|May 2005 - Is hotel sales your current or desired career path? If so,
sincere congratulations! Good salespeople (rooms or catering) are in demand
in all segments. But why settle for good when excellence is within your
reach? Great salespeople can virtually write their own tickets. Debbi Fields
(of Mrs. Fields cookie fame) had excellence in mind when she developed
her tagline, “Good enough…never is!”
So what can we do as aspiring salespeople to “get to the next level”?
Here are 10 of my favorite recommendations:
If you are affiliated with a “flag,” attend as much of your brand’s training
as you can.
If you work for a management company that provides its own “in-house” training,
take advantage of that as well.
Maximize your on-the-job learning and reduce your learning curve by asking
for advice from any available sales mentors at your property, within your
management company, or even from successful salespeople at friendly competitors.
Go to industry events like HSMA or NACE meetings.
Practice your selling skills at local Chamber of Commerce networking events.
Attend personal development seminars that focus on selling techniques,
communication skills, or even general business principles.
Buy (and please read) books on selling (“Lessons From the Field” by Howard
Feiertag and John Hogan), negotiating (“Essential Managers’ Negotiating
Skills” by Tim Hindle), or cutting edge communication skills (“The Magic
of NLP: Demystified” by Byron Lewis).
Subscribe to generic magazines (“Selling Magazine”) or industry-specific
publications (”Hotel Business Magazine” which is free) as well as free
e-newsletters (“Hotel-Online.com…congratulations!) that feature articles
designed to improve your “SQ” (sales quotient).
Ask prospects and customers what they dislike and really like about hotel
salespeople, and then “cut” from or “paste” to your existing personality
This last suggestion is my personal favorite. Enroll ASAP in “Auto University”
(AKA “Auto U”) and get your degree in mobile selling. It’s easy, time-effective,
and career-enhancing. All you do is invest in a few audio books-on-tape
or CD’s and listen while you drive to and from work or between outside
sales calls. Feed your mind with new ideas on selling by learning from
such “surrogate mentors” as Jeffrey Gitomer, Dennis Waitley, Brian Tracey,
or the master himself, Zig Ziglar. Nothin’ wrong with listening to your
favorite music most of the time in your car, but “Jenny From The Block”
won’t do as much for your career as your personal sales mentors from “Auto