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Get Great Hotel Rates for Your Meeting in a Seller's Market

August 19, 2014

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Hotel salespeople love to compete for your business – even in a seller's market. But most meeting planners forget about the value of competition when they're searching for a hotel for their meetings. You have the power to get sales managers’ competitive juices flowing, leading to faster responses and better deals.

Here’s a secret about salespeople: They don’t really care about your decision date. What salespeople REALLY want to know is when they’ll find out if they have a real shot at winning your business.

Short-List Your Way to Success

So try introducing a new date into the mix: Your Short List date. The Short List date isn’t your decision date...it’s simply the date when you’ll tell the hotels whether they’re still in the hunt. Adding the step of Short-Listing your hotel choices will tap into your hotel salesperson’s inner competitor and will result in faster and more comprehensive hotel proposals – and some very good deals.

The next time you send a meeting request to hotels, do these two things to get better bids.

  1. Tell the hotels your Short List date when you send them the lead. At the top of the RFP, write something like, “I will narrow the search to my Short List by Friday at 5 p.m. Will consider only complete proposals.”
  2. Make your Short List date as close as possible to the date that you sent the original RFP. You should need no more than a 3–5 days to review the proposals and pick those that jump out at you.

Why does this work? It keeps the sales manager engaged and eager to bid aggressively in order to make the Short List. You also eliminate extra work for yourself by gently dismissing those hotels that didn't make the finals, and only focusing on those that are right for you.

Believe it or not, salespeople would much rather know early in the process that they didn't make the cut. They may be disappointed that their hotel was not selected, but they'll appreciate the update so they can manage their time more efficiently – and not continue to contact you.

And remember, negotiations don’t stop when you select your Short List – in fact, that’s when they begin. Once on the Short List, salespeople will dig deep to earn your business. That means they’ll be amenable to many requests that would not have been offered prior to being Short-Listed.

Want more tips? Download our free guide: 8 Secrets to Great Hotel Meeting Requests. These 8 simple tips can help you improve hotel response time, get complete bids, and secure great deals from hotels every time. Download our free guide and you'll learn to:

  • Increase your chances of getting complete bids on the first try
  • Improve your communications to hotels
  • Book your meeting with the hotel you really want

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