It’s Not What You Know…It’s Who You Know
|By: Neil Salerno – July 2005
Last weekend, I had a visit from a thirty-year friend, mentor, my wedding’s “best man”, former boss, and former peer. All this wrapped up in one man, Howard Feiertag. It’s always great to see someone who has been so significant in your life, but it also made me reflect on how many times Howard has steered me through the bumpy maze of highs and lows of the hotel business.
I am truly blessed that there have been, and still are, several experienced hotel people, like Howard, who have shared their ideas and encouragement with me through the last thirty years. They all made me look smarter than I really am; and for that, I am truly grateful.
Is there a better way to think outside the corporate or hotel box than to consult with someone who resides outside it? If you don’t have a group of hotel friends and/or associates who can and will give you an educated and objective viewpoint, set out right now to develop them. There are no new ideas; only old ideas which were implemented successfully. To repeat them is not bad; to ignore them is.
We have all sat in what felt like fruitless meetings to uncover and discuss ideas to promote and/or better operate our hotels. The various paradigms developed from being deeply involved in a hotel are sometimes serious handicaps to clear and independent thinking. Handicaps are developed by self-imposed boundaries based on habit and policies. If you are seeking new ideas, be prepared to open your mind; you might not get the answers you expected.
Successful people are those who can find an answer or that different perspective they need in order to gain an edge in the marketplace. Often an exchange of ideas from someone outside the line of fire is free from the nemesis of insider influence; not affected, or worse, infected by politics or “company policy”.
Developing Your Personal Advisory Board
Former work associates are usually a great source of candidates for your advisory board. People you worked with or former associates who worked for you in the past, will often feel free to offer that perspective they never would have shared before; someone you trusted and respected. They can provide the added bonus of being familiar with you and your operation.
Become a voracious reader. Oh, I know you don’t have time to read articles, but busy people find the time to do the things which will make them successful. Reading various perspectives on the industry stimulates your thinking and can reveal different paradigms or viewpoints.
Many of the authors of those articles would be happy to hear your questions. In a sense, simply reading a different viewpoint is the first step in developing a mentor relationship. It doesn’t matter whether or not you agree with some else’s viewpoint; learn from every idea. My favorite saying is “Be who you are and say what you feel; for those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”.
Develop Some Synergy
It’s always a good idea to identify the hotel super stars in your area. Once identified, set out to create some new friendships. It doesn’t matter if they are part of your competition, you can learn from them and they will also learn from you. You cannot discuss rate issues; that’s against anti-trust, but operational and sales issues are still on the table.
Synergy is defined as “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. In plain talk, it’s the fact that your ideas, combined with another’s ideas, create a third and greater sum of ideas.
No one has all the answers to this crazy business of ours; our industry is changing and evolving rapidly. You don’t have to operate in a vacuum or within the overall structure of your company or franchise. Get advice and counseling from outside-the-box which was created by your organization; it can benefit you and your company.
|Also See:||Revenue Grabbing Tips for Independent Hotels; Start Thinking Like the Chains / Neil Salerno / July 2005|
|Hotel Web Basics That Really Work…Content is King / Neil Salerno / July 2005|
|Hotel Supplier Sites versus Online Travel Agents; The War Chronicles / Neil Salerno / June 2005|
|New Hotel Technology Surround Us; Yet Face-to-face Selling is Still Most Productive / Neil Salerno / June 2005|
|The Internet…The Great Equalizer For Independent Hotels / Neil Salerno / June 2005|
|Third-Party Booking Sites Still Dominate Internet Sales; Why Do So Many Consider this Bad? / Neil Salerno / April 2005|
|Now That Online Hotel Booking Is Here to Stay, New Challenges Emerge / Neil Salerno / April 2005|
|Independent Boutique Hotels Can Compete With their Big Box Neighbors / Neil Salerno / April 2005|
|Who Are Your Most Important Guests? We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby! / Neil Salerno / March 2005|
|New Consumer Hotel Booking Preferences - They Love the Internet…Now What? / Neil Salerno / March 2005|
|Who Would Have Thought - Today's Hotel Marketing Necessity Is Also its Best Value / March 2005|
|Time For a Hotel Web Site “Make-Over”? Methods for Building a Successful Web Site Change / Neil Salerno / March 2005|
|Create Impact by Developing a Link Strategy For Your Hotel Web Site / Neil Salerno / February 2005|
|Steps to Develop Your Hotel's Presence on the Web / Neil Salerno / February 2005|
|Five Hotel Internet Marketing Myths - Busted!/ Neil Salerno / January 2005|
|How Does Your Hotel Web Site Measure-Up? 2005 Will Be the Internet’s Most Productive Year so Far / Neil Salerno / January 2005|
|Are You Being Out-Hustled By Your Competition? How to Dominate Your Hotel's Market Set / Neil Salerno / December 2004|
|Why Are Some Hotel Companies Plagued By Management Turnover? Is This Systematic of Poor Performance? / Neil Salerno / December 2004|
|Basic Components of a Hotel Website: Current Weather, Flash Animation, and Virtual Tours?? Plain Talk About Internet Sales / Neil Salerno / February 2004|
|Don’t Compromise Your Goals In 2004; Five New Year’s Resolutions You Will Want To Keep / Neil Salerno / January 2004|
|No More Whining About Third-Party Suppliers; You Control Your Own Fate On The Net / Neil Salerno / December 2003|
|Six 'Maxi’s' Guaranteed To Boost Hotel Sales / Neil Salerno / November 2003|
|It’s Time To Take Back Control Of Rates & Rooms - But Is The Enemy...Us? / Neil Salerno / November 2003|
|Booking Engines Are Like A Box of Chocolates...You Never Know What You’re Gonna Get! / Neil Salerno / October 2003|
|Hotel Web Site & Search Engine Optimization; Always A Work In Progress / Neil L. Salerno / October 2003|
|Hotel Budgets and Marketing Plans; Oh No, Is It That Time Again? / Neil L. Salerno / September 2003|
|Increasing Hotel Internet Sales Is Not Rocket Science...And It Doesn’t Have To Be Costly Either / Neil L. Salerno / September 2003|
|Are You Treating Third Party eWholesalers As Competititon Or a Valuable Marketing Partner? / Neil L. Salerno / August 2003|
|How Often Have You Heard, 'I could have gotten a better rate but the client saw our rates on the Internet' ? It’s Time To Get Back To Selling Location, Facilities, and Services / Neil L. Salerno / August 2003|
|Before You Begin that Marketing Plan Challenge Your Sales Team; Expect More and Get More / Neil L. Salerno / July 2003|
|Jump Up and Shout Yes - Delivering Best Online Customer Experience, Nice Job Vividence! / Neil L. Salerno / July 2003|
|Is The Internet Delivering On Its Promise? Well, It Depends on How you Look at It / Neil L. Salerno / June 2003|
|Coaching and Mentoring, Sometimes A New Paradigm Can Go A Long Way / Neil L. Salerno / June 2003|
|Sales Training Works Well, But Sales Mentoring Makes It More Effective; Mentoring Lasts a Lifetime / Neil L. Salerno / May 2003|
|Is It Time For A Sales Tune-up? How Healthy Was Your Last Forecast? / Neil L. Salerno / May 2003|
|Hotel Web Sites; Want it Creative or Effective? / Neil L. Salerno / May 2003|
|If You Always Do What You Have Always Done.... You’ll Always Get What You Always Got! Hotelier’s Mantra... Thinking Outside The Box / Neil L. Salerno / April 2003|
|Good Sales Planning - The Basics Still Work / Neil L. Salerno / April 2003|