The Psychology of Short Lists: From the Olympics to your Next Meeting

Posted by Mike Mason

Jan 7, 2013 3:13:00 PM

To understand the effects a Short List date has on the competitive environment of the hotels bidding on your meeting, look no further than this past summer’s Olympic Games. If you recall, each race consisted of two separate competitions:  the Prelims and – if you were good enough – the Finals.

What’s so compelling about this format is that the Prelims force everyone to race as fast as possible to make the finals. No lollygagging or holding anything back.

The Short List date does exactly the same thing, with the initial bids acting as your Prelims. If their proposals are good enough, the hotels can make it to the Short List and compete in the Finals.

So the next time that you send a meeting request to hotels, do two things to get better bids.

    1. Make your Short List date as close as possible to the date you sent the original RFP. You should need no more than a week to review all of the proposals and pick the ones that jump out at you.
    2. Tell the hotels your Short List date when you send them the lead. At the top of the RFP, write something like, “I will narrow the search to my Short List by Friday at 5 p.m. Will consider only complete proposals.”

Why does this work? It keeps the sales manager engaged and eager to bid aggressively in order to make the Short List. You also eliminate extra work for yourself by gently dismissing those hotels that didn't make the finals, and only focusing on those that are right for you.

Believe it or not, salespeople would much rather know early that they didn't make the cut, rather than continuing to call you to work on a lost cause.

To see firsthand how the short-list works, use Zentila for free to send your next meeting request. Our Short List technology makes easy work of picking your favorite hotels. And best of all, Zentila automatically notifies the Finalists and gently lets the others down.



Download our FREE Meeting Planner Guide To GREAT Meeting RFPs


Download the free guide and you'll learn to:

  • Book your meeting with the hotel you really want
  • Get complete bids from hotels on the first try
  • How the hotel sales process works
  • How to create a GREAT eRFP


Topics: Event Marketing

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