We were trying to secure the group contract for a particular college football team and I had managed to set up a site inspection for the team. We knew we were competing with a number of top hotels so we really wanted to set ourselves apart from the competition.
I knew that they were doing a site inspection with another hotel immediately prior to my hotel, so I started by making arrangements to meet them out the front of that hotel when they had finished. When they finished that hotel’s site inspection they walked out the front of the hotel to meet me, and my General Manager waiting with a stretch Hummer limo. We then drove to my hotel, during which time my GM regaled them with stories of his failed high school football career! I was scared of what he might say next, but the Football Coach loved the story and was laughing a lot so that was a good thing!
As we pulled up to the hotel all the bellmen were playing football in the front driveway. Clearly this is not a normal work pastime for them so it really got a laugh. What also got their attention was that every bellman was wearing the colors of the football team whose business we were trying to gain.
As we entered the hotel to begin the tour my clients got a big surprise that every staff member they saw was wearing the team’s colors, and on top of that the standard lobby music had been replaced with the football team’s song! We even had the song playing in the elevator!
When we got to the guestroom, our AV guy had made a slideshow of images of the football team that he had found on the internet, and it was playing on the TV in the room when we walked in.
We had wanted to take them to the restaurant for a meal, but owing to their tight schedule (they were seeing 6 hotels that day) we knew in advance that there wasn’t time. So instead as we finished our tour and were walking back to the elevator, our Chef had set up a small hot dog and pretzel stand, at which point we made a hot dog and pretzel for the Coach and his assistant to eat on the way to the next hotel.
Finally as we stepped out of the elevator the entire management team was decked out on the team colors with pompoms in the team colors singing out the team name aka cheerleader style.
We then stepped back into the limo and drove them to their next stop.
Yes we won the piece of business – they signed a 4 year contract!