The Top 7 Habits of Highly Effective Sales People
By Brenda Fields Founder, Fields & Company | May 19, 2010
For hotel staff working on Christmas morning, either behind the front desk or in the housekeeping department, a rooms sales position may look like a pretty cushy job! Sales people don't have to work holidays or weekends and have the freedom to come and go as they please. But, in reality, a sales position is (or should be) challenging. They have the primary responsibility to generate room revenues for the property. Sales is responsible for building occupancy in low demand periods and by increasing average rates in peak times.
But, in order to do this successfully, it is important that a sales person is at the top of his/her game. An effective sales person should be able to produce results despite market conditions and product drawbacks and to develop existing business by taking one meeting and turning it into four.
It is also important to understand that "sales" is a skill, not a personality trait. Expert sales skills can produce business despite product deficiencies, rate structure, or market conditions. Since most owners and operators do not have perfect properties and supply/demand dynamics can change, it is even more critical to ensure that each sales person is highly skilled to generate business and to deal with client objections and problems effectively. A dedication to expert sales skills, thru a formal training program, is the best insurance for market share and profitability.
Although formal sales training is necessary, it is not the entire solution to ensure that each sales person is effective. This article will address some important "habits" that are demonstrated by the most effective sales people, to assist owners and managers in developing a highly effective sales department.
Habit #1: Know your product and know your competition.
Unfortunately, it is far too common that an established sales person has never been to a competitive property. Without that first hand knowledge, it is impossible to sell effectively if a customer is shopping your property as well as your competition. The first step in effective selling is to know your property i.e. its strengths and its weakness and what it offers to its target audience. The next step is to evaluate the competition's strengths and weakness and compare it to your property. A personal inspection and honest assessment will place the sales person in a position of strength in convincing a customer to book your property over the competition.