It’s quite a common sight.
In fact, you won’t just see one doctor, but a whole bunch of them along with other white coated nurses smoking away outside every hospital.
What many of these health care professionals are unaware of is that they are sending very mixed messages about cigarette smoking to everyone that walks by.
And when you send a group proposal, you often send the same mixed message to group planners
In the process of responding to an RFP (request for proposal), we send a mixed message by saying we want their business, but not acting like it. How? Here are three ways:
- Not responding quickly to RFP’s
- Sending generic proposals
- Offering a higher group rate than what can be found online
Let’s look how each of these sends a mixed message, starting with how we respond to RFPs.
1-Not responding quickly to RFP’s
In our proposals, we like to talk about how we are responsive to our clients needs, and how we will take care of their needs when they are there and how we like to be of service at all times. And yet, most group sales managers don’t respond to proposals for days. In fact, many don’t respond for a week or more.
Now that may not entirely be your fault. It could be that you have to jump through lots of hoops to get the proposal done. But the group planner does not know that. And when your proposal talks about how you provide great service, it rings hollow. Because part of great service is being timely.
But responding quickly is just one symptom among many. Let’s look at the second one.
2-Sending generic proposals
In our proposals, we often talk about how we take the time to make sure that all the details of a group are taken care of. And yet we send a generic proposal showing our lack of detail. So what would impress the group planner?
A proposal that was truly personalized. For example, if you are responding to an RFP for a class reunion, then your proposal should include testimonials and images should be from previous class reunions. And not just that, but your cover letter should talk about what you do specifically for class reunions.
Doing so will show the group planner that you took the time to create their proposal. That you did not just input their name, dates and rates into a template and pressed send.
Finally, let’s talk about one more type of mixed message we send with our group proposals.
3-Offering a higher group rate than what can be found online
The purpose of getting a group rate is to be able to get a good discount. While the other perks (free rooms, discounted breakfast etc) are nice to have, a discounted room rate is really what most groups expect to get.
So why is it that many of us provide group rates that are higher than what can be found online? Doing so makes us look incompetent.
Before you send out that proposal, go to a website like Kayak, and check what kinds of rates are being offered online. And then see what kinds of rates you are offering. Because if the client can book for cheaper online, sending them a group proposal is useless.
But what if your proposals are well received already?
After all, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
If you’re happy with your market share of group business, then there is no reason to change anything. You can continue doing business as you have and disregard the above.
But if you are interested in increasing your share of the market, then you need to make the above changes to your proposals. And when you do, you’ll look very different from your competitors and that will lead to an outsized number of group wins.
If you want to win more group business, then you need to send the right kind of message
By responding quickly to a proposal, you’ll let them know that you take their request seriously. Making sure to create a personalized proposal will portray you as being detail oriented.
Finally, providing a rate that they can’t find online will make them feel secure that they did the best job for their organization. And doing the three things will help you send a very clear message.
Much unlike the muddled message doctors send when they smoke.
What should you do next?
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