The idea for this blog post came from one of the results of our Supplier Survey that we recently conducted. The question we asked was “Of the partners that you send annual rates to, how many of them actually make bookings?” Seems pretty straight forward, right? You would assume that a Supplier wouldn’t take the time to send their rates to a company that wasn’t going to send them business, but in reality, it is surprisingly common.
It is hard to believe that 70% of the Suppliers that took our survey were wasting time sending out their rates to partners that never even made bookings with them. We even had a few Suppliers tell us that less than 25% of the partners that they send rates to actually make bookings. When I first saw these stats, my initial thought was that the partners were perhaps just politely smiling and nodding without actually intending to sell anything, but after I spent some more time looking through the data, I realized the some of the Suppliers were essentially “spamming” anyone and everyone that could possibly sell their products.
To truly understand the impact of this “spam”, you need to look at the pain that the Contractors have in regards to the contracting process. On the Supplier’s side, once they send out all of their rates, they are done and can move on to doing other activites; however, the Contractors work is just getting started at this point. Most Contractors are working with hundreds, if not thousands, of Suppliers and they have to manually go through each and every email, PDF, and spreadsheet that is sent to them. We talked about this problem in more detail in our Why It Matters blog. At the end of the day, if Suppliers were more concious of who they are sending their rates to, the Contractors will have more time available to ensure the rates are correctly loaded into their system and will have more time to actually sell a Supplier’s products or find new products to sell.
Rather than flood the market with their rates, it seems logical that a Supplier’s time would be better spent growing the business relationships with partners that have actually been sending them business or working on converting their prospective partners into legitimate business partners. It’s clear that overloading tour operators with rates doesn’t seem to increase sales, and may even hurt your chances of establishing a prosperous business relationship with the receipient.
With all of this in mind, are you a spammer? I challenge you to take a look at the partners that you are sending rates to that never send you business and perhaps consider reallocating your time to other areas that could use improvement in your company.