Hoteliers and Suppliers – Knock Off the Hard Sell or You will Loose

OK, it is rant time!

I know that this is something that all meeting and event professionals can relate too and is something that is getting worse the more the bad economy continues and drags on.

I just got a call from a property, it was a voicemail to check in and to make sure that their sales person was doing a good job and that they wanted to make sure that the deal was still moving forward. This lady also wanted to go over the benefits of their property again………in a voicemail…..and after I have been there twice…. and have their property bookmarked.

Now, we have to have a little clarification. This call was not from my sales person who I have been dealing with for the past 4 months. This call was from corporate and from someone I do not know and have never met……..and this voicemail was three minutes in length.

You can add this voicemail to another voicemail that was left by my sales person’s immediate boss as well……and that was two minutes in length.

And to the voicemail that was left by my sales person the day after he sent the contract.

Granted, I could have followed up earlier in the week but I am swamped as we all are. I had sent an email last week when I received the contract that said I was reviewing the document and would let them know if I had any questions.

I said it would take some time for me to get back to them and the program is not until 2014 anyway. I want to repeat, I said that it would take some time for me to get back to them… it has only been 5 business days.

My thought is this… Is it necessary to keep moving up the chain of command and being so aggressive when I said that I would look at it, I am busy and that I needed some time. When someone says they need a little time, is a week not customary. Is it good business to pound me three times in the first week, escalating the authority figures when I was clear about my intentions (and my intentions were that I was going to go with them).

The push for numbers is going to kill relationships between hoteliers, suppliers and meeting planners, it really is. My stomach is so turned off by these people now that I don’t know if I am going to sign their contract, I really don’t.

This property fits, it is a value, but it is certainly not the bomb… If I don’t use this property,  nothing is going to change for me, I will continue as I have and choose another (this client has specific requirements and three others fit equally as well as this one). Sure your property is nice, but come on, it ain’t all that.

I know exactly how this is going to play out. Tomorrow I am going to get the call that “someone else” wants my dates and that they are going to have to release them for this other group and that if I really want it I am going to have to sign right away!

The hard sell is a turn off, I don’t care what you learned in boilerroom 101. It makes you sound desperate and it makes me not like you. I will go so far as to say that the hard sell makes me want to go with the property across the street just to spite you.

I do not like feeling like I am being backed into a corner and told what I have to do. I will make the best decision for my clients and if you try to push me to hard, I am going to walk away.

There you have it, my rant is over, maybe someone in the meetings and events industry is listening.

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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