How Hotel Suppliers & Vendors Can Get to a “Yes!” Faster
In the fast-paced hotel supply chain management world, a slow decision-making process can be frustrating and hinder business growth. As hotel vendors and suppliers, finding ways to expedite decision-making and overcome challenges is crucial.
On the INNSync Show, Cory Falter of Lure Agency and Andy Haynes of iDeal Hospitality Partners recently explored strategies and best practices to help hotel suppliers navigate slow decision-making and improve efficiency in their operations.
Hotel Supplier Sales Tips
Understanding the Causes of Slow Decision-Making
Slow decision-making can be caused by various factors, ranging from the size and complexity of the supply chain to internal organizational dynamics.
Andy emphasizes the significance of identifying and reaching out to the right person in a business context. When communicating with prospects or clients, it's crucial to understand their decision-making authority and target your message accordingly.
Andy says, "You've gotta know the right person and get to them. They'll tell somebody else if you get to the wrong person."
It's also essential to identify bottlenecks in the decision-making process, such as multiple layers of approval, lack of clear communication, or excessive bureaucracy.
Lastly, it's crucial to understand that decision-makers may need help with various tasks or have conflicting priorities, leading to delays.
Engaging with the right stakeholders at the right time increases the chances of sharing your message with other influential individuals, leading to new opportunities and referrals.
Knowing Where Your Product Fits
You need to know where your product fits to get to the right decision-maker. Andy suggests you consider these questions:
- Is it a brand decision?
- Is it an operations decision?
- Is it a financial decision?
Understanding where your product fits and who it’s going to benefit will get more quickly to the actual decision maker.
Crafting a simple message is critical once you’ve determined the correct department. You want to get their attention quickly and keep the conversation going.
Both Cory and Andy agree that addressing pain points immediately is an effective way to break through.
Cory says, “It should be a clear, simple message. Address common pain points right out of the gate and how you solve those.”
Because your prospects are looking for solutions to the problems that they have.
Andy agrees, “You're absolutely right. You come in as an expert who understands the pain points of that client and can very clearly outline how your product or service supports the elimination of those pain points.”
Leveraging Technology for Improved Decision-Making
When it comes to accelerating decision-making, technology can be a powerful tool.
Collaboration tools, project management software, and online platforms enable vendors and suppliers to communicate with clients in real-time, sharing documents instantaneously. This allows for more efficient decision-making as all stakeholders access the same information simultaneously.
Project management software can also be an asset, providing a centralized hub for teams to collaborate and track progress in real-time. This eliminates the need for multiple back-and-forth emails and reduces decision wait times.
Andy says, "I recommend that everybody has some kind of a system in place that will help them."
Cory adds, "The B2B sales cycle is long and requires a lot of trust. CRM tools can help deliver inspiring, educational content to help build relationships. Ultimately through that type of long process, that prospect is thinking, oh my gosh, I really think that these people, this particular product or service, could help solve our acute pain."
CRM and marketing tools allow you to not only stay organized but also to help you stay connected, track activity, capture leads, and even identify potential opportunities.
Participating in Online Forums and Discussions
Social media, online forums, and discussion groups are great ways to build trust with decision-makers.
These platforms provide a powerful opportunity for vendors and suppliers to engage with potential clients, build relationships, gain insights from industry professionals, and be positioned as thought leaders.
Andy says, "Demonstrate value. That's the first few steps that get you into a trusted relationship so that when you start on the one-on-one conversations, you can have seeded your reputation a bit."
Overcoming Objections and Accelerating Decision-Making
Objections can delay the decision-making process. And understanding how to address objections properly is vital.
Andy explains the first thing you should do is collect all those objections. Setting up how to overcome those objections and preparing for them in future interactions. He says, "When you hear people saying, but I have this issue, and you say, you know, we've thought about that, and now here's what our plan is, that would overcome that concern for you."
Cory adds, "I couldn't agree more. Ultimately, it's a matter of having your ducks in order and being able to answer those objections quickly and efficiently."
Success stories are another way to break through and build trust with decision-makers.
Having tangible evidence that your product or service can help them achieve their goals is invaluable, as it will give them the confidence they need to make an informed decision.
Andy says, "If you have a success story, don't be afraid to pitch it and let everybody know about it."
Cory says, "You can't overdo building social proof building, offering just an unsurmountable amount of testimonials, reviews, the gold standard being a video testimonial. Audio testimonial. And then, at the very least, a written testimonial."
Cory suggests structuring your testimonials around the pain point before your product or service, what change took place, and what the outcome was after they worked with you. This is a powerful structure for building case studies and sharing video testimonials to remove friction and get to "yes" faster.
Decision-making in the hospitality industry is an important process. The right stakeholders must be engaged at the right time to ensure clear communication and efficient decision-making. Knowing where your product fits, leveraging technology, participating in online forums, understanding how to address objections, and showcasing successes are all key strategies for ensuring a successful process.