Selling on price is like crack.

It's easy to get hooked on sacrificing rate for occupancy or short-term results. And it's a damn difficult habit to kick.

Any salesman will tell you that price is the easiest thing to give away and the hardest thing to get back. And selling on price puts you in a brutal competitive arena. It's an addiction to be avoided. But how?

With a strong brand, for one thing. A clear brand is a way to reduce your competitive set, maintain guest loyalty in the face of price-based competition and help you get premium pricing.

And when you deliver that brand message, deliver it everywhere from your website to your advertising to your property experience. Be creative about it. Make a little noise. Demand attention. Resist the usual.

Don't go dark when business is good. That's actually when you need to do your selling to avoid the occupancy holes in your calendar. Keep your name and brand message out there. Consistently. We’re going to assume you've got something going for you besides just a lower rate than the guys down the street. Make sure people know what it is.

Stay in touch with guests and followers with a regular e-mail program and regular updates in places like Facebook and Instagram. Hit those business travelers on LinkedIn. And as far as soial media goes, don’t just deliver a series of posts about this offer and that offer and another offer. Use your social media channels to deliver your brand. To build relationships. Tell stories. Convey your personality. Make friends.

But the biggest thing you can do for yourself is to recognize in the first place that selling on price is like a drug. It's easy to get hooked, hard to get clean and it's going to get more and more expensive as you go along.

Just say no.