Shorten the sales cycle with hotel proposals that win more deals
Guest blog from Casey Munck, Senior Marketing & Communications Manager at Cendyn
Before we dive in, be sure to visit our ultimate guide to grow events and group business for an all-encompassing rundown of events, sales and catering tips, data points and best practices.
Congratulations, your hotel is on the shortlist for that big group or event! But even sales pros know a door can easily slam shut or stall, leaving your team on the hook for group business stuck in the pipeline.
How you finesse the proposal is everything. Here are our top 10 tips to help you shorten the sales cycle and win more business.
1. Respond first
In a fast-paced market like hospitality, people don’t have the time or patience to wait around for their proposal. In fact, eProposal data shows 70% of customers will go with the first proposal to come through the door. To get these out faster, standardize the process with software that helps you quickly create personalized proposals.
Be persistent! Keep the conversation with the buyer moving forward with actions and next steps. Reach out when you see email opens or other engagement notifications like proposal views or website visits. Set a communication cadence with alerts to check in so the client knows their business is important to you.
Ask the right questions and focus on capturing the details of what the client needs for their group/event from all angles in the proposal. Address the pain points to ensure they feel safe and secure placing their business in your hotel’s hands. Restate key details from this active listening in your proposal to show your offer meets their primary objectives.
Nobody wants a generic, copy and paste sales pitch anymore. Personalization is now a basic demand for purchasing decisions. To close the deal faster, illustrate how your hotel can deliver their desired experience and make it personal to their needs. Small details matter, from budget to food choices and room types, so curate a proposal that shows you listened.
5. Sell visually
Capture the eye and the customer will follow. By filling your proposal with beautiful imagery and videos, you are visually storytelling through the sales process, so the client can envision what they’re buying. Graphics help buyers recall your hotel, stimulating emotion beyond the bullet points in the final stages of the purchasing decision.
6. Communicate clearly with confidence
Closers have a confident, clear communication style that shows they have the courage to go on the line for your business. When you believe in the value your hotel brings to the table, it shows in how you speak, write, and showcase the offer in the proposal. Stay upbeat with your language and responses, never begging for business.
7. Pivot quickly when changes come in
You’ll close negotiations faster if you’re flexible with requests to adjust pricing, remove items from the proposal or add additional elements. Clients with correct proposals in hand can move quicker in gaining approvals, and often this can be the deciding vendor selection moment to lock in the group or event at your hotel.
8. Be transparent
Be upfront with clients. Honesty builds trust, so don’t overpromise or oversell. Stay in your lane with clear, accurate pricing in the proposal and answer questions directly. But that doesn’t mean back down the moment an objection pops up – use that as an opportunity to share more awesome things about your property.
9. Showcase your A-game
Keep a gallery of your previous events handy to share with potential clients. Use the photos to showcase how your hotel can flawlessly execute what the client is looking for and back them up with testimonials. Proof in the proposal gives potential buyers confidence in knowing like-minded individuals entrusted your hotel to deliver and it paid off.
10. Make signing easy
Lock in that big group or event for your hotel with electronic contracts that enable the client to easily make things official from anywhere, anytime. Cloud-based proposal software can help your team secure a signature from the moment the client says ‘go’.
Guest blog from Casey Munck, Senior Marketing & Communications Manager at Cendyn.