Anatomy of a Hotel Sales Manager

By Michael McKean CEO, The Knowland Group | June 25, 2010

Not everyone is cut out for sales – especially cold calling. Quite frankly, few are. Finding those few natural, exceptional people can be a challenge in any environment, but especially now when so many people are looking for jobs. With a single job posting you can be inundated with cover letters and resumes, many of whom are not the slightest bit qualified. Still others look great on paper but turn out to be a big mistake a week into the job.

So how do you find the right people for your sales team? There are a few key qualities to look for in every sales manager you hire. These characteristics have nothing to do with their job history. While experience is obviously a factor, the people who exhibit the following traits naturally are the ones who will bring you the most success.

A People Person

One of the easier characteristics to identify is the ability to get along easily with anyone and everyone. You want someone who likes walking into a room of strangers and introducing themselves. But it's more than just being outgoing. As any good DOS knows, hotel sales is all about building relationships with meeting planners. And with so many different groups out there, no two meeting planners are exactly alike. Developing those relationships takes time, and the process is never quite the same for any particular prospect.

A great sales manager will:

  • Find and build upon a point of connection with the prospect quickly.
  • Make every person they talk to feel like they can relate on a personal and professional level.
  • Feel at ease interacting with different types of people in any social or business situation.
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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.