Corporate travel buyers need to be more aware of the internal pressures their suppliers face, Eurostar’s head of sales has said.
Emma Harris was speaking during a session on suppliers’ thinking at the Institute of Travel and Meetings (ITM) conference, which was held at Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire.
The director of sales and marketing at Eurostar said buyers and suppliers need to meet in the middle.
“It’s about understanding and believing there are pressures at our end,” she said. “We have to deliver a profit.”
Harris said the key to successful negotiations was relationships.
“We build relationships,” she said, adding that buyers could be more proactive, helping their suppliers to build a business case to support the pricing – “it’s not just about commission,”she added.
“Our clients should know we fight as hard as we can to get them the best deals.”
During the session there was some criticism of the high turnover in sales staff, in the hotel industry especially, which means corporate buyers find it difficult to develop the necessary relationships.
Stephen Hanton, managing director at Bridgestreet Worldwide, said it was also a problem when buyers changed their suppliers frequently.
“Like a frequent change in employees, a frequent change in suppliers doesn’t help,” he said.