Carol Verret Consulting 
and Training
Training Seminars
Transforming the Hotel
Sales Organization
Alignment with the New
Realities of Sales

Carol Verret / August 2004
August 2004

The increases in demand in the first half of 2004 appear to have flattened in July and August. While demand grew at approximately 4% in quarters 1 and 2 according to Smith Travel, the gains in REVPAR in July and August to date have come from increases in ADR. This is in alignment with a slowing of economic growth in the country in the third quarter.

Will demand increase through the rest of the year? That is anyone's guess as the consumer-spending engine may be running out of steam. Will corporate travel demand increase sufficiently to continue the lodging industry recovery in the last half of the year?

All of this adds up to a continuing challenge for the sales departments of most hotels. It will continue to be necessary to cultivate demand rather than depend on normal increasing demand to make the phones ring.

A recent report also indicated that hotels are again spending money on new technology. Most of this increased spending is in the areas of revenue management and front office. How much has been invested in providing the sales department with state of the art technology in order to increase sales?

The processes and procedures of most hotel sales operations have lagged behind in the availability and use of technology to efficiently penetrate their markets. This affects the entire process of hotel sales from locating new business, to qualifying and closing, fulfillment collateral and modes of efficient, effective communication with prospects and clients.

It is not a matter of simply providing new software for contact management. It goes far beyond that to a paradigm or mindset that embraces these changes in the sales process, both on the part of the corporate office and management who evaluate the sales staff and make the spending decisions and at the implementation level within the department itself.

What the heck am I talking about? I am referring to how the sales staff sorts through the vast universe of prospects, qualifies them as to their potential for the property right down to how they present the hotel, send proposals and follow-up communication. Let me cite a few examples:

Contact Management: Is your contact management system organized by market segments to facilitate e-marketing campaigns that are market segment specific? Do you have e-stationary that the staff can use to differentiate their emails from the hundreds of others that come into a client's Inbox? A seminar participant recently sent me an email indicating that he had never used email extensively in the past until he attended my program. He was given a list of exhibitors for a trade show that was coming into his area. He developed an email postcard campaign to them and his hotel filled for the event. He was turning them away! His is an independent property and he is the only sales person -- awesome use of resources!

Web Site Fulfillment: Does your web site lend itself to virtual tours? Does it sell and not just tell? Does it provide functionality for group leads as well as individual reservations? This is especially important for independent hotels and resorts. It is also important for franchises. I always hear that the web site and its management is maintained by the franchisor -- when was the last time you received a viable group lead through the franchise web site?

Databases: Does your sales department have access to databases that will assist them in prospecting and qualifying? Is the sales hardware sufficiently up to date that the speed of their ability to use the Internet for these processes adequate? We put high-speed Internet access in the guest rooms and often the sales department is still on dial-up!

Collateral: The most basic example is having your hotel's stationary on the computer so that professional correspondence can be sent electronically. Do you have an e-brochure? Is your hotel's photography on the hard drive so that sales people can send them to a prospect with an interest in a specific feature of the hotel that may not be part of the web site? I had a seminar participant who would email a picture of the property or a feature of their destination to a prospect while she was on the phone with them. It allowed her to answer questions and close on the spot.

This only scratches the surface of the potential. An owner recently said to me that his revenue from online sources, including the distribution channels, had increased by over 30% but revenue booked by his sales department was flat. Guess where he was putting his budget resources (hint: it wasn't the sales department).

The above are just a few examples of the ideas that come with a change in attitude about the ways we think about doing not just hotel sales, but "sales," period. The processes can be implemented by any size organization, from a small independent hotel to a hotel management company that wants to give its hotel a competitive edge. CVBs or Chambers of Commerce, in even the smallest destinations, can implement this transformational change quickly and cost effectively.

The most precious resource is sales time and the competitive environment coupled with the plethora of prospective clients makes it imperative that we implement efficiencies in the way we do business -- the number of hours in a day hasn't changed. As Jennings and Naughton said in the title of their book "It's not the BIG that eat the SMALL -  it's the FAST that eat the SLOW!"

Log on to the Carol Verret & Associates Consulting and Training new web site to see more about The New Realities of Sales seminars and Transforming the Sales Organization consultation.

copyright Carol Verret, 2002-2003 -2004

If you would like Carol or one of her associates to conduct a marketing plan seminar for your company like the one mentioned above or a facilitation, as mentioned in this article, contact her at [email protected]. Don't delay -- September is filling up fast!

