assignment, your team may have lost sight of the real reason for doing
them. Of course, one reason might because your brand requires them.
Thatís fine. But one thing a Managerís Reception should be above all else,
is an opportunity to interact with your guests and find more business.
One thing it shouldnít be is simply a perk for them and an expense burden
|Did you recently begin doing Managerís
Receptions or have they been in place awhile? We pose this question
because if a Managerís Reception has been in place for some time, possibly
as a brand requirement or as something started before you even got to your
The Turn Key Tool Box
A Newsletter for General Managers and Operators with Thoughts
on How to be a Better Hotel. Written by Turn
Key Hotel Advisors, Dallas, Texas
This is not to say that those guests might not view the reception as
a benefit to their decision to stay at your hotel. But that should
be a peripheral issue to a true marketer! To the hard-core sales
savvy GM, the real reason for doing a Managerís Reception is to use your
existing customers to find new ones.
When, where, how often and what to serve are all issues that should
address this central mission an primary purpose of hosting a Managerís
Reception. That would imply that the general manager and his or her sales
staff should be involved in attending the event.
Whether you do Managerís Receptions once a week or nightly, at least
make sure you have one when you are most likely to have your peak night
for corporate stay-over guests (probably Wednesday night for most of you).
If you have Managerís Receptions nightly, it would be arduous, indeed impossible,
for sales managers to attend them all, so think about a rotating schedule.
If you have Managerís Receptions once a week, it is more manageable that
sales staff attend them all.
Here then are a few recommendations in the Doís and Doníts of successful
a Sales-Savvy Managerís Reception Program:
Manager Reception Doís
Manager Reception Doníts
Do have Managerís Receptions if you are in a corporate market, especially
if you do any volume in LNR or the Preferred and Corporate volume market
Do have them once or twice a week. Do have them on a peak corporate
stay-over night, most likely, a Tuesday or Wednesday night. Do invite guests
with a printed invitation (not necessary if a brand standard).
Do deliver an invitation to each guest room overnight on the night before
the event (or with the morning newspaper delivery). Receiving the
invitation in the morning will allow the guest to adjust their schedule
during the day in order to attend your reception that evening. Obviously,
this step isnít necessary if you do them nightly or if your brand has a
reputation for doing them nightly (Embassy Suites, as an example).
Do have each front desk agent extend a verbal invitation to guests upon
check-in on the day of the event, as well as hand the guest a printed invitation.
Do serve food. If you do receptions nightly, have food available
for sale. Exhibit culinary excellence, but donít overdo it.
Hors díoeuvres should be simple, well presented with visual interest and
easy to prepare. I recommend you stay away from hot items and stick
with cold food that can be easily consumed in a stand-up reception setting.
Do keep them short: an hour to an hour and a half.
Do make sure you circulate. Staff shouldnít be conversing with staff.
Make sure you and your sales managers work the room and leave no guest
unattended for very long.
Do engage in conversation. Find out who the guest is; what company
they represent; how often they come to your city; who else from their company
travels and whom you can contact about getting more of their business.
Do collect and extend business cards.
The next day, conduct a quick huddle with your sales team and review the
business cards you collected. Talk about what they learned.
What follow-up is appropriate?
Do send hand-written thank-you notes to participants you met and from whom
you collected a business card. This small personal gesture has huge
impact on potential customers.
Remember that your staff is on duty and working. A glass of wine
or a cocktail may be appropriate Ė but youíre not there to party and this
is no country club.
Donít over do it. Keep them short, simple (but quality-oriented)
and limited to and hour or hour and a half, two days a week at the most
unless your brand has other ideas.
Donít provide chairs. You donít want guest sitting by themselves
or with one another. Provide cocktail tables for people to set a
glass on while they munch on hors díoeuvres, but make your guests stand
Donít make Managerís Receptions mandatory attendance for all members of
your management team. Only managerís who are sales savvy should attend
to help the sales managers (and you) with the primary objective of finding
Donít allow managers to congregate. They need to be constantly working
the room. You set the example.
If your reception is strictly by invitation, donít invite tour or leisure
guests. They wonít help you achieve your goals. Limit participation
to guests paying rack or corporate rate or who have booked your hotel through
GDS. Remember that this is a means for you to find out who is staying
in your hotel that you might otherwise not know about and prospecting ways
to get more business from them.
Donít hesitate to use a Managerís Reception to support your backyard sales
effort. Invite local guests with whom you are trying to expose your
product as a means to entice them to see the hotel or get to know other
members of your team. A sales manager wanting to impress a potential
client could meet their guest in the lobby, conduct a site visit of the
hotel and then take them to the reception. What better way to expose
a potential client to your hotel than allowing them to interact with customers
that are already staying with you? Testimonials are always a powerful
Donít focus on any one guest for too long. Once you have gotten the
information youíre looking for, politely disengage conversation and go
onto the next guest. An easy way to do this is to introduce the guest
with whom youíre talking to another guest. While they are engaging
in conversation, excuse yourself and move onto your next target.
Donít forget to say ďthank youĒ to each guest you meet. After all,
they are staying with you already and are taking time out of their day
to share it with you. Express your appreciation.
Donít spend too much time with your regular guests. Yes, you should
acknowledge them and thank them for their business, but spending too much
time with them will make you forego your primary mission: finding new business.
|Be a visionary, not just a leader. Be an innovator,
not a reactor. Be an opportunity seeker, not an implementer of Standards.
ďEnlightenment is an individualís emergence from his own self-imposed
Turn Key Hotel Advisors is a Dallas based consulting
group with roots in hotel management and operations. It offers consulting
services and essential business tools for all aspects of hotel operations,
lodging asset management, hotel product repositioning, and re-branding.
The Dallas group is experienced in hotel operations, revenue management,
market positioning and profit engineering.
Specializing in diagnostics of under-performing assets,
Turn Key Hotel Advisors will quickly and accurately assess a hotel's competitive
environment and strategic positioning. Their consultants then provide
action plans for both owner and manager that will improve the hotel's RevPAR
yield, increasing revenue and drive both profitability and owner cash return.
Turn Key Hotel Advisors guarantees their results.
For hotels undergoing refurbishment, repositioning or
re-branding, Turn Key Hotel Advisors created the Delta Processô, which
has been successfully used in assets, to date, undergoing $200 million
in redevelopment dollars. The Delta Processô ensures the hotel's
sales and service delivery teams have specific, concrete action plans to
deliver on an owner's or lender's return-on-investment expectations.
The company also conducts due diligence exercises for
assets undergoing ownership change, market assessment studies for new lodging
development, as well as hotel sales training, account management tools
and hotel marketing products. It is affiliated with The Consortium
- An Alliance of Hospitality Companies. Turn Key Hotel Advisors also
operates a subsidiary company, Integrated Selling Systems with innovative
technologies for the lodging industry, including CD Business Cards, Web
Designs and On-Line Customer Reservations Booking Engines. Turn Key
Hotel Advisors is an allied member of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.