The P.O.W.E.R.R. of Sales & Marketing
By Robert Gilbert President & CEO, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association Int. (HSMAI) | March 15, 2010
If demand in the U.S. will be down 5.5% this year, then why will average daily rates be down nearly 10%? Have our results become a byproduct of our own forecasting doom and gloom? Rates are down in most markets because of the panic of a few hotels, which started a downward spiral of discounting that wasn't even necessary to accommodate the existing demand. Other hotels in these markets have followed suit and consumers benefit from the industry panic. Come on, hotel industry, take control! Are we to quick to blame the economy for all of our problems?
Sales and marketing teams have long been blamed for not capturing the business when times are bad and the economy is quick to be credited during the good times. Whether you are an owner, operator, or sales and marketing professional, tapping into the P.O.W.E.R.R. of sales and marketing will help you recover much faster from the current recession than your competitors -certainly long before the hotels that may have started the rate war in your market in the first place. Here's where the P.O.W.E.R.R. is:
P - People knowledge
The customer and consumer information is king. Sales teams are on the front lines of this valuable conduit of information on specific trends and buying information from corporations and groups. The outlook of your current and prospective customers is available if your sales and marketing teams are asking via sales calls and customer focus groups. Leverage this P.O.W.E.R.R. Sales and marketing professionals have an inherent responsibility to share this information and manage up. Some of the greatest innovations in our industry are a result of customer information transformed into new product and services.
Companies that have invested and continue to invest in targeted direct sales, database marketing and mining, and customer intelligence will lead the way out of this recession.
O - Online