would not install it, even with the promise of saving thousands of dollars in reduced energy costs. What gives? Sometimes people just don’t understand the advantages of going green. That is why we all have to do a better selling job.
Whether it is rooms, products or services, getting the word out about what makes each of us the best at what we do is critical to our success. We just can’t start a business, kick back and wait for customers to come banging at our doors. Make some noise if you have a story worth telling. When was the last time you issued a press release, called an editor or attended an industry event? What are you doing to inform your guests about your green practices? Is there something at your front desk? In your guestrooms? On your website?
There is no doubt that selling green is not always going to be easy, but if you make more noise about the good things you are doing, more people will listen and you definitely will see an increase in sales.
Odds and Ends
Green Lodging News has some great news to share about two new alliances. Hotel News Resource, one of the lodging industry’s leading providers of news content via its website and newsletters, has agreed to publish Green Lodging News content in its publications. In fact, Hotel News Resource has created an “Environmental News” section on its site where Green Lodging News articles, as well as other green industry news will reside. This will mean much greater exposure for Green Lodging News. Thank you to Thomas Wahl at the Ozean Group for making this alliance possible.
Green Lodging News also has agreed to become a news affiliate of GreenBiz.com, an Oakland, Calif.-based publisher of environmental news. GreenBiz.com will occasionally publish Green Lodging News articles. Green Lodging News thanks Joel Makower, executive editor with Greener World Media, for this opportunity.
As always, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (440) 243-2055. I look forward to hearing from you.