Which group sales proposals usually make it to the top of the pile?
A templated proposal that sounds like every other hotel, brimming with business clichés and corporate speak? Or a proposal that reflects the personality of the hotel sales manager and offers targeted solutions to the event planner’s concerns?
To hit your sales goals, your proposal better impress corporate event planners with every word instead of stopping your ambitious sale dead in its tracks.
Ditch the one-size-fits-all proposal template shared among your sales team. Event planners want to work with a person, not a robot. So, customize, customize, customize — in both style and substance.
Here are five pro tips to live by when crafting your next group sales proposal.
Focus on the event planner’s needs, not yours
Just like everyone else, meeting planners are asking, “What’s in it for me?” Meeting and event planners don’t care how wonderful, beautiful, amazing and first-class your hotel is.
When they receive your proposal, they just want to know you plan on meeting their attendees’ needs. Gather as much intelligence on the group as you can. Call the meeting planner to get more insight and truly listen to what they tell you. Gather all the intel you’ll need to structure an irresistible and relevant proposal.
Be yourself, not a hotel
To capture and hold a reader’s attention, write like you speak. Loosen up a little, and let your personality come through in every group sales proposal. Make it sound like a letter to a friend rather than a formal business letter.
One way to do so is to use an active voice instead of a passive voice. Ditch fancy acronyms and hotel jargon. In reality, you’re selling yourself and your team to the corporate event planner, not just the rates, dates and space. So, establish right away that you’re a trusted partner in event planning by being authentic and personable.
Avoid the features list
A common sales proposal mistake is leading with a long list of your hotel’s amenities and features — whether the corporate event planner needs them or not.
Instead, focus on objectives — both for the meeting itself and the event planner’s. Which of your hotel’s features will be part of the solution? In what ways can your hotel deliver benefits that directly address the event planner’s goals? Lining up your dates, rates and space is the easy part. Create value that’s hard to pass up by concentrating on hotel solutions that explicitly meet their event aspirations.
Focus on the investment, not the cost
In every sales proposal, watch your words and how you talk about money. There’s a vast difference between investment and cost, yet hotel sales teams tend to focus too much on words such as rate, fee, expenses and price. Those words trigger images of money being drained from an event planner’s budget.
In comparison, an investment means you’re gaining something substantial in return. Companies and organizations hold meetings because they expect to get something back, so it’s vital to truly understand the meeting planner’s objectives. You’ll use these same objectives to structure your solutions.
When it comes time to discuss prices, change the language. Demonstrate how their investment of time and money will pay off large dividends by partnering with you and your team. Building this foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship will result in long-term gain and even repeat business.
Add some pop
Include the WOW factor to boost your proposal to the top of the pile.
- Add poignant (not boring) testimonials.
- Showcase photos of previous events, not empty conference rooms.
- Include video clips from previous event planners or happy meeting attendees.
- Offer to present your proposal via Skype or Zoom with your winning oceanfront or city view behind you.
Drafting group sales proposals can sound daunting. It requires creativity and stellar writing. It is time-consuming. That’s why it’s also vital to separate the highly qualified proposals from the rest. But time spent on a dynamic sales proposal that will make your clients feel excited to work with you is the most lucrative way to spend your day.