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Effective Hotel People Thrive on Change; 
Remember the IBM Selectric Typewriter?

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By: Neil Salerno – July 2006

With great respect for Stephen Covey, his best selling book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” has been my mantra for many years. It’s truly an amazing book. Respectfully, I submit “Welcome Change” as another habit which I believe effective people share. Truly effective people continually seek opportunities to improve their lot in business, and in life, through change.

Being a long-time advocate of change, I have always encouraged people to question successful and some not-so-successful programs and procedures; then make changes to improve results for the future. 

Without the willingness, more so, the eagerness to change, nothing improves. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you always got”. Improvement can only come through change. The status quo should never be good enough; no matter how good it is. 

Great organizations like Google, EBay, and many others, are constantly “reinventing themselves”; making new and exciting changes to improve their products. The great forward-thinking minds with these organizations have dedicated themselves to improving their services by never resting on their current successes. 

There have been many Dramatic Changes in the Hotel Industry

Because of many talented people, the hotel industry has changed considerably over the past thirty or so years; woe-be-it to those who didn’t change with it. 

Today, our industry is far more complicated and sophisticated than it was just a few years ago. Many bright young people are questioning the way things are done and contributing fresh new ideas to improve stale old procedures; the job of management is to embrace these new ideas and move forward. If we pay attention, we can learn a lot from them. 

Through the years, many positive changes came in the form of sales and marketing techniques, but the face of the industry has changed as well. 

In my early years, the industry was very much like a big “boy’s club”. It was truly rare to see a woman in any kind of management or sales position. That changed considerably during the ‘70’s and 80’s. Thankfully, our industry discovered that someone’s sex has nothing to do with their talent or abilities and women discovered the many opportunities available in an industry with such explosive growth.

During the 80’s, the industry introduced the concept of “branding” with the development of hotels labeled and designed to serve specific market segments. This change helped to revitalize an overbuilt, under utilized, industry of the early 80’s. It literally opened many secondary and tertiary markets throughout this country and abroad. The many talented people, who visualized this movement, changed the face of our industry. This was revolutionary change. 

Some of the most exciting changes came in the area of hotel sales and marketing. We’ve come a long way since the time when the largest part of the sales job was to make as many cold sales calls as possible every day. In those days, we didn’t know any other way to solicit business. It seemed like a good way to keep people busy and it did force sales people to make new contacts, but we always felt that there had to be a better way to get business; we just had no idea how. 

It may be difficult for many of you to believe this, but a mere thirty years ago, many prospects had no idea why we were even calling on them. Of course, many of us sales people didn’t either. We finally learned that cold sales calls were a waste of valuable time; we learned to research prospective clients; account map client companies to find additional business contacts; and that our existing files were a huge resource for future business.

Before the day of the office computer, (no, dinosaurs weren’t walking the earth) most of us worked on the highly technical IBM Selectric typewriter (many of you have probably never seen one). Before the computer, we had no acceptable way to maintain data bases of current and possible clients, but we had paper files galore. Computers, fax machines, cell phones, and the Internet changed our lives and the way we conduct business. 

There have obviously been many changes in the way we prospect and solicit business. Many of these changes belong to progress; people who were not satisfied with the status quo; people seeking to improve the way we do business; people who welcomed change.

Communicate with your hotel team 

Communicating with your team stimulates an exchange of ideas and ideas create change. I love training new people because they question everything. Discard your natural human tendency to etch procedures in stone. Eliminate comments like “That’s the way we’ve always done it”. Help people to embrace change in their work lives by encouraging new ideas and experimentation. Create a change-friendly atmosphere and reap the benefits.

Creating a change-friendly atmosphere requires that leaders need to occasionally put aside their personal preferences in favor of new ideas and techniques emanating from the team. For some old-timers, this is very difficult. 

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Contact:

Neil Salerno, C.H.M.E., C.H.A.
The Hotel Marketing Coach
www.hotelmarketingcoach.com
NeilS@hotelmarketingcoach.com
607/331-3626

