Hotel sales pros & the Matrix

Hotel sales pros use the Matrix

Hotel sales pros remove resistance at the point of sale: the Matrix

I do hope you’ve read my earlier blog posts about how hotel sales pros remove resistance at the point of sale. If not be sure to catch up on the last two especially: the post on “Hotel Sales Pros and Typical Problems with Hotels” and “Hotel Sales Pros & Your Property’s Strengths” from last week.

You’ll want to be sure to complete the short exercises in these two posts before tackling this week’s information.

Now assuming that you’ve made the two lists, I want to say thank you. Thank you for being honest. That’s the only real way to get anything out of these.

Now here comes the magic moment for hotel sales pros. What you have just done, obviously, is put together your hotel’s list of strengths and weaknesses. If you further wanted to drill down, you could put together a list of strengths and weaknesses in each market. You should probably have a list of strengths and weaknesses for your government market, for your association market, for your catering market, for your weddings market, for your IBT market, and so on.

What do hotel sales pros do with this information? The next time you’re going to bid on a piece of business, you need to ask yourself this question: Who else is bidding? Your presentation, your proposal and presentation means nothing until you compare it to who else is bidding. You have to get inside the mind of the customer. The customer is going to lay three proposals down side by side. One is yours, and there are two others. And they’re going to compare the three proposals; and trust me, they’re looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the three properties.

And in order or priority, price was way down on the list.

So here’s what you need to do: somewhere in your offices you need to have a list of strengths and weaknesses. We’re going to call this, affectionately, the Matrix. This is your Matrix.

But the Matrix is more than a two column list. It’s the Matrix because it lists the strengths and weaknesses of all the hotels in your market. If you were to list “strengths” and “weaknesses” along the top row of the Matrix, you’d have the competing hotels listed down the left side. And you can use it to compare your hotel’s strengths and weaknesses with those you’re competing with.

The Matrix should be in everybody’s marketing plan. I don’t expect you to memorize the strengths and weaknesses of every hotel, but I know that hotel sales pros have the Matrix at their fingertips.

So the next time you come running into your sales manager’s office saying “I got a chance to really book a nice piece of business,” your manager should as who else is bidding.

If you don’t know, you’re not ready to make a presentation! You’ve got to do all you can to try to find out who else is bidding, otherwise your proposal cannot be compared to anything. So if you find out who else is bidding, what you want to do is pull out the Matrix; here’s your strengths and weaknesses, here’s their strengths and weaknesses…

Here’s the magic moment, and if you get this go to the head of the class: Where your strengths are the same as their strengths, you’d better not make that the thrust of your presentation. You’ve got it, they got it. The customer is saying “They both have it.” Nobody wins on that one! But when hotel sales pros have something the other hotel does not, they make it the focal point of their presentation.

Use this technique wisely and only for good, my young padawan!  🙂

 

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Posted 9/10/12

 

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