Anyone else noticed the rather bizarre state of the hotel market out there at the moment? The luxury sector’s under sharp pressure – staying in five-star hotels is no longer de rigueur. Conversely, the budget sector (Travelodges and the like) is thriving.
The result? Prices are converging as the budget hotels operate near to their capacity, and the top end establishments slash prices to try to fill rooms. The outcome for frequent travellers like me is that we seem to be able to stay in far nicer places than we could, say, a year ago – for pretty much the same outlay.
I therefore found myself luxuriating in a rather nice suite at one London hotel recently – thanks to a ridiculously cheap nightly rate combined with my ‘Platinum’ upgrade. I unpacked, and decided to iron a couple of shirts for the days ahead.
There, in the wardrobe, was an ironing board.
But no iron.
So I called the guest services number. There followed a quite bizarre exchange:
Me: “Hi: sorry to trouble you. I have an ironing board, but I can’t seem to find an iron anywhere.”
Guest services: “Yes, Mr Williams. That’s correct.” (Pause). “We’ll get one sent up.”
It made me wonder whether there’s a proposal centre analogy: what’s your iron? What’s the one, obvious thing that’s missing in your approach to proposals – the one thing that, if you stood back and thought about it, really cries out to be fixed?
It may be training for the proposal centre staff; it may be a stronger qualification process; it may be training for your salespeople; it could be that library of pre-written content that really needs updating. But I’d guess that most teams out there have their ‘iron’, that’s lurked as an issue forever, that’s tolerated despite the obvious impact, and never quite been addressed.