Your meeting RFP, and simple tips to get hotels to stand up and take notice

7 Tips to Get Hotels to Jump When They Receive Your Meeting RFP

This is the first of a three-part series focused on delivering concrete, actionable steps you can take to ensure you get timely and complete responses from your hotel partners. By offering just a couple of extra bits of information in your meeting requests, you’ll help your hotel salespeople do what they love to do: Fight for your business.

Behind the Curtain of the Hotel Sales Office
The key to getting hotels to work hard for your meeting and submit a killer bid is to understand how to get your meeting RFP to stand out among the sea of leads a hotel sales team receives every day. In order to do this, you need to first understand the hairballs that sales managers deal with, and the key information you can provide that will make them seek out your RFPs and jump for your business.

Issue #1: RFP Credibility
Nothing gets a salesperson more fired up and motivated than believing they have a real shot at booking your meeting. Unfortunately, sales managers are often overwhelmed by RFP Spam.

What is RFP Spam? Simply put, it’s any lead (meeting request or RFP) that is sent to a large number of hotels. How does this affect your RFP Credibility? It’s really just simple math.

  • If you send an RFP to 20 hotels, each sales manager has a 5% chance of earning your business.
  • If you send that RFP to just five hotels, each sales manager has a 20% chance of closing.

Put yourself in the sales manager’s shoes: If you think that you’re one of 20 or more hotels to receive a new lead, you aren’t feeling too good about your chances. Hotel salespeople spend about 90 minutes on each lead response, so they’ll need to invest about 30 hours of work (90 minutes per lead times 20 leads) to close one meeting.

Why is this important?

Because now it’s a time management issue. Will sales managers work harder on the lead with 20 to 30 hotels on it or the one that has 5 to 8? Which lead gets the proper attention and ultimately the offer that best matches what the customer is looking for?

Here Are Your Tips

Maximizing RFP Credibility comes down to changing a few habits and communicating your intentions. Here’s what you should do right now to get hotels to jump when your RFP shows up.

1.     Keep the total number of competing hotels down to 8 or less. This requires some work on your part to ensure that you narrow down the list of the right hotels for your meeting. (A little extra research goes a long way in eliminating hotels that probably wouldn’t work for your meeting anyway.) By reducing the competition for your hotel partner, your RFP Credibility will skyrocket.

2.     Now tell the hotels who they’re competing against. Take the credibility to a whole new level by providing the names of competing properties. That way they know how many – and exactly who – they’re competing with. Sales managers fight harder for your business when they know who they’re up against.

When you think about it, we’re really talking about a simple concept: increasing communication. Salespeople want to work hard to earn your business – and it helps when they believe that they have a fair chance to earn it. When you provide just a little extra key information to your hotel partners, the results will amaze you. As basic as these first two steps might seem, understanding the sales manager’s motivations and frustrations will help you get what you need.

In next week’s Zmail, I’ll share more tips and talk about why creating urgency around your RFP will lead to timely responses and highly-valued bids right out of the gate.

Zen on.

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