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New Generation of Hospitality Sales Professionals Lesson #3:
Selling Time Balance


By David M. Brudney, ISHC, November 2006

(This article is a third in a series on the new generation of hospitality Sales professionals.  The previous two pieces addressed the importance of gaining experience and the need to “pack your own ‘chute”). 

Serious football fans understand that one of the things the better teams have in common is a balanced offense.  Typically, those teams seek a balance between rushing and passing.  They never become too committed to running the ball; never become too committed to passing the ball.  Balance is vital to success.

Hospitality Sales professionals need to learn quickly that in order to be successful - - and, more importantly, to sustain that success over years and years - - they need to find a balance in Selling time.  Balancing time spent on the computer against time spent on the telephone and out on personal Sales calls.

This new generation of Sales professionals is the most tech-savvy of any generation in our industry’s history.  They are masters of the Internet.  They expect fully information to come customized and instant.  History?   That’s all about yesterday.  What’s important today is today. 

Expecting Instant Success

These newest of Sales professionals will expect instant success from their efforts in selling room nights and F&B events.  They will become impatient when they find they can’t close a piece of business quickly via e-mail and text messaging.

From day one they will need to begin mastering the “high-touch” aspects of direct selling: professional Selling on the telephone and professional Selling on outside Sales calls, trade shows, Fam trips and any venue where they find themselves face-to-face in the company of potential clients.

There is little doubt that business communication and transactions will become even more mainstream through the Internet, globalization, evolving distribution channels, B-to-B and B-to-C.  This new generation of Sales pros must not fail to learn, however, that one-to-one Sales, on the telephone and at clients’ place of business, will always be the cornerstone for professional Selling.

Hone Your Personal Selling Skills

Hone your personal Selling skills.  Master the art of connecting with prospects on the telephone.  Take the time to make friends with gatekeepers who will lead you to the decision makers.  And once you’ve qualified the piece of business and have identified the key contact, schedule the appointment to make a Sales call.  Where?  On the decision makers’ home turf.

That’s the balance that will help make you successful and sustain that success throughout your hospitality Sales career.  Avoid falling into the rut of running the ball or passing the ball on every down.  You need the “run” and you need the “pass”.  You need the computer and you need the telephone and personal Sales calls.  And, yes, they are complementary skill sets, but you need to work at balancing the two.

Scoreboard: Making Your Numbers

Keep in mind: Hospitality Sales pros learn quickly the importance of the scoreboard.  Each week you spend in Sales you will be faced with the challenge of making your numbers.  Did I reach or exceed my weekly Sales goals?  Room nights?  Revenue?  Definite business converted? 

If you find production success working primarily at your computer, my hat’s off to you!  Be careful, however, in becoming a “one-armed” Sales pro.  There are far too many potential clients out there who don’t use e-mail and text messaging; some never use a computer at all.  If you want to find and sell them on anything, you may have to rely on your own personal Selling skills - - yes, I admit, the old-fashioned way.

Should you spend too much time selling on the computer you will never develop nor maintain your telephone and personal Sales calls skills.  Seek the right mix for you.  Work on finding hours for computer time that will allow you to work the phones and make the personal Sales calls during prime Selling time.

Keep both skill sets fresh, but always balanced.



What’s next?  Sales Lesson #4 will explore the importance of knowing your competition.
 

David M. Brudney, ISHC, is a veteran sales and marketing professional concluding his fourth decade of service to the hospitality industry.  Brudney advises lodging owners, lenders, asset managers and operators on sales and marketing “best practices” and conducts reviews of sales and marketing operations throughout the U.S. and overseas.  The principal of David Brudney & Associates of Carlsbad, CA, a sales and marketing consulting firm specializing in the hospitality industry since 1979, Brudney is a frequent lecturer, instructor and speaker.  He is a charter member of International Society of Hospitality Consultants.  Previously, Brudney held sales and marketing positions with Hyatt, Westin and Marriott.

 

Contact:

David M. Brudney, ISHC, Principal 
David Brudney & Associates 
Carlsbad, CA 
760-476-0830 Fax 760-476-0860 
David@DavidBrudney.com
www.DavidBrudney.com
www.ishc.com


 

Also See New Generation of Hospitality Sales Professionals Lesson #2: Want to be Successful? Start by Packing your own 'Chute / David Brudney ISHC / October 2006
Managing the Consultant: Careful Not to Doom the Project / David M. Brudney / September 2006
You Cannot Microwave Experience: New Generation of Hotel Sales Professionals - Lesson 1 / David Brudney / August 2006
New Breed of Hotel Sales Associates Lacking Curiosity? Maybe it’s Not a Generational Thing / David Brudney ISHC / July 2006
Generation X Hotel Sales Associates: All Important Curiosity Factor Missing? / David Brudney / June 2006
Physical Therapy Sessions: A Good Reminder for Professional Selling Fundamentals / David M. Brudney / April 2006
Hotel Marketing Starts Locally; Never Forget Your Neighbors / David M. Brudney / March 2006
Notes from the ALIS Conference / David Brudney / February 2006
General Managers Workshop: Managing Today's Hotel Sales Teams / July 2005
Owners & Asset Managers: Need Expert Advice, Referral? Ask A Trusted Consultant / David M. Brudney, ISHC / May 2005
Larry May: The Passing Of Another Hotel Soldier / David Brudney ISHC / April 2005
Hotel Owners: Better, Worse or About the Same? / David Brudney ISHC / December 2004
Let’s Put Bush and Kerry Through the RFP Process / October 2004
Bev Kordsmeier, Hyatt Sales’ First Lady / April 2004
Message to Hotel Sales Associates: “It’s Not You!”/ January 2004
What Innkeepers Want Every Christmas? Fill Those Empty Rooms / December 2003
Uncertain Times Call for Return to Backyard Basics / April 2003
Time to “Group Up”?  Maybe, Maybe Not / May 2002
America’s Front Desk  Fights Back! / January 2002
Front Desk Fails To Catch America’s Hospitality Spirit / David Brudney ISHC / November 2001
A Very Good Time For That Sales Audit / David Brudney ISHC / Sept 2001 
More Theater, Less Zombies / David Brudney ISHC / Dec 2000 
It’s The Experience, Stupid! / David Brudney ISHC / Nov 2000 



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