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Also See: Adapt Your Hotel Web Site To Lock-in More Corporate Transient Business / Neil Salerno / July 2006
Good Ideas are a Dime a Dozen…But, Success or Failure is in the Execution / Neil Salerno / June 2006
More Hotel Web Site Hints, Tips, and Tricks - Unwrapped / Neil Salerno / June 2006
Nine Tips to Create a Dominant Hotel Web Site / Neil Salerno / May 2006
Your Hotel Web Site: If It Ain’t Broke…Break It! / Neil Salerno / May 2006
Independent Hotel Web Sites - Marketing Winners…and Losers / Neil Salerno / May 2006
Tired of Hotel Sales Training That Excites… But Doesn’t Change Anything? / Neil Salerno / April 2006
Hotel Web Site Productivity…The New Way to Measure Your Site’s Effectiveness / Neil Salerno / April 2006
Hotel Revenue Management. . . The Way I See It / Neil Salerno / April 2006
Hotel Web Site Lookers & Bookers; Want to Convert Lookers on Your Web Site? / Neil Salerno / March 2006
Hotelier Rebuts Article Concerning Third-party Online Aggregators / Neil Salerno / February 2006
Great Opportunity for Independent Hotels - Cash-in on Electronic Sales / Neil Salerno / January 2006
Some Hoteliers Still Don’t Recognize the Benefits Derived from Third-party Listings; Shame, Shame, Shame on You! / Neil Salerno / January 2006
Online Hotel Rating Sites Driving Anxiety into  the Hearts of Many Hotel Managers / Neil Salerno / December 2005
Hotel Web Site Priorities –Some Do’s, Don’ts; Why the Heck Did You Do That? / Neil Salerno / November 2005
The Best Hotel Sales Director I Ever Met; What Do The Good Ones Have in Common? / Neil Salerno / November 2005
The Best Hotel General Manager I Ever Met / Neil Salerno / October 2005
What’s your eMarketing Proficiency? Using Electronic Marketing Tools / Neil Salerno / October 2005
When Times Get Tough…Get Tougher! Sell Harder Before You Cave-in on Rates / Neil Salerno / September 2005
The Web Site Conundrum…Are You Winning the Electronic Marketing Game? / Neil Salerno / August 2005
Lions and Tigers and Bears…Oh My; The Hotel Yellow Brick Road is Less Scary than It Used to Be / Neil Salerno / August 2005
Running Dry on Good Hotel Ideas? It’s not What You Know - It’s Who You Know / Neil Salerno / July 2005
Revenue Grabbing Tips for Independent Hotels; Start Thinking Like the Chains / Neil Salerno / July 2005
Hotel Web Basics That Really Work…Content is King / Neil Salerno / July 2005
Hotel Supplier Sites versus Online Travel Agents; The War Chronicles / Neil Salerno / June 2005
New Hotel Technology Surround Us; Yet Face-to-face Selling is Still Most Productive / Neil Salerno / June 2005
The Internet…The Great Equalizer For Independent Hotels / Neil Salerno / June 2005
Third-Party Booking Sites Still Dominate Internet Sales;  Why Do So Many Consider this Bad? / Neil Salerno / April 2005
Now That Online Hotel Booking Is Here to Stay, New Challenges Emerge / Neil Salerno / April 2005
Independent Boutique Hotels Can Compete With their Big Box Neighbors / Neil Salerno / April 2005
Who Are Your Most Important Guests? We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby! / Neil Salerno / March 2005
New Consumer Hotel Booking Preferences - They Love the Internet…Now What? / Neil Salerno / March 2005
Who Would Have Thought - Today's Hotel Marketing Necessity Is Also its Best Value / March 2005
Time For a Hotel Web Site “Make-Over”? Methods for Building a Successful Web Site Change / Neil Salerno / March 2005
Create Impact by Developing a Link Strategy For Your Hotel Web Site / Neil Salerno / February 2005
Steps to Develop Your Hotel's Presence on the Web / Neil Salerno / February 2005
Five Hotel Internet Marketing Myths - Busted!/ Neil Salerno / January 2005
How Does Your Hotel Web Site Measure-Up? 2005 Will Be the Internet’s Most Productive Year so Far / Neil Salerno / January 2005
Are You Being Out-Hustled By Your Competition? How to Dominate Your Hotel's Market Set / Neil Salerno / December 2004
Why Are Some Hotel Companies Plagued By Management Turnover? Is This Systematic of Poor Performance? / Neil Salerno / December 2004
Basic Components of a Hotel Website: Current Weather, Flash Animation, and Virtual Tours?? Plain Talk About Internet Sales / Neil Salerno / February 2004
Don’t Compromise Your Goals In 2004; Five New Year’s Resolutions You Will Want To Keep / Neil Salerno / January 2004
No More Whining About Third-Party Suppliers; You Control Your Own Fate On The Net / Neil Salerno / December 2003
Six 'Maxi’s' Guaranteed To Boost Hotel Sales / Neil Salerno / November 2003
It’s Time To Take Back Control Of Rates & Rooms - But Is The Enemy...Us? / Neil Salerno / November 2003
Booking Engines Are Like A Box of Chocolates...You Never Know What You’re Gonna Get! / Neil Salerno / October 2003
Hotel Web Site & Search Engine Optimization; Always A Work In Progress / Neil L. Salerno / October 2003
Hotel Budgets and Marketing Plans; Oh No, Is It That Time Again? / Neil L. Salerno / September 2003
Increasing Hotel Internet Sales Is Not Rocket Science...And It Doesn’t Have To Be Costly Either / Neil L. Salerno / September 2003
Are You Treating Third Party eWholesalers As Competititon Or a Valuable Marketing Partner? / Neil L. Salerno / August 2003
How Often Have You Heard, 'I could have gotten a better rate but the client saw our rates on the Internet' ? It’s Time To Get Back To Selling Location, Facilities, and Services / Neil L. Salerno / August 2003
Before You Begin that Marketing Plan Challenge Your Sales Team; Expect More and Get More / Neil L. Salerno / July 2003
Jump Up and Shout Yes - Delivering Best Online Customer Experience, Nice Job Vividence! / Neil L. Salerno / July 2003
Is The Internet Delivering On Its Promise? Well, It Depends on How you Look at It / Neil L. Salerno / June 2003
Coaching and Mentoring, Sometimes A New Paradigm Can Go A Long Way / Neil L. Salerno / June 2003
Sales Training Works Well, But Sales Mentoring Makes It More Effective; Mentoring Lasts a Lifetime / Neil L. Salerno / May 2003
Is It Time For A Sales Tune-up? How Healthy Was Your Last Forecast? / Neil L. Salerno / May 2003
Hotel Web Sites; Want it Creative or Effective? / Neil L. Salerno / May 2003
If You Always Do What You Have Always Done.... You’ll Always Get What You Always Got! Hotelier’s Mantra... Thinking Outside The Box / Neil L. Salerno / April 2003
Good Sales Planning - The Basics Still Work / Neil L. Salerno / April 2003


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