Ten Urban Sales Legends and How to Overcome Them

What Salespersons Can Do to Clarify Their Roles Within Hospitality organizations

By Lizz Chambers Manager of Group Sales, Newport Hospitality Group | February 21, 2016

Summary: Sales associates often operate on the periphery of hotel organizations with their sales methods and negotiation tactics shrouded in mystery from the rest of the team. Their efforts are nonetheless instrumental towards bringing in meetings and group business, and better communication is necessary with other on-property operations to ensure that guest service is never compromised. Ten strategies have thus been outlined to both heighten internal communications amongst different departments and increase sales performance.

It's a new year; a clean slate. Time to put those old myths about being a sales manager to bed. You are a 'sales leader', and that is the way you should be perceived by your hotel team.

Becoming a sales leader means having the vision to look beyond the status quo and the sales tactics that every other team is utilizing. Having been a hotel sales associate for most of my professional life, I have had to endure many misperceptions of what I actually contributed on a day-to-day basis. I found early on that there were ways to take such negative assumptions and turn them into actual teaching moments.

This has helped move my career light years beyond those who simply ignored such sentiments, feeling that they did not have to defend their position or differentiate their approach to business. So now, I pass ten nuggets of wisdom on to you so you overcome these 'urban legends'.

  1. Salespeople Only go to Luncheons and Meetings, and They Don't Actually
    Work

    Oftentimes, there's a 'bubble' around the sales team within a large
    organization whereby members from other departments come to believe that
    salespersons only booze and schmooze with the after-work left to the 'real'
    employees. What is wrong with asking a team member to accompany you to a
    luncheon or a meeting? Introducing your executive housekeeper or guest
    service manager over lunch to a potential or a key account could be a very
    positive step towards building support for the concept of 'Everybody Sells'.

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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.