Carol Verret is President of Carol Verret Consulting and Training, a company offering consulting and training seminars to the hospitality industry in the areas of sales and marketing and customer service.  If you missed attending our live webcasts in the Training Byte Series in 2003, you will be glad to know that we offer each "Training Byte" in PDF format on our web site. We will not be repeating these webcasts in 2004. To order your copy, please visit

Our Training Bytes Series for 2004 has begun!

Give your team the advantage - get help from a Pro!

Verret is a twenty-year veteran of the hotel industry. She arrived in Denver in the midst of an economic downturn and quickly established herself as an expert in sales and marketing in hotel turn-around situations, applying her formula for REVPAR improvement. To learn more about Carol Verret, Consulting and Training, visit her web site at

Send email to [email protected]

Carol Verret
  3140 S. Peoria St, PMB 436
  Aurora, CO 80014
(303) 618-4065
Web Site:
Email: [email protected]
Also See: The Revenue Management Strategy - The Pre-Plan Marketing Plan / Carol Verret / July 2004
Hotel Revenue Management this Summer - a Game of Skill, Art and Most of All Nerves / Carol Verett / May 2004
What Do Meeting Planners Want? Hotel Sales Managers Want to Know! / Carol Verret / May 2004
Revenue Management -- The Integration of Revenue Drivers / Carol Verret / March 2004
CYBER SALES -- Hotel Sales in an Internet World is the New Reality / Carol Verret / February 2004
The New Realities of Hotel Sales - Focus on Revenue Generation / Carol Verret / January 2004
Hotel Sales -- Innovation in the Face of Limitations / Carol Verret / November 2003
The Good News & the Bad News; Improving Economy = New Hotel Development / Carol Verret / October 2003
Leadership - General Managers Managing the Sales Process / Carol Verret  / October 2003
When the Crystal Ball is Cloudy; Marketing Plans for 2004 / Carol Verret / July 2003
Partnership of Sales and Technology; Using Tech Tools to "Sell" the Hotels / Carol Verret  / July 2003
Back to the Basics? The Basics of Hotel Sales Have Changed! / May 2003
Creating Sales "HUNTERS": The Skill Sets Required in the New Hotel Sales Environment / April 2003
Heightened Security Requires New Strategies in Hotels Sales / Carol Verret Consulting and Training / Mar 2003
Revenue Recovery - Building The ‘A’ Team in Sales / Carol Verret / January 2003
Contingency Marketing Plan – War In Iraq! / Carol Verret / November 2002
Playing the Rate Game - Positioning -- Positioning -- Positioning! / Carol Verret / October 2002
The Rate Game - Playing to Win / Carol Verret / October 2002
The Challenge of Marketing Independent Boutique Hotels / Carol Verett / August 2002
Hotel Sales in a Limited Service Environment - The Rules Have Changed / Carol Verett / August 2002
The General Manager’s Role in Sales -Chief Marketing Officer of the Hotel / Carol Verret / April 2002
100% Market Share Penetration is Not Good Enough / Carol Verett / January 2002
The Key to REVPAR Recovery –  New Business Development / Carol Verett / December  2001
Trash the 2002 Marketing Plan - And Just Start Over / Carol Verett / September 2001
How to Use Consultants Effectively –  A View From the Other Side  / Carol Verret / August 2001
How Soft Is Your Hotel's Economic Landing?  / Carol Verret / Aprl 2001
The ‘Value Proposition’: Marketing Yourself to Prospective Employees / Carol Verret / January 2001
Generation Y:  Motivating and Training a New Generation of Employees / Carol Verret / November  2000
Why Customer Service Seminars Don't Work / Carol Verret / October 2000
Creating a Culture of Customer Service / Carol Verret Consulting and Training / Sept 2000 
FAT, DUMB AND HAPPY – The Seasonal Boom and  Bust Cycle / Carol Verret / August 2000
Surf's Up - Ride the Wave or Miss the Boat -The Effective Use of Technology in Hotel Sales / Carol Verret / July 2000 
Measuring Effectiveness of  Hotel Sales Departments / Carol Verret / June 2000
Hotel Sales Training - The Need for Immediate Results / Carol Verret/ May 2000

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