News for the Hospitality Executive
|Lessons from the Field
A Common Sense Approach to Success in the Hospitality Industry
|By Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE, April 30, 2008|
Understanding the Differences
Between Marketing and Sales
|"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try
Many people use the terminology "marketing" and "sales" as having the same meaning. Is there a difference between Marketing and Sales? The answer is a resounding "YES!" Both are critical to matching your hotel's features and services to the guest who wants and needs them, but the two words do not have the same meaning.
Marketing includes identifying and determining customers' wants and needs, and then providing them at a profit. One of your property's marketing functions may be your sales staff and sales efforts, but there are many other marketing activities as well.
During the marketing planning process, the decision on how to position the property in the marketplace is key to the sales effort. By this, we mean how prospects might view your hotel.
Included in the positioning analysis for both the Marketing and Sales efforts usually include understanding the "big" picture, which means detailed research of clients likely to use your hotel. If your hotel belongs to a membership, referral or franchise organization, substantial overview research probably has already been completed and is available to you for the asking.
1. Long-term goals may reflect planned expansions, renovations or upgrading of services. Reaching your positioning target profitably is critical.Quotas are frequently tied to monthly revenue goals and the most profitable mix of business should yield bonuses or commissions to sales staff who can demonstrate they can bring in new business, while retaining existing clients.
At many smaller properties (under 100 rooms), the owner or general manager
may pursue the marketing end of things. Depending on the circumstances,
they should initiate sales as well.
Sales managers should have limited involvement in marketing, instead, concentrating their efforts to personal and direct sales. This means that their time will be spent conducting outside sales calls and attending community events. Sales managers will frequently conduct telemarketing or tele-sales to set up "warm calls" prior to conducting outside sales calls.
Often there is not an adequate separation of Sales and Marketing at both smaller and medium sized properties. A sales manager cannot effectively sell the property if their time is being utilized to develop marketing plans and research.
Smaller and medium size properties sometimes share a sales person, especially
if they are not direct competitors. A growing trend is for an owner
that has multiple smaller properties to have common representation – the
critical measure of success there is the need for a well developed plan
with accountability from the beginning.
There are times that the sales person's input is needed when creating
Sales and Marketing Plans, packages, etc. Brainstorming between the
two segments of the department is an important aspect at that time. Once
the ideas have been gathered, it is the marketing department/owner/managers
job then to set the goals and objectives. It is the sales departments job
to assist with finding ways to accomplish those goals and objectives, and
to make it all happen.
Feel free to share an idea or to contact me regarding consulting and speaking engagements at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime and remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication
All rights reserved by John Hogan. This column may be included in an upcoming book on hotel management.
John Hogan’s professional experience includes over 35 years in hotel operations, food & beverage, sales & marketing, training, management development and asset management on both a single and multi-property basis. He holds a number of industry certifications and is a past recipient of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Pearson Award for Excellence in Lodging Journalism, as well as operational and marketing awards from international brands. He has served as President of both city and state hotel associations.
John’s background includes teaching college level courses as an adjunct professor at three different colleges and universities over a 20 year period, while managing with Sheraton, Hilton, Omni and independent hotels. He was the principal in an independent training & consulting group for more than 12 years serving associations, management groups, convention & visitors’ bureaus, academic institutions and as an expert witness. He joined Best Western International in spring of 2000, where over the next 8 years he created and developed a blended learning system as the Director of Education & Cultural Diversity for the world’s largest hotel chain.
He has served on several industry boards that deal with education and/or cultural diversity and as brand liaison to the NAACP and the Asian American Hotel Owners’ Association with his ongoing involvement in the Certified Hotel Owner program. He has conducted an estimated 3,100 workshops and seminars in his career. He served as senior vice president for a client in a specialty hotel brand for six years.
He has published more than 350 articles & columns on the hotel industry and is co-author (with Howard Feiertag, CHA CMP) of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD – a COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES, which is available from a range of industry sources and AMAZON.com. He resides in Phoenix, Arizona and is finalizing his 2nd book based on his dissertation – The Top 100 People of All Time Who Most Dramatically Affected the Hotel Industry.
Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE
|Also See:||Identifying Your Customers / Lessons from the Field A Common Sense Approach to Success in the Hospitality Industry / Dr. John Hogan / April 2008|