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Going Rogue on Group Pricing
  How to Compete with Irrational Discounting



FT LAUDERDALE – November 19, 2009: Negotiation is an important part of the group and meeting sales process. How sales people initially respond to requests for discounts and price reductions is critical and can have a significant effect on prices throughout a market.

Don Bundock, President of Quality Track International, says “A very important part of GroupMetrix, our group-rate shopping service, is the rate-resistant response to a property’s initial group proposal. We have engaged in thousands of group-rate shop calls where our shopper is price-resistant. When we push back on rates, we get one of three responses:
  • Blind Fade:  The sales manager immediately offers a lower rate
  • Qualified Fade: The sales manager asks qualifying questions, prior to offering a lower rate
  • Refusal: The sales manager sticks to their position and does not offer any compromise”
Basic sales “best practice” is to ask qualifying questions prior to making rate concessions, yet “blind fades” happen three times more frequently (74% vs. 26% for qualified fades).

Not only do blind fades occur three times as often, the rate drop following a blind fade is greater (13% rate drop for blind fades vs. 8% for qualified fades). There have been cases where sales managers have dropped rates by 40% without asking the simplest questions such as, “Which other hotels are you considering?” or “Do you have a target budget in mind?”

This behavior undermines rates for the entire market. It is not enough to know your competitor’s pricing, you must also know how they are reacting to price-sensitive customers.

A blind fade indicates a lack of knowledge about the competition and betrays a weak and irrational pricing strategy. Knowing which properties have a history of “going rogue” on pricing enables the development of a value-based sales proposition that targets and succeeds against a competitive property that is engaging in irrational pricing.

GroupMetrix clients have the market knowledge to enable them to set prices correctly and cut down on the amount of negotiation. GroupMetrix clients engage “qualifying questions” in response to rate-resistance twice as often as their competitors and are able tune their pricing based on awareness of market conditions and competitor’s behaviour.

GroupMetrix group-rate shop reports show the competitor’s pricing, how much they dropped their rate when rate-resistance is applied and whether the competitor engaged in a blind or qualified fade. Being aware of competitive pricing enables and sales practices enables the development of a selling strategy to effectively compete against those in the market who attempting to complete on blind pricing.

GroupMetrix CompSet Group-Rate Reports provide unparalleled insight into competitors’ rates and pricing strategy and include all the rate components that factor into a group or meeting quotation: room rates, inclusions, in-room internet, catering (breakfast, breaks, luncheon and dinners), meeting room rates, AV rates, meeting room internet rates, minimum F&B guarantees, comp rooms, upgrades and master bill discounts.
  • Armed with highly believable shopping identities, GroupMetrix shoppers are able to effectively offer price-resistance and discover the true rates that competitors are offering.
  • The GroupMetrix service includes 2 rate shops per month on each of 4 competitors, for a total of 8 rate shops. Each rate shop is price challenged, creating an additional set of 8 rates.
The total cost is $129 per month, which is only $8 for each set of rates.

Additional competitors can be added if desired. Volume pricing for management companies and market clusters is also available.

Click here to view a sample GroupMetrix rate report -  Sample Report

Click here to view a short online presentation - Online Presentation

GroupMetrix is the world’s only systematic provider of competitive set group rate information.

For more information contact:
  Mr. Donald Bundock, CEO, Quality Track International, Inc., at (416) 693-5426 or by email at Don.Bundock@QualityTrack.com

About Quality Track International, Inc.:  Quality Track International, established in 1998, is a leading worldwide provider of a full range of mystery shopping services and PCI compliant call center monitoring to the hospitality industry.

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Contact:

 Quality Track International

Head Office:
36 Toronto Street, Suite 850
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5C 2C5
Telephone: (416) 693-5426
Email: Sales@QualityTrack.com

 US Office
1601 N. Palm Avenue, Suite 211
Pembroke Pines, Florida 33026
Telephone: (954) 432-2998

http://www.QualityTrack.com
 

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Also See: Electronic Proposals - Easy for Sales Managers, Frustrating for Customers; Pretty pictures are no substitute for substance / November 2009

What is really going on with group rates? How to obtain critical competitive intelligence / November 2009

28% of Group Sales Inquiries are Lost, Ignored or Abandoned / May 2009

Quality Track’s 2,000,000th Mystery Call Received by Mandarin Oriental, New York / April 2009

Quality Track to Celebrate 2 Million Mystery Shop Calls / April 2009

Green Up Your Training. Improving Performance and Saving the World / December 2008

The Upside of a Downturn; The need to cut costs creates push to consider alternatives / November 2008

Downturn Dilemma; How to save money on training without sacrificing performance / November 2008
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