Would Cinderella have been noticed by the prince if she came dressed in shabby clothes?
The fairy princess knew that Cinderella needed to be jazzed up in a great looking gown and glass slippers. She had to be packaged so she would stand out.
Much like Cinderella, our group proposals need to be jazzed up too. A proposal that stands out will be just as attractive to groups as Cinderella was to the Prince.
And yet most hotels don’t ever bother to jazz up their proposals
If anything they make the mistake of sending out generic looking proposals that look like everyone elses. And every group, regardless of whether they are a sports team or a corporate training, gets that same exact proposal.
This one size fits all approach may work for a fire hydrant, but it does very little for your hotel.
The problem with sending the same proposal is that it’s too generic
And generic proposals are too blah, often boring planners into skimming through the proposal rather than reading why your hotel is perfect for their group. Not only does a generic proposal not get read, it also makes the planner feel indifferent about your hotel.
You end up being no different than the other two dozen proposals they will receive. But that is not the only problem with generic proposals.
The other problem with proposals today is that they are not easy to read
They are usually two to three pages of long paragraphs. To make matters worse, these proposals contain no images, and are completely black and white.
Rather than sending a proposal like the one described above, hotel sales managers have to start thinking about their proposals a bit differently. Instead of thinking of these documents as way to send information to our clients, we need to start looking at our proposals as marketing pieces.
Why marketing pieces?
Think about the kind of marketing that your hotel currently does. All our brochures, ads, newsletters, and websites have nice bright colors. In addition, each of them have attractive pictures and salesy text sprinkled about.
And we do that because we want the person reading the marketing material to be attracted to our hotel.
So why don’t we do the same with our proposals?
After all, a proposal is created to help sell your hotel to the group planner. So why not make it attractive and colorful. Rather than long blocks of text, create shorter paragraphs and use a larger font. Include tons of photos, and testimonials to help support your cause.
And not just any photos and testimonials
Use highly targeted images of similar group types. For example, don’t send an image of how happy a bride was at your hotel to a meeting planner. The image is irrelevant to the planner. If anything, you’ll come across as being incompetent for having sent an image like that.
Instead, send an image of a successful meeting that just occurred at your hotel. Or include a photograph of a meeting planner that was very happy with your hotel along with his or her testimonial right below it.
And speaking of testimonials, the same rules apply
Don’t include testimonials that are irrelevant to the group. We have seen proposals for large meetings that include proposals from a cheer group. That is just not relevant, nor is it effective.
But creating this kind of proposal for every group will take days to create
After all, having to personalize for each and every group with photos, and testimonials will take a long time.
But once you create one proposal for a group type, you can use it as a template going forward. While the initial phase will take a bit longer, once you’ve created the initial proposal templates for each group, then you can create a proposal very quickly.
Plus, it’s not like you need to make a proposal template for every single group. Just create a separate template for five or ten of the most frequent group types at your hotel, and use a generic proposal for the rest.
In summary, we need to:
- Create our group proposals as if they were marketing collateral.
- In order to do that, we need to make them highly readable (short paragraphs, readable font) and personalized by group type.
- Include images and testimonials that are relevant to the group we are sending the proposal to.
Doing the above will have other hotels wondering who is stealing all their business.
And they won’t find out unless you leave a glass slipper behind.
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