Hotel Online  Special Report

Sales Training Works Well, But Sales
Mentoring Makes It More Effective;
Mentoring Lasts a Lifetime

by Neil L. Salerno, CHME  May 2003

Itís tough out there. Many markets are still static and many hotels, which are growing business, are still sacrificing average rates and revenue to do it. Itís not a time for the faint at heart, but as the old saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Is your sales team prepared for these difficult times?

There are several excellent training programs out there for sales people. Many of them do a wonderful job of preparing new and intermediate sales people by teaching the necessary sales techniques to solicit and book group business. Unfortunately, most of these programs do not provide for continuing guidance and stimulus to further develop a sales team. 

Sales directors and directors of sales and marketing come in all levels of experience in leadership, out-of-box creative thinking, and the resources to find solutions to the many changes in the marketplace. For the many hotels, small hotel companies, and even larger companies with no corporate sales leader, this presents a tremendous challenge. 

This challenge was not as critical during the boom years just a few short years ago, before the events of 9/11. The marketplace has changed, forever; get used to it. The addition of electronic marketing, with and outside of the Internet, has complicated the picture.  Many sales teams are simply no longer equipped to thrive in a challenged marketplace. Some hotels raise the bar by recruiting more experienced sales directors, but, in many cases, changing your team members or team leader is not the answer.

Many of us, who have enjoyed a measure of success in the hotel business, have been fortunate enough to have worked for and with excellent people whom we emulated due to their willingness and caring to mentor or coach our personal development. These coaches provided us with guidance, feedback on ideas, challenged us, and encouraged us to be creative and successful

There are many experienced and successful people who will provide sales mentoring or coaching to those hotels and hotel companies, which simply do not have the financial resources or the willingness to invest in a new full-time experienced head of sales. For a, usually small, monthly fee, these coaches will help general managers to guide their sales teams to that new higher level necessary in todayís sales environment. Programs vary; however, the common ingredient is the ability to be a resource for new ideas, sales innovation, and the flexibility to hone in on your immediate needs, without a long-term financial commitment. 

Hotel management needs to think-outside-the-box to the very essence of developing their sales teams, including the further development of their team leaders. Outside mentoring programs introduce new ideas because these people already exist outside that box. They can provide the stimulus to your sales team to exceed everyoneís expectations. 

Measuring their effective with your team is simple too. Most provide direct feedback to the general manager to report progress and create new goals to reach and achieve.

Many hotels are investing in sales training programs, today. Wise hoteliers are even budgeting for training programs; something relatively new for most of them. Many of us believe that training and career development continue throughout a career. But, much of this development lies outside of the technical requirements of the job. True development comes from oneís environment and the ability to recognize good business behavior and new techniques to mimic into our own working environment. More exposure leads to more learning. Todayís mentoring-coaching programs expand that level of exposure. 

Neil L. Salerno, CHME, CHA
Hotel & Internet Marketing Solutions, LLC
1369 South Wembley Circle
Port Orange, Florida, 32128
Mobile: 386/212-2846
Also See: Hotel Web Sites; Want it Creative or Effective? / Neil L. Salerno / May 2003
If You Always Do What You Have Always Done.... Youíll Always Get What You Always Got! Hotelierís 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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