It’s not always about relationships

It’s not always about relationships

Last night I had the pleasure of dining with two of my colleagues and a client. They discussed how well they were able to get to know one another as they traveled with our client and her customer (the end user) by touring four hotels in four different cities in about the same number of days. Our client was serving as an intermediary, so she also needed to be able to convince her customer about the venues. The conversation revolved around the great bonding that occurred over this intense travel schedule. At one point, the end user even had her mother join the tour to experience the properties.

The hotels rolled out the red carpet at each location. One of the beach resorts directed a team member to spell out the organization’s acronym on the sand with sea kelp.

After all of these tremendous efforts, naturally you would think that the business would’ve been won. At one of the properties, however, there was a physical objection that could not be overcome. The end user’s office would not be located on the same level that one of her meetings would take place.

While she loved everything else about the hotel, this was something she was quietly passionate about. Even so, it wasn’t her nature to point out her objections, for fear of offending the hotel sales person she had grown so fond of. The end user ended up booking three out of the four hotels but did not book the last one due to the physical constraints of the building. While we thought we had all of the meetings in the bag, it was something beyond a relationship that caused her not to book it.  
  • What would you have done in this situation?   
  • How could we have found out about her objection even though she was reluctant to share it with anyone? 
  • Have you experienced similar situations in which the client didn’t want to hurt the feelings of the sales person, and maybe neglected to tell them all of their concerns?