Want to Boost Your Negotiating Leverage? Book a Hotel Before It Opens

Lynne Schueler has made a habit of booking non-existent properties. It’s a strategy that gets her some fantastic deals—in exchange for taking on some risk and uncertainty.

Lynne Schueler is pretty demanding when it comes to booking her first-quarter incentive programs. She needs a lot of meeting space, she’s not flexible with her dates, and she books during high season. So she has to find a negotiating advantage. “Booking properties pre-opening fits that bill,” says Schueler, assistant director, supplier relations, at The Principal Financial Group in Des Moines, Iowa. “Where we might not be able to use certain properties otherwise, if

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