doug kennedy

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doug kennedy

Pro-Active Prospecting Is the Only Way Hotel Sales Staff Can Do Their Most Important Job: Fill in “Gap” Dates

Doug Kennedy | August 22, 2019

By Doug Kennedy In the current market, most hotels, resorts and other venues are experiencing a significant softening in group demand. However, this does not necessarily mean that hotel salespeople are fielding fewer inbound leads, but rather multiple leads are coming in for dates that are in peak demand for transient and for other group business. Here in the era of electronic RFP’s, where one piece of business generates a proposal request for 8, 10 or more properties, hotel salespeople are perhaps busier than ever simply keeping up with what often feels like “lead spam.” Unfortunately though, the time spent responding to electron...

Group Sales Mystery Shopping No Longer Best Way to Measure Sales Effectiveness

Doug Kennedy | July 23, 2019

By Doug Kennedy For decades, hotel management companies and brands have relied on telephone mystery shopping as a primary tool to measure the sales effectiveness of sales and catering sales colleagues. Here’s what to do instead. For decades, hotel management companies have contracted with outside mystery shopping firms to place telephone inquiry calls posing as prospects for groups, events, and corporate accounts, then report back the results. This is typically done once per quarter, and the results are then used as one of the primary benchmark “KPI’s” to evaluate sales colleagues. Many companies even factor performance on myst...

Hotel Sales Negotiating Training, Circa 2020

Doug Kennedy | June 24, 2019

By Doug Kennedy As a conference speaker and trainer, I am finding that one of my most requested topics lately is hotel sales negotiating techniques. Based on the initial inquiries received, I get the impression that many hotel leaders still view negotiating as being a separate part of the selling process such as it was originally taught in 1990’s era training. These days, successful negotiating starts from how one handles leads at their “intake point,” which is important in order to maximize effectiveness further along in the sales engagement. First, let’s look at where in the sales process negotiating is taking place in the era...

How to Register Your Front Desk Staff to Become “Certified in the Heart of Hospitality”

Kennedy Training Network | May 23, 2019

In the era of online reviews and social media, guest experiences at the front desk impact the financial success of your hotel. First impressions formulated at check-in bias guests' overall opinions, whether for better or for worse. If you're looking to refocus your team on the essentials of hospitality excellence, it's easy to register your staff to become Certified in the Heart of Hospitality. For a fee of just $995 total, you can certify up to 3 managers and 6 front desk colleagues; additional staff can be certified for $99 each at any time. Here's How It Works: First, KTN presents a live "kick-off" webinar f...

What Hotels Can Learn From Delta Airlines About Personalized Guest Engagement

Doug Kennedy | May 3, 2019

By Doug Kennedy My career as a hotel industry trainer and conference speaker keeps me on the road nearly every week, so I try to take advantage of every available travel perk. Living in the Ft. Lauderdale / Miami area, I am fortunate to have two major airports within 35 minutes, and with this being a popular tourism destination there is a wide selection of non-stop flights. Therefore, I cannot always remain loyal to just one airline because it's hard to justify wasting time taking a connecting flight, or perhaps spending an extra night on the road, just to earn miles. As a result, I have premium status with several airlines each year. I...

Sales “Steps” and “Funnels” Are SO 1990’s; Here’s What It Takes for Hotel Sales Success in 2019

Doug Kennedy | April 11, 2019

By Doug Kennedy While the hotel sales environment has completely transformed, hotel sales training models seem to be stuck in the 1990's. When I meet hotel leaders at industry conferences it seems most recognize the profound changes such as the emergence of third-party planners and the migration to online RFP tools (CVENT, CVB Platforms and social sites such as The Knot.) Yet most leaders seem to be unclear on what it takes to outsell the competition these days. As a conference speaker, I often sit-in on sessions delivered by others as I'm always eager to learn. From what I see, most sales related training recycles one of three traditio...

“Heart Failure”: The Leading Cause of Bad Reviews

Doug Kennedy | March 20, 2019

By Doug Kennedy When you read a cross-section of negative comments from online reviews and guest surveys, it's easy to recognize a common theme across all lodging operations: "Heart failure." More specifically, I am referring to the failure to understand the true heart of hospitality, which is "caring about as well as caring for others." When we care "for" others, we provide the minimal requirements of a positive guest stay, the foundation of which is a clean, well maintained "physical product," (the accommodation and public facilities), delivered promptly and efficiently. Yet when we care "about" others, we understand the hospitality b...

Limited and Select Service Hotels: 5 Ways Your Front Desk Staff Can Increase Direct Bookings and Cut Distribution Costs

Doug Kennedy | January 15, 2019

By Doug Kennedy Like all segments of the hotel industry, limited and select service hotels are seeing distribution costs eating away at top-line profits. Of course OTA's and other third parties are important to the channel mix. However, the colleague at your front desk right now can be your hotel's best resource for increasing the most profitable of all channels, which is of course your direct bookings. Not only do reservations that are made directly have the lowest acquisition costs, but they also tend to have a higher ADR. The following are some action steps and then five training tips for your segment of the lodging industry. Action ...

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