The Art of Balancing People, Profit and Progress

By Rick Gabrielsen President, Kupuna Hospitality, LLC | February 26, 2012

The canvas of business, whether by drawing, paint or doodled upon, is one of balance with a variety of color, shapes, size and movement. The important aspect in starting the "art" is to determine the location for when the instrument touches the fabric. In a delicate stroke or the large brush of a foundation, the art of balancing people, profit and progress begins. Often confused with who or what comes first is the dilemma that each hotelier faces on all levels in an organization.

The training of an artist or sculptor is through dedicated education whether in a classroom or by a mentor, but is always through interpretation of words by a voice or on a page. This is where we start with the people portion of the equation. People are the providers of a service to others through all experiences. It is the progress of people in achieving profitability, thus the beginning is through the person. Your interaction with the person through training, education, mentoring and continual review allows the person to penetrate barriers and overcome obstacles. These could drive immediate results, capture relationships for the future but certainly progress the conversation towards profitability. In referencing back to the canvas, the artist has an idea of what the piece when finished will be worth. Whether it is a monetary objective or a marketing tool, the art will generate interest in all three phases of balancing people, profit and progress. With the artist's creativity in a finished product, it is not unlike a salespersons dream to start, work and then close the deal. The person in the piece has value of passion, creativity and completion. The person is the one that creates, completes, intervenes, changes, improves and etc, on the progress of profit! Allow them to act through the criteria set forth in your organization and the results will follow. Results are the outcome of a person's contributions towards progress, just allow them to progress!

Now that the art has the foundation sketched that will be acted upon to create the burst of color, we view it as progress. Just the word progress is important in the movement of nature. I once heard an individual tell me that "even when you fall on your face, you are moving forward", now that is a terrific difference in perception of improvement, but nonetheless it strengthens the point of balancing people and progress. The color of the piece is parallel to the marketing of a product in the variations of price, accommodations and revenue attainment. "SMART' goals are so basic to any progress to determine the outcome, even if the business is not to pursue it further. Many times this process should be adjusted by the individual that is progressing the product to profitability.

Let's look at the similarities in a larger canvas or as we will now refer to as a room block, a blast of color or as we will now refer to as revenue and the palette that will now be referred to as accommodations.

• Canvas and Room Block

The canvas is the tool to articulate the features. The room block is recipient of the benefits. What are your features? Who will benefit? Is there a template you can create to follow in a conversation? Using this tool to articulate your product will be the benefit to the customer. Adjusting the tool in the sales process will reap many rewards in the obtaining the room block.

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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.