Carol Verret Consulting
The New ‘Tipping Points' in the Planners Decision
Process - You May be Surprised!
|The decision making ‘tipping points'
for meeting and corporate travel planners have changed dramatically in
relation to the recessionary economy. No longer are the perks of
spas, golf courses, etc. a valued differentiator. Those perks are
now a negative as incentive travel has diminished following the AIG effect.
Meeting and travel planners are under intense pressure to demonstrate value for any off site meetings that they plan with defined business objectives and demonstrable results. They are trying to minimize the cost of travel to any meetings that they plan so those locations close to their office, airport hotels that minimize the need for rental cars and other ground transportation expenses have benefited from this trend.
Bill Marriott indicated in a statement that "...group cancellations are slowing down, and there's solid business growth for 2010 and 2011 group bookings." As well, Smith's Travels Mark Lomanno suggested that "...we believe the first two quarters of 2009 will be the lodging industry's trough in this cycle, and we will see some modest improvement in the third quarter followed by measureable gains in the fourth quarter, especially in occupancy."
In an era where perks are not even considered in the decision making process, expectations of hotel service have been reduced to the provision of the essential basics - free internet access in both guest rooms and meeting rooms, reasonably priced food and beverage - CMPs (complete meeting packages) are a bonus and other amenities such as comfortable bedding, cable TV, desks and chairs, etc have become commoditized.
In the individual corporate travel space, the mid level segment without food and beverage is winning in the mid week corporate travel segment according to the Smith Travel Analysis (Hotel News Now, April 25, 2009). All of the above commoditized amenities with the added value of free breakfast have moved this segment up the ‘food chain' (pardon the pun).
What are the new ‘tipping points'?
* Practicality. This does not mean that economy hotels are going to be filled with business travelers and meeting attendees. Practicality is the ‘feeling' of getting good value but the perception of value is not just a price point. In a February 09 article by Nash and Bardsley in Hotel Resource practicality was described as "...everything you really need is provided, but nothing extravagant ..." Meeting Planners and travel planners have to demonstrate that they are being practical and not wasting company resources extravagantly.
* Value Add Practical Amenities. Case study - Hotel A, in an attempt to close a meeting offered the planner a complimentary cocktail reception. Hotel B in the bid process simply offered a ‘voucher' that the planner could use how they wanted for their meeting. The planner chose Hotel B and used the voucher to upgrade their coffee breaks. Cocktail receptions free or not, often don't look good to the corporate office.
* Reliability. Meeting Planners especially want the meetings they do plan to go off smoothly. This is a shift that demonstrates the importance of relationships. If a planner has had an experience that went smoothly in the past, they may be inclined to negotiate and rebook with that hotel and sales person that they trust - no surprises!
* Building and maintaining those relationships. Meeting and travel planning departments have been downsized in many cases - they really don't have time for lunch or to travel for a site inspection. Social networks are a great place for building those relationships. Maximize the page and have a company profile on LinkedIn. Recommendations from other meeting and travel planners on your page serve as a ‘third party' referral and are more likely to inspire confidence in you and the hotel.
Meeting and travel planners are still booking upscale hotels and resorts but the emphasis is on the functionality of the property and the meeting space to promote the productivity of the meeting. If the regular rate is $500 a night and the hotel offers $200 the perception of practical value is there. Deemphasize the spa, the golf course and the five star restaurant!
Understanding what is important to the planner is about understanding what's important to the planner's boss and other stakeholders - ask them! Be willing to negotiate to provide those ‘tipping points'.
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Verret And Associates Consulting and Training offers training services
and consulting in the areas of sales, revenue management and customer service
primarily but not exclusively to the hospitality industry. To find out
more about the company click on www.carolverret.net.
To contact Carol send her an email at email@example.com
or she can be reached by cell phone (303) 618-4065. Visit www.hotelsalesblog.com.
