Are you a lot like the thousands I’ve trained in hospitality sales?

hospitality sales training

You know, I think you’re a lot like the 27,000 hospitality sales┬ápros I’ve trained over the last 25 years.

All of these hospitality sales people have entered the field with great aspirations and hopes. It’s all very glamorous to us: hotels, restaurants, food and beverage, banquets, catering and the like. Ever since we were young, going to a hotel, banquet, restaurant, etc. was a very big deal.

But amazingly, the vast majority of us did not take our first hospitality job in the sales department. It’s the glamour and excitement of the hospitality industry itself that first appealed to us.

Then as we get exposed to the different departments and functions of the hotel, we eventually take a longing glance at the people in the sales department.

After all, who are those guys that get to dress sharp, wear their own clothes, and even eat in the restaurant with customers?

And when we did get to work in the hospitality sales department, we find out it’s really a terrific career. We get to work with enthusiastic people who want our services and to have a great time. Often they’re celebrating, or at the very least planning something out of the ordinary.

Our customers come to us wanting and expecting to be treated well, no matter what area of hospitality. And we all truly like to make that happen for them.

But a bit of reality eventually sets in. Not that we’re any less dedicated to helping our customers have a great experience. Not that we don’t actually like that we get to dress sharp to be the “face” of our hotel.

Those of us in hospitality sales learn quickly that this glamorous business is just that: a business.

While the field is glamorous and exciting, we all have to perform. If we’re going to succeed and advance our careers, we have to master the skills that serve our clients and potential clients while turning a profit for our property.

Daily, we have to overcome the obstacles to doing the selling we were hired to do. We have quotas to meet, prospects to call on, clients to service, paperwork to do, and much more.

In short, we have the job of maximizing revenue and profit while giving the customer an outstanding experience that will bring them back again, or at least give us positive referrals.

And I didn’t even mention, all the while we have the competition crawling and scratching for the very same business we’re after.

Frankly, it can all get overwhelming at times. We’d all like to have 30 hours in the day to get more done. Or admit it, wouldn’t we like to be able to clone ourselves from time to time?

Obviously, when it comes to any department of the hotel, people need training. In sales, it’s not just knowing about the hotel and its services, it’s knowing how to sell them.

But how does someone learn to sell? Lots of large hotel chains have great training programs, but it often only goes so far. Many of these programs are centered around systems that are proprietary to the hotel, and many emphasize tactics that are valid only at that particular type of property (resort, city center, airport, etc.) or market.

While these are important skills, many only support the selling function. They don’t necessarily make you a better sales person.

After working many years for a large hotel chain, I sold in a wide variety of markets and types.

And frankly, I was very good at it. Director of Sales and regional sales manager jobs are on my resume.

But I had this nagging feeling that there must be much more to learn. I had to go deeper…much deeper. In fact I was obsessed by it.

After giving this much thought, I had an epiphany. And it served as the launching pad for me to go out on my own to form my own hospitality sales training company.

Next week, I’m going to share with you how I was able to break down barriers and get to the real secrets to great success in hotel sales.

 

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