The macchiato he just served up is one of hundreds of highly personalized coffee drinks that he will create that day.
And this personalization is one of the ingredients of why Starbucks has become such a household name.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t use this level of personalization in our group proposals
Despite knowing how important it is, we continue to send generic proposals to every group type that needs rooms at our hotel.
And that’s akin to serving the same coffee to every customer. Starbucks wouldn’t dream of doing that. But we do, and we do it every day.
Many of us use the same generic template because that is how we have always done it
We have software at our hotel that spits out a generic proposal and we attach this proposal to our email and press send.
Other than the name of the group and the dates, there is not a whole lot of personalization involved there. And that is why every proposal looks the same to a group planner.
But what if we did things differently?
What if we created a different proposal template for each group type?
So a hotel that gets a lot of social groups would have a separate template for wedding, class reunions, family reunions, Bar Mitzvahs and so on.
Within each proposal template, we could include a personalized cover letter relevant to the group itself. For example, if we are creating a proposal for a sports team, we would include a cover letter that talked about how we offer group check-in, a free breakfast, and have an indoor pool.
Alternately, if we’re creating a proposal for a bus tour, we would include how we offer a welcome reception with wine and cheese, bag service and we would also mention how close we are to a shopping mall.
In addition to personalizing the cover letter, we could include testimonials and images
So in the proposal for the sports team, we would include testimonials from other sports teams, along with images or logos of teams that love our hotel.
Creating this kind of template would help us create a highly targeted proposal for each group.
But isn’t having a template for each group a bit over the top
It is a bit over the top. But that is exactly how we can differentiate ourselves from our competitors right from the start. As a planner, your first point of contact with a hotel may be the proposal itself. And if I got a proposal that was this personalized to my needs, I would be impressed.
Plus, creating proposal templates for each group type doesn’t take that much time.
The initial phase of creating them will take some effort, but that is just a one time thing
And while it may be a lot of work, creating one a week will ease the burden. Start by creating a proposal template for the most frequent type of group and work your way down. So if a big portion of your business is association meetings, then start by creating a proposal template for this group type. Then move onto to the next one in line.
Once we have all our templates set up, creating a personalized proposal won’t take long at all
If anything, we can create one pretty quickly. By having the cover letter, testimonials, and images in place, all we really have to do is add the rates, dates, and the name of the group.
Creating proposals that are personalized for each group type will help the planner relate to you better, increase their confidence in your property, and show that you really want their business.
In summary, using the same proposal template for every group is a sure fire way to remain mediocre
Creating a template for each group type with personalized content will instantly separate you from the competition, creating a line of customers ready to do business with you.
Just like that Starbucks outside your office.
What should you do next?
Subscribe to our group sales newsletter below (Yes, that’s a big hint!). you’ll get articles like this delivered right to your inbox every week.