Editor’s Note: Make Selling Up Part of Your Game Plan

By Bruce Tepper, CITE, CTC

Selling up is crass and offensive…at least that’s the message we get from Hollywood. The very word, “salesperson” implies someone who is pushy, aggressive, pays no attention to their customer, only cares about making the sale and is probably dishonest anyway.

And yet as business people, we come in contact with buyers and sellers of goods and services all the time who for the most part are professional, patient, interested in their customers and meeting their needs and will do so honestly and efficiently. Read the rest of this entry »

One to One with R. Adam Lawhorne, CEO of Meeting Incentive Experts

By Bruce Tepper CITE, CTC

In this interview, Adam Lawhorne, Chief Executive Officer of Meeting Incentive Experts, gives his insights on how to take advantage of the best up-selling opportunities. He shares his unique, proven approach and gives examples you can use.

Click here to listen…

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Selling Up in an Era of Tight Budgets

By Patrick Sullivan, President, AlliedPRA Destination Management New York

Wow!  It is a completely different world today when it comes to creating an extraordinary New York City motivational experience program for a client.  Even in this slow growing or even recessionary environment, providing stellar, creative and uncommon experiences come with a price.  How can we create and deliver the highest standard of motivational experiences with a client’s budget that has not changed in the past several years?   How do we get creative with a budget that sometimes is just not enough for what the client is requesting?

Here are my three suggestions:

First, always give your client what they ask for and more.  A perfect example is at least 75% of our clients request a “wow” factor or something that the group could not do on their own.  You will not stand a chance if you don’t take a shot at providing an experiential program that makes the client say, “I want to work with them”.  Now keep in mind your client may not be able to afford what’s been proposed; It is more about how can you deliver the experience as close to the proposal  and budget as possible.  Always provide a top notch creative proposal that fits the client’s budget with additional ideas or add-ons that will peak their interest…and perhaps increase your sale! Read the rest of this entry »

“Whew!” Glad THAT’s Over!

By Marilyn Murphy, CEO, The CTP Group

Having successfully navigated the ups and downs for three decades, there has never been a “down” like these past few years.  But with the economy starting to rebound, there’s a leftover trend that is problematic.  In our eagerness to support clients who stayed the course and continued to offer incentive travel programs, we accommodated their ever-shrinking budgets.  Despite the diminished dollars, their expectations remained as high as ever.

Naturally, we delivered.  We found places to cut where it wouldn’t show.  We negotiated for more concessions.  We uncovered more cost-effective destinations.  Contingencies shrank, along with our margins and our paychecks.  We scrimped and saved and sacrificed – and still delivered extraordinary travel experiences. Read the rest of this entry »

Pushing the Envelope for Everyone’s Benefit

By Bruce Tepper CITE, CTC

If you’ve ever shopped for a car, a home, a major appliance or any big ticket item, you’ve probably encountered a salesperson that “tested” your budget limits a bit. You gave them a price or a price range and they showed you something that was 10% or 20% higher. Perhaps you felt the salesperson was too aggressive and/or not listening to you. Perhaps you ended spending more because the value was well worth the difference in price. If the salesperson didn’t present the alternatives, however, you wouldn’t have sufficient information to make the best decision.

The meeting or incentive travel experience is no different. The question becomes when to push the envelope and how to do it, not if you should. Read the rest of this entry »

GMITE Corner: Around the World We Go!

By Danielle Cirami-Gillis, Global Event Director, Global Meeting and Incentive Travel Exchanges

I, for one, am amazed at how fast this year has gone and have enjoyed meeting so many of you during my travels! As the new Global Event Director for the Global Meeting and Incentive Travel Exchanges (GMITE), I wanted to bring you up to date on our events. Incentive Travel Exchange, in partnership with Site, is just a few shorts weeks away and we are excited to unveil some amazing interactive experiences for attendees. Being held June 17 to 19 at THEhotel at Mandalay Bay, our seventh annual event is set to be the best yet!  We are happy to report that our supplier positions are sold out for the fifth year in a row! Read here for the report! Stay tuned for a full report on ITE! Read the rest of this entry »