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5 proposal mistakes your hotel should stop right now

Stay away from these sales sins that consistently cost you the deal

Nobody’s perfect. But we’ve been in the hospitality biz long enough to spot the key mistakes hoteliers make when pitching group business. Most of the time, these fumbles were made with the best of intentions: trying to address a planner’s every requirement, packing a proposal with useful information or following up at the perceived right time. Rather than hold all of our cards, we’re sharing 5 of the pitfalls that can steal a deal – and solutions of what sales rock stars choose to do instead.

1. Late to the party.

Being thorough and thoughtful is awesome. But research proves first-responders win the hotel proposal. You can dramatically increase group bookings by replying quickly to planners vs. waiting a day or more to gather up a response. Instead, create a proposal library of core assets like pre-designed templates, descriptive overviews and detailed specifics of your facilities that you can personalize and pop into new proposals quickly.

2. Boring, uninspired presentation.

People’s eyes instantly glaze over when presented with a giant block of text, uninspired photography and tables of numbers. Hotels are exciting places, but we have to capture the magic in how we present them. Branded graphics, artistic photos and videos bring color and life to your proposals and tell your hotel’s story for a planner, letting them visualize their event or group in your space.

3. Excess baggage.

Heavy files with embedded photos and charts in Word docs, PowerPoints and PDFs sent via email are truly antiquated today. No one has time for these clunky files that clog up inboxes, or worse, never get delivered or shared due to the weight. Instead, shift to link-based, hosted proposals online that your planners can quickly access, anywhere on any device. Make it seamless to see and share your proposals. It’s also so much easier to edit on the fly if you notice a mistake or get an add-on request for the group or event.

4. Bad timing.

There are obvious black-out periods for reaching out to a planner– in the wee hours, late at night, the weekend (unless they ask for a response of course), but so often hotel sales teams miss opportunities to follow up at the perfect moment. Like when a prospect opens your email pitch, is reading the proposal or forwarding it to their boss or colleague. Invest in software that tracks these key moments, with alerts, so you can follow up serendipitously with answers to questions when the prospects are poised and considering your proposal.

5. Re-inventing the wheel every time.

Working hard in sales is key to achievement, but today, we know that’s only half of the equation. It’s also about making smart choices of where our energy can be put to best use. For proposals, scalability is key. Wise hotels know it’s worth the time to invest in a proposal library that once assembled, can help teams move faster once an RFP hits. It’s an absolute must to have a modular toolbox ready at your disposal with your hotel’s key assets, pricing and descriptions that can be quickly assembled and customized to a planner’s needs.

Cendyn’s eProposal platform is used by over 20,000 hotels globally to court and secure lucrative group and event business. We can help your team create customizable, polished presentations in minutes. Contact us today for a demo!

Stay tuned for Part 2: 5 (more) proposal mistakes your hotel should stop right now

Author
Casey Munck Casey Munck is the Director of Marketing, Americas. In her role at Cendyn, she manages content marketing, lead generation, communications, social media and thought leadership.