This year’s Business Travel Show featured presentations and panel discussions with experts from across the industry. We’ve collated our highlights for those who missed the event.
Clive Wratten, CEO of Amber Road, spoke to a packed room about how to achieve substantial discounts and other benefits by negotiating deals with airlines, hotels and ground transportation providers.
Comparing negotiations to Brexit, Clive said that – in order to secure the best outcome for your company – you need to be prepared, upfront and honest, in addition to knowing what it is that you want.
Think Beyond Cost Cutting
“If you’re just going about cost-cutting, then I’m not sure a deal is the right thing because a deal is a whole lot more than cutting costs,” he says. “That’s a key part of it, but what’s more important, and something I’ve experienced in many areas, is that any negotiation only works if you’ve got a mutual respect.” Look to partner with somebody who is committed to the company.
Offer True Value
If you’re not delivering the best programme to your travellers you run the risk of losing good employees. Ask them what would improve the travel experience. What are they getting in the deal? Look at ancillaries such as baggage, allocated seating and lounge access, and consider the loyalty programmes and flying clubs available – they often make for happy travellers and finance departments. In addition, look at what’s important across your business, such as company perception, brand reputation and convenience.
Build Real Relationships
“You have to build the relationship, you have to build the partnership and then build the deal,” says Clive. To negotiate the best deal, be prepared to invest in relationships with your travellers and suppliers, always thinking of the long term rather than the short term. “The days of banging the table, saying ‘this is what I want’, are over,” he says. “Collaboration is the way forward.”
- Think beyond cost-cutting and look to build mutual respect.
- Collaboration is key. Build the relationship, build the partnership, then build the deal.