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Making This New Year's Hospitality Resolutions

Real and Practical - Sales Action  Steps #1-12
A Fresh Air-New Ideas Perspective

by Dr. John Hogan,
January 31, 2011

Regardless of the source of the tradition of making resolutions, we all realize that people all over the world have been breaking them. The title of this short piece is Making This New Year's Hospitality Resolutions Real and Practical, and my goal is to offer a slight alternative to the resolutions making approaches that seem to get broken so often, for whatever reasons.

“You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

Zig Ziglar, "Secrets of Closing the Sale", 1984

Most hotels create an annual sales and marketing plan for last year, but what happened to the execution?  While one can blame the economy or the government or some other 3rd  party, we must each assess how much of our success is tied to our efforts.

The calendar now is approaching late January, and looking back at lost opportunities for last year is a wasted effort.  It is now time to think how you will be conducting your sales efforts this year, in measurable components. 

Regardless of where you are in planning , think about TODAY to committing yourself to a fresh start.  In our book LESSONS FROM THE FIELD – a COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES, Howard Feiertag and I offered practical approaches to selling in the last big market downturn.

  1. Sell Price Last:  Even in challenging economic times, price remains only one of selling points of all. People want value, but if  you know where you are competition-wise, price should not be the breaking point if you are competitive.
  2. Include more items in packages.  Comp rooms, free parking, free A/V and various other "freebies" are sometimes necessary ingredients in closing a deal, especially in a soft market. "Listen" to what the potential client feels is important to them and then deliver what they want at a fair to all price and package.
  3. Close As Soon As Possible: The prospect you leave behind may be closed by the competition.  Time is important to everyone, so use yours effectively.
  4. Increase the Number of Your Sales Calls:   If you make more calls, you meet more prospects; if you meet more prospects, you can do more selling, and if you do more selling, you close more sales. (The law of averages works.)
  5. Have Sincere Pride in Your Product and Service:  Be proud of where you work; then, where you work will be proud of you.
  6. Be Persistent:  Most sales are closed after the fourth or fifth call.
  7. Be Loyal:  One of the greatest virtues of selling is loyalty to your hotel, your manager and your owner.
  8. Ask For the Business: Too many salespeople are on Public Relations calls; they forget to ask for the order.
  9. Communicate More:  Let the staff (especially the switchboard and front office) know where you are and where you're going to be.
  10. Have Confidence in Yourself and Your Team:  The seller’s confidence in the product results in the potential buyer's confidence, more often than not, results in a sale.
  11. Find Your Balance Between Aggressive and Assertive Selling: Sales isn't an athletic competition where someone wins and the other loses.  Find a happy medium between high and low pressure sales techniques. In fact, a confident professional does not need pressure to close a sale, but rather assists the potential client in solving their needs.  This goes back to #2 – LISTENING MORE.
  12. Keep In Touch Regularly:  Don't lose contact with a prospect. Phone calls, notes, newsletters, even birthday cards, are good ways to remind people that you're still interested in them.

Keys to Success Hospitality Tip of the Week:

Focus on understanding that

"Change is a process, not an event"

Change is also something personal that requires focused and individual attention.   We have all heard the question on change: If we continue to do as we have always done, how can we ever expect to achieve different results?
For hotels and the hospitality industry, the potential for dramatic change in the first 100 days of 2011 is there, as there is finally a sense of optimism in the direction of the economy.   Optimism alone is not action or change, and what do The First 100 Days of 2011 mean for you personally?

What do I personally need to change to make my hotel or hospitality business more successful?

KEYS TO SUCCESS is the umbrella title for my 2011 programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my "HOW TO" articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS, Lessons from the Field, Hotel Common Sense and Principles for Success

Feel free to share an idea for a column at [email protected]  anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.

John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events.  He is Co-Founder of a consortium ( of successful corporate and academic mentors delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing the hospitality industry. is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas that are designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.   Special introductory pricing is in effect for a limited time that also includes a complimentary copy of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD- A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES.  If readers would like to contribute to the site, please submit your material for consideration to [email protected].  We are interested in expanding our global networks and resources as we support our membership.


Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE
[email protected]

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Also See: Making New Year's Hospitality Resolutions Real and Practical; A “Fresh Air- New Ideas” Perspective / Dr. John Hogan / January 2011

Keys to Success: Be Aware of and Work with the Law; Do Not be Afraid of it / Dr. John Hogan / December 2010

Keys to Success: Make Your Hotel More Profitable and Successful – 2011 is the critical time to invest in Your Talent and Your Team / Dr. John Hogan / December 2010

Keys to Success: A Common Sense Approach to Success in the Hospitality Industry; 13 Best Practices for Hospitality Training Managers & Directors / Dr. John Hogan / December 2010

Hospitality Conversations – Looking Ahead! / Dr. John Hogan / November 2010

Learning from The Greatest Business Leaders of the Twentieth Century / Dr. John Hogan / November 2010

Five Considerations in Hiring a Hospitality Consultant; Understanding the Qualifications for Effective Hospitality Consultants / Dr. John Hogan / November 2010

5 Reasons Using A Qualified Consultant Could Make a Huge Difference in Your Hospitality Business / Dr John Hogan / October 2010

Half Luck and Half Brains - Kemmons Wilson's 20 Steps for Success / Dr John Hogan / October 2010

Ten Quotes Addressing the Topic of SERVICE / Dr John Hogan / October 2010

Hospitality Conversations - Understanding the Developing Perspectives in Quality Assurance (Part 2 of 2) / Dr John Hogan / October 2010

Hospitality Conversations – Understanding the Developing Perspectives in Quality Assurance Part 1 of 2 / Dr John Hogan

Hospitality Conversations: Examining the Learning Options Available in the Hospitality Field / Dr John Hogan / July 2010
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