Jason and I are going to Mexico in January. We’re flying into Cancun, driving around the Yucatan Peninsula for a week in search of ruins, beaches, adventures, and bebidas, then driving back to Cancun. We decided we should actually stay at a hotel in Cancun the last night (much to both of our chagrins), since we fly out early in the morning. I was thinking I could use the Hilton points I’ve racked up through all my week-long stays at the Embassy Suites Milpitas to score us a room, but it turns out Mexican Hiltons require lots of points IN ADDITION to money, so I take a different approach.
About a month ago, the Hilton rep my company works with came into the office (he makes the trip up to Oregon from LA about once a quarter to schmooze) and brought a team of hotel reps, like he usually does. Typically, the team will consist of 6 or 8 sales people from Hiltons across the US that want our business. They’ll each give us a spiel about how great their hotel is, how it’s close to amazing things, how they just completed a $10 gazillion dollar renovation, and how they’d love for us to bring our groups to their property. This time, there was a rep from the Hilton Cancun Golf & Spa Resort. I took cards from all of the reps and didn’t think much of it.
I thought, What the hell, I might as well email her and see if she can cut me a deal on one night’s stay. Then, I realized four very important things:
1. I was asking for a deal on a Saturday (the busiest night in the hotel industry).
2. I was asking for it in early January (peak season in Cancun).
3. I had nothing to offer her in return. I’m leaving my job in a month and won’t be able to give her any business.
4. The Hilton Cancun looks like an amazingly nice (and expensive) hotel.
Here’s what I emailed her:
It was a pleasure meeting you at our offices a few weeks ago. I always love hearing about the interesting properties Hilton has all over the world (LIE!), and I was quite impressed with the pictures you showed us of the Cancun Golf & Spa Resort. One of my clients is looking at hosting a Board meeting in Mexico next year (LIE!), and I would love to steer them towards your property. I am planning a vacation in early January to the Yucatan Penninsula, and I was thinking maybe I could stop by your hotel or even stay a night while I’m down there and then send a glowing report to the Board. :) My boyfriend (LIE!) and I were planning on staying the night in Cancun on Saturday, January 12th, since we fly out of the Cancun airport the next day. What would you recommend?
She immediately emailed me back and said she’d be happy to extend a complimentary night’s stay to me and Jason on the 12th. She also attached a form for me to fill out about what sort of goodies I’d like to find in my room when I get there.