5 Things to Ask When Negotiating Accommodation for Your Event - Symphony EM
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

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5 Things to Ask When Negotiating Accommodation for Your Event

by Catriona Stephenson

You can immediately improve your negotiating skills by asking the right questions. By asking simple, non-confrontational questions, you will ease the stress of the situation and get a better deal for your organisation. Here are 5 things to ask during the accommodation negotiation process:

1. How much flexibility do you have in the rate?

To be a successful negotiator it’s not just what you ask, but it’s how you say it. Asking “how flexible they are” suggests that you expect there to be some leeway. If your sales contact says “none” then you would most likely walk away from the deal.

When used correctly, you will be shocked at how easy and effective this can be. The typical answer is “some” and this is your opportunity to start digging for a better deal.


2. Are you interested in building a long term relationship?

The bigger you are as a client, the more interest the hotel will have in securing your business, this opens up room to haggle for a reduced rate. An effective way to show that you represent a sizable chunk of business is to discuss the possibility of future deals.

Repeat business is a win-win. The accommodation provider gains a steady client, and you save time on site selection and negotiation.

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3. What if we were to confirm by the end of the quarter?

In general, hotel sales teams are paid commission. Many have quarterly or annual targets to meet. Being smart when timing potential deals can help obtain additional concessions. So if you’re wanting to sweeten the deal, ask the question towards the end of the quarter, you may be pleasantly surprised with the results.


4. Are you aware that your competition have a better rate?

Possibly the strongest leverage you have in your negotiation strategy is your ability to take business elsewhere. If you point out that a competitor has offered you a better rate, it shows that you’ve done your homework and puts you in a stronger position to negotiate a better price. It’s an easy tactic that often delivers the desired results.


5. Why don’t we meet half way?

Haggling can get a little back and forth. But you may be able to break the impasse and shave more than 5 percent off the current rate by asking the simple question, “Would you meet me in the middle?”.

This question is extremely effective because of its simplicity. Both of you are compromising equally and what could be fairer than that? When applied correctly, this question can be highly effective in bagging a quick deal and cutting lengthy negotiations short.


 

Follow these steps and hopefully you’ll start seeing some results. I would always recommend starting your opening bid slightly lower than what you actually want to pay. This gives you room to bargain with.
Also, make the other party work for your business. Plant the seed in their head that you’re willing to go elsewhere if you do not agree on a fair price.

 

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