5910 S. University #C-18, PMB 374
Greenwood Village, CO 80121
Telephone: (303) 618-4065
Web Site: http://www.carolverret.com/
|Also See:||The New Normal – What Does the New Normal Look Like for Hotel Sales and Revenue Management / Carol Verret / May 2009|
|The New Hotel Sales and Revenue Management Metrics - This Could save Your Job! / Carol Verret / April 2009|
|Back to Hotel Sales Basics: The Basics Have Changed Big Time! / Carol verret / March 2009|
|Stimulate Hotel Revenue -- The Economic Stimulus Package Opportunities / Carol Verret / February 2009|
|2009 The Game Changer for Innovation in Hotel Sales Processes / Carol Verret / January 2009|
|Contrarian Strategies for Hotel Sales Departments to Thrive in an Economic Downturn / Carol Verret / December 2008|
|‘Selling Into’ a Bad Economy – Overcoming Fear and Stealing Share / Carol Verret / October 2008|
|Habits of Highly Successful Hotel Sales People – Accelerated Sense of Urgency / Carol Verret / September 2008|
|The Challenges and Opportunities for Independent and Boutique Hotels in a Difficult Economy / Carol Verret / August 2008|
|The Science of Hotel Sales* – The Benchmarking Imperative for Success in a Difficult Economy / Carol Verret / July 2008|
|Marketing & Revenue Management Plan 2009 - Succeeding in a Difficult Year / Carol Verret / July 2008|
|Tactics to Drive Business in a ‘Not So Hot’ Summer / Carol Verret / May 2008|
|All Marketers Are Liars - Web 2.0 Strategies for Hotel Sales and Marketing / Carol Verret / April 2008|
|Contingency Hotel Revenue Management Strategies 'I Will not Cut Prices'/ Carol Verret / March 2008|
|The Contingency Hotel Sales and Marketing Plan - Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst / Carol Verret / February 2008|
|Change is the Buzz – Rebooting Hotel Sales Activity at the Property Level / Carol Verret / January 2008|
|Habits of Highly Successful Revenue Managers Ramped Up for 2008 / Carol Verret / November 2007|
|Five Tips to Improving Hotel Customer Service with User Generated Reviews / Carol Verret / October 2007|
|Habits of Highly Successful Hotel Sales People – A Seismic Shift in 2008! / Carol Verret / September 2007|
|GMs – How User Generated Review Sites Can Make you a Better Manager! / Carol Verret / September 2007|
|Web 2.0 and Hotel Sales Strategies for '08; What Are Your Clients Saying About You? / Carol Verret / August 2007|
|“It’s not the big that eat the small, it’s the fast that eat the slow” -- Five Revenue Management Tactics for Independent Hotels / Carol Verett / June 2007|
|Developing New Hotel Business Using Client DNA / Carol Verret / May 2007|
|The Jigsaw Puzzle – The Fit of the Revenue Management and Internet Group Sales Pieces / Carol Verret / April 2007|
|Client DNA - The Gold Standard for New Business Development / Carol Verret / March 2007|
|The 'I Hate Cold Calls' Web Cast - The New Paradigm of Sales! / Carol Verret / February 2007|
|Hate Cold Calls? - Discover the New Paradigm of Hotel Sales / Carol Verret / January 2007|
|Issues in Hotel Sales Training - Metics for Success / Carol Verret / December 2006|
|Is the Party Over?; The Challenge of Decreasing Hotel Room Demand / Carol Verret / October 2006|
|The Habits of Highly Successful Hotel Sales People Ramp Up for 2006! / Carol Verret / September 2006|
|Identifying the WIIFM Factor – The Essential of Hotel Sales Success / Carol Verret / August 2006|
|Revenue Management for Hotel GMs – What You Don’t Know Can Jump Up and Bite You!/ Carol Verret / July 2006|
|Feeding the Revenue Elephant; Hotel Revenue Management / Summer 2006|
|The "Tipping Point" - Identifying the Touch Points in Hotel Sales / Carol Verret / May 2006|
|The "Tipping Point" - Touch Points Make a Difference in Customer Service Training / Carol Verret / April 2006|
|Selling Up! Taking Group Room Revenue to a New Level / Carol Verret / February 2006|
|Revenue Management 2006; The Risks and Rewards / Carol Verret /January 2006|
|Revenue Management and Group Sales - The Partnership Not the Disconnect / Carol Verret / November 2005|
|Habits of Highly Successful Hotel Sales People / Carol Verret / September 2005|
