All groups are not created equal. Over half will fail miserably. How would you like to know what clues to look for before you get in too deep? If you want to be a success in the group business, you need to know before you go. I can help.
A bad group is a distraction that could cost you existing clients, put a freeze on new sales, hurt supplier relations, and probably keep you awake at night! Become a smart group detective today and you will sleep soundly tonight.
1. TALK TO THE TOP
If you are not talking to the decision maker, you may be wasting your breath.
During the initial selling process, you’ll never qualify accurately unless you’re speaking to the ONE. I am talking about the ONE who has power to say yay or nay.
Presenting your pitch to somebody other than at the top will stack the odds against you.
2. GET THE HISTORY
Do a complete history work-up. Play detective. Uncover clues. Make believe you are writing a report that will be handed in to the group leader and graded.
Leave no stone unturned or you may set yourself up for an unpleasant surprise yet to be revealed.
3. ASSESS THE AFFINITY STRENGTH
The affinity is the magnet that draws people in. Weak magnet, nobody cares, nobody books. Strong affinities convince people to travel on this date, to this destination, using this product, paying this price, and with these people. Are you convinced?
4. ESTIMATE GUEST POTENTIAL
It is unrealistic to expect 100% will buy, even if it’s a family reunion or destination wedding. Only a percentage will actually buy, no matter what they tell you in the beginning. The bigger the better so you can play the odds. There is strength in numbers.
5. CHALLENGE THE BUDGET
Say no to greedy or unrealistic requests. Is it possible to deliver a quality experience by your standards? If not, take a pass. Know if the product and the experience they seek can be bought for that price.
6. CONSIDER THE DEMANDS ON YOU
What is expected of you? Do you have the time? Expertise? Energy? Do you have staff who can help? Don’t jump in over your head.
7. CONSIDER THE DEMANDS ON THE PRODUCT
If the group has special needs or require many activities, are these needs too complex? Can the ship or hotel accommodate special requests or might they expose risks and problems? Most certainly the group will come back unhappy if things don’t go smoothly.
8. CONFIRM HOW YOU’LL REACH THE PEOPLE
The harder it is to reach everybody in a targeted fashion, the more you’ll need to spend. If the group can gather locally, that’s great. If they’re all spread out, is there a mail/email list? Is there a go-to web site, Facebook, or Twitter distribution option? It is essential to keep marketing costs low.
9. ASSESS THE ENTIRE VALUE OPPORTUNITY
Don’t be blinded by promises of future business. Be certain this one group will be profitable. However, one group may drive many new people into your store for future bookings, even if the group is a one-off event. With that said, don’t place your bets on the future. Focus on this singular event and consider what the future may bring – if you do a stellar job.
10. ASSESS THE GROUP LEADERS QUALIFICATIONS
Having a weak group leader nullifies the prior nine tips. Ultimately, YOU control a group leader’s success or failure (we’ll get to that in future tips).
A highly committed group leader who is respected and social will become a powerful magnet. There are a series of essential characteristics to look for before you sign the deal. They can drive super success or miserable failure.
Become a smart group detective today and you will sleep soundly tonight. My 10 Point Group Viability Test will tell you what will go wrong before it does. You will know if it is best to be kicking or sticking.
This is week one of a ten-week series from Stuart Cohen. At the end, you will have 100 tips to improve your group business.
Stuart Cohen is an international speaker, trainer, keynoter, health coach, solopreneur, business coach, travel fiend and the founder of resortforaday.com—the world’s largest seller of hotel day passes. His boundless passion is inspiring others to achieve higher levels of success and happiness. Audiences love his fun, refreshing and lively training workshops. Learn more about Stuart and his bootcamp at stuartlloydcohen.com.