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Top Reasons Negotiated Rate Clients Don’t Actually Book 

Top reasons

At GitGo, we manage small and medium size business programs for many of our chain, brand and property-level clients.  We get the pleasure of speaking directly with the decision-makers and bookers of these accounts daily to not only qualify them, but also activate their accounts and help them book the rates and discounts they’ve been offered.   

A big question we get asked by our hotel partners is how they can convert more of their existing BT or LNR rates to actualized revenue.   

 Our team has put together a list of the top 6 reasons why customers haven’t booked with their hotel partner, and some things you can do as a sales leader to support your team in turning their signed and loaded accounts into actualized revenue this year! 

#1.  They forgot they had a discount with you.   

Oftentimes, hotels take a “set it and forget it approach” to this business.  The rate is offered, a letter of intent is signed, and then it’s a waiting game.   

We encourage our hotel partners to play a more active role in education and communication with existing customers, and essentially make it easy for them to remember their discount, but taking it one step further…to actually book their rate.   

  • Build a toolbox of items that will help your partners book their rate and build a cadence for outreach.  We suggest minimum quarterly outreach via phone with some emails in between.  We can’t prescribe an exact cadence as customers vary in their need and desire for that connection.  Know your customers.   

 

#2.  They are finding lower rates and booking outside their discount.  

This provides a challenge for tracking their business, which hinders the ability to continue to offer discounts in the future.  Conversations with customers to explain the benefit of the discount, and work with them when they do find those lower promotions.  Reality is, this may not matter to the customer especially when cost-savings is a main priority.  Leaders should work closely and cross-functionally with teams to review these challenges and come up with creative solutions to solve not only for the organization, but the customer.  Point:  be easy to do business with.  Don’t make your internal challenges with pricing their issue.   

#3.  Travelers who are booking their own reservations are unaware of the rates and discounts being offered.  In many cases they are unaware of the partnership.  

Providing tools and education for the main point of contact to be able to easily share information out to the field is critical.  Ask your point of contact how they share information with the field, and create your messages so they are shareable across the organization.  Make it easy for them to forward or post to their intranet, as an example.   

#4.  The organization’s priorities have shifted and they’ve cut back on travel. 

In a volatile economy, this will be prevalent.  It’s important to ensure your sales team is having these conversations with customers to assist with realistic forecasting.  Arm your sales team with compelling questions that will provide your team with the outlook and insights needed to plan your business.  Implement consistent marketing touchpoints to ensure your hotel/brand are still top-of-mind when the customers needs arise.  

#5.  Customer has experienced inadequate quality issues or customer service experience in the past.  

As front-line to the decision-makers and influencers, your sales team will hear these issues and should have the ability to cascade to the appropriate team members to solve for these issues in the future.  We recommend when the hotel is ready to welcome back, the sales team offer a compelling reason to try again.  Your point of contact wants peaceof mind that the experience will be great.   

#6.  They’ve chosen alternative housing like apartments or Airbnb as they believe this will save them money.  

Stay in front of this issue, by creating a cost comparison model showing your discounted rate vs. apartment stays and the ancillary costs that build into that.  In some cases, you may not be able to compete on cost, but perhaps experience, flexibility, etc.  This is where great quality questions come into play to ensure your hitting all criteria.   

Essentially, hotels lose revenue from existing accounts by making too many assumptions and not having real conversation with the decision-makers, influencers and travelers.  They also lose opportunity when the process to book is over-complicated or just not explained at all.   

At GitGo, we’re here to help evaluate your current business and build processes and the team that can quickly accelerate your ability to convert the revenue you’ve worked so hard to secure.    

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