News for the Hospitality Executive
|Lessons from the Field
A Common Sense Approach to Success in the Hospitality Industry
|By Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE, May 23, 2008|
For Hotels with Limited Service, Fewer than 100 Rooms
How Do You Determine if You Need a Person Dedicated to Selling?
Martin Van Buren (1782-1862, Eighth President of the USA)
Most hotels with more than 100 rooms are likely to have one or more people focused on property sales. Depending on the meeting space or food & beverage options, there may be staff assigned to catering sales as well. Many hotels, especially rooms’ only properties, have come to rely on their location or brand affiliation.
The question posed above, though is what the factors one needs to consider. The numbers of rooms, competitive set, your brand or location are all ingredients, but they are not the only factors.
First, ask yourself honestly the following questions:
1. “How is my hotel performing compared to budget? To last year?” Answering these two questions every month will show your level of both planning and of analysis. Planning, because the budgets should have had detailed forecasting that can be contrasted with the actual results. Analysis, because the evaluation process will link last year, budget and this year’s performance and should provide a solid understanding of your hotel’s performance on its own merits.
2. The next question is “how is my hotel performing compared to the market?” Smith Travel Research (www.smithtravel.com) has long been the leader in assisting both individual hotels and entire companies better understand their market competitiveness. Analyzing only your own hotel’s performance compared to itself does not show the real potential of performance.
3. Is the market changing? Are there more competitors entering the market (regardless of product segment)? Is the economic environment changing in the community or feeder markets for your hotel? These should all be part of the annual marketing plan for every hotel and reviewed regularly with action plans identified in the plan.
Second, if the above analysis shows that your hotel appears to be slipping in performance after the above analysis, there are a number of options. These include comprehensive review of your revenue management strategies to make certain there are no fundamental errors in tactics or pricing. Working with your brand sales teams if you are affiliated with a franchise or referral group should be a priority to determine if your hotel could better position itself within the brand promotions or contractual arrangements.
Third, if the actions taken in the first two steps do not show actual or anticipated results, it may be time to recognize that your hotel needs a competent and trained person whose primary function is selling the services of your hotel.
Possible Sources and Methods of Recruiting Qualified Individuals
When you have made the determination that there is a need and a position to be filled and a realistic job description complete, the next step is to recruit applicants.
The following is a list of potential sources and methods.
Feel free to share an idea or to contact me regarding consulting and speaking engagements at email@example.com anytime and remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication
All rights reserved by John Hogan. This column may be included in an upcoming book on hotel management.
John Hogan’s professional experience includes over 35 years in hotel operations, food & beverage, sales & marketing, training, management development and asset management on both a single and multi-property basis. He holds a number of industry certifications and is a past recipient of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Pearson Award for Excellence in Lodging Journalism, as well as operational and marketing awards from international brands. He has served as President of both city and state hotel associations.
John’s background includes teaching college level courses as an adjunct professor at three different colleges and universities over a 20 year period, while managing with Sheraton, Hilton, Omni and independent hotels. He was the principal in an independent training & consulting group for more than 12 years serving associations, management groups, convention & visitors’ bureaus, academic institutions and as an expert witness. He joined Best Western International in spring of 2000, where over the next 8 years he created and developed a blended learning system as the Director of Education & Cultural Diversity for the world’s largest hotel chain.
He has served on several industry boards that deal with education and/or cultural diversity and as brand liaison to the NAACP and the Asian American Hotel Owners’ Association with his ongoing involvement in the Certified Hotel Owner program. He has conducted an estimated 3,100 workshops and seminars in his career. He served as senior vice president for a client in a specialty hotel brand for six years.
He has published more than 350 articles & columns on the hotel industry and is co-author (with Howard Feiertag, CHA CMP) of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD – a COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES, which is available from a range of industry sources and AMAZON.com. He resides in Phoenix, Arizona and is finalizing his 2nd book based on his dissertation – The Top 100 People of All Time Who Most Dramatically Affected the Hotel Industry.
Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE
|Also See:||Extending Your Sales Team or Make Travel Agents A Regular Part of Your Sales Programs / Dr. John Hogan / May 2008|
|Finding Business Leads Can Be Easier Than You Think / Dr. John Hogan / May 2008|
|Understanding the Differences Between Marketing and Sales / Dr. John Hogan / April 2008|
|Identifying Your Customers / Lessons from the Field A Common Sense Approach to Success in the Hospitality Industry / Dr. John Hogan / April 2008|