|Triple Witching Hour - The Marketing Plan, Revenue Management Strategy and RFPs for '06 / Carol Verret / August 2005|
|"Smile" is a Learned Behavior - Creating a Culture of Customer Service / Carol Verret / July 2005|
|Revenue Management Systems -- Considerations for Evaluation / Carol Verret / June 2005|
|Disconnect -- Aligning the Revenue Management and Sales Strategies / Carol Verret / May 2005|
|Independent Hotels & Resorts; Ride the Wave or Float with the Tide? / Carol Verret / March 2005|
|Hospitality Sales Training Companies Reach Across the Competitive Playing Field to Combine Live Seminar Expertise with the Convenience of the Internet / Carol Verret / January 2005|
|Revenue Management - The Challenge for Hotel Sales / Carol Verret / January 2005|
|Hotel Sales Departments -- Issues in Processes and Functionality / Carol Verret / November 2004|
|The GM'S Role in Revenue Management / Carol Verret / October 2004|
|Transforming the Hotel Sales Organization; Alignment with the New Realities of Sales / Carol Verret / August 2004|
|The Revenue Management Strategy - The Pre-Plan Marketing Plan / Carol Verret / July 2004|
|Hotel Revenue Management this Summer - a Game of Skill, Art and Most of All Nerves / Carol Verett / May 2004|
|What Do Meeting Planners Want? Hotel Sales Managers Want to Know! / Carol Verret / May 2004|
|Revenue Management -- The Integration of Revenue Drivers / Carol Verret / March 2004|
|CYBER SALES -- Hotel Sales in an Internet World is the New Reality / Carol Verret / February 2004|
|The New Realities of Hotel Sales - Focus on Revenue Generation / Carol Verret / January 2004|
|Hotel Sales -- Innovation in the Face of Limitations / Carol Verret / November 2003|
|The Good News & the Bad News; Improving Economy = New Hotel Development / Carol Verret / October 2003|
|Leadership - General Managers Managing the Sales Process / Carol Verret / October 2003|
|When the Crystal Ball is Cloudy; Marketing Plans for 2004 / Carol Verret / July 2003|
|Partnership of Sales and Technology; Using Tech Tools to "Sell" the Hotels / Carol Verret / July 2003|
|Back to the Basics? The Basics of Hotel Sales Have Changed! / May 2003|
|Creating Sales "HUNTERS": The Skill Sets Required in the New Hotel Sales Environment / April 2003|
|Heightened Security Requires New Strategies in Hotels Sales / Carol Verret Consulting and Training / Mar 2003|
|Revenue Recovery - Building The ‘A’ Team in Sales / Carol Verret / January 2003|
|Contingency Marketing Plan – War In Iraq! / Carol Verret / November 2002|
|Playing the Rate Game - Positioning -- Positioning -- Positioning! / Carol Verret / October 2002|
|The Rate Game - Playing to Win / Carol Verret / October 2002|
|The Challenge of Marketing Independent Boutique Hotels / Carol Verett / August 2002|
|Hotel Sales in a Limited Service Environment - The Rules Have Changed / Carol Verett / August 2002|
|The General Manager’s Role in Sales -Chief Marketing Officer of the Hotel / Carol Verret / April 2002|
|100% Market Share Penetration is Not Good Enough / Carol Verett / January 2002|
|The Key to REVPAR Recovery – New Business Development / Carol Verett / December 2001|
|Trash the 2002 Marketing Plan - And Just Start Over / Carol Verett / September 2001|
|How to Use Consultants Effectively – A View From the Other Side / Carol Verret / August 2001|
|How Soft Is Your Hotel's Economic Landing? / Carol Verret / Aprl 2001|
|The ‘Value Proposition’: Marketing Yourself to Prospective Employees / Carol Verret / January 2001|
|Generation Y: Motivating and Training a New Generation of Employees / Carol Verret / November 2000|
|Why Customer Service Seminars Don't Work / Carol Verret / October 2000|
|Creating a Culture of Customer Service / Carol Verret Consulting and Training / Sept 2000|
|FAT, DUMB AND HAPPY – The Seasonal Boom and Bust Cycle / Carol Verret / August 2000|
|Surf's Up - Ride the Wave or Miss the Boat -The Effective Use of Technology in Hotel Sales / Carol Verret / July 2000|
|Measuring Effectiveness of Hotel Sales Departments / Carol Verret / June 2000|
|Hotel Sales Training - The Need for Immediate Results / Carol Verret/ May 2000|