Facilities & Destinations - Winter 2016-2017

Page 24

Dougherty: I believe that relationship is everything, and we make a point of getting to know our global n promising to keep all sales managers. We schedF&B functions onsite, we’ve ule appointments with and try to meet with been able to really negotiate them Woodin: When the hotel them face to face. When down or eliminate entirely declines your RFP, pick we find out we have a new up the phone and have the global sales manager, we the room rental fees.” conversation and ask them contact them, let them —Leann Coppola why. Many of them don’t know who their primary want to tell you the real contact is, and make sure reason for declining your they’ve been brought up meeting because they’re to date on our business. So afraid they’re going to when we start to work on a hurt your feelings, but you really have to have that conversation potential meeting, they have all the info they need to help us negoof “How do we make this work? What do I need to change about tiate the best possible rate. And when I attend conferences such as my program? What do we need to do with our rooms-to-space IMEX America I make a point to connect with all my global hotel ratio for you to consider my RFP?” Have the hotel figure that out sales managers. You may only have 20 minutes to talk with them, with their team and come back to you with what those options but that’s a great 20 minutes that you can spend to help you do are. Sometimes, all I had to do was use my general session as your job better and help them as well. one of my breakouts and use my office also as storage and I would have gotten a “yes.” It’s really about getting creative in UNDERSTANDING THE HOTEL’S BUSINESS working with the properties, especially for the larger meetings. Woodin: The hotel is not trying to take advantage of planners because demand is up; rather, demand is up so they need to drive their rates. When demand is down, they have to give the house RELYING ON RELATIONSHIPS away, like in ‘08 and ‘09. And the higher rates allow them to mainCoppola: Sometimes budget and contracting is a bit out of the planner’s control, and so having a relationship with those hoteliers tain staffing levels, and renovate and take care of the hotel that the planner is buying. and those sales teams can really help navigate that uncertainty. as much purchasing power and leverage. But when we’re using a lot of space along with a lot of sleeping rooms, I really try to go hard on the negotiations.




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