Hotel sales managers shake hands well

Hotel sales managers shake hands well

Hotel sales managers know how to properly shake hands

There are all manner of things a hotel sales manager can do to offend a client. Now I don’t want to make you paranoid, but I do want to give you a heads up.

We do a lot of research into what it takes for a hotel sales manger to get a piece of business. We interview planners about this, and it’s surprising how often we hear that hotel sales managers often don’t know how to shake hands. Amazing but true, so hotel sales managers, take notice — don’t fail this!

There’s only one handshake in American business. There used to be two…a business handshake and then a man-to-woman handshake. Now there is a man-to-woman handshake in some places in the South. It’s really a gentrified handshake, but that’s not a good business handshake. It might still have applicability in social settings but the hotel sales manager has to use a business handshake.

I’ll tell you about the handshake that hotel sales managers should use, whether it’s two men, two women, a man and a woman — it makes no difference. After all, we’re in the 21st century now!

But first, before the handshake itself, consider these factors.

If you have naturally cold hands, keep your right shaking hand in your pocket to warm it up for awhile before entering the handshake situation. And if your hand is damp, try casually wiping it off in your pocket, the back or side of your jacket or pants, a napkin, etc. shortly before the handshake. And if your hands tend to sweat a lot, and you’re expected to be doing a lot of handshaking at an event, try putting some unscented antiperspirant on your hand prior.

Also, if you are carrying a drink or food, hold the drink in your left hand to avoid a clammy right hand when shaking. If caught with the food in your shaking hand, set the food down if it is convenient. If unable to do so, smile and apologize for having your hands full.

There are other pre-handshake considerations for the hotel sales manager.

When one or both of you have their hands full, and if it would be inconvenient for you to set down the object(s), simply nod and smile, and try to make verbal acknowledgment of the other person. Rearranging a loaded hand just for the handshake could lead to awkwardness, possibly breaking what you are carrying. That embarrassment obviously wouldn’t be worth the handshake.

Other difficult pre-shake situations exist for the hotel sales manager. I there is a large table between you and the other party, shaking in impractical, so simply smile, nod, and verbally acknowledge the introduction. If you are behind a desk, get up, walk around, and then offer your hand. Do not offer the handshake from behind your desk since this could convey an air of mistrust.

When you are sitting, unless you are physically incapable, always stand for a handshake. You should also stand without a handshake for an introduction where the other party is standing too far to shake, such as if they are standing at the far side of a table at which you are seated. When the other party is of much higher status, and you have nothing of value to discuss shaking hands just to introduce yourself may make you seem forward or pushy.

Let me add here, that if someone doesn’t follow one of these rules and offers his or her hand, the hotel sales manager should reciprocate if at all possible so as not to embarrass the other person.

Now, here’s how the hotel sales manager should shake hands in any business situation. Open your right hand wide (one) and reach it forward, make sure the webs of your two hands hit first (two), look the other person right in the eye and shake firmly for 1-3 seconds (three) and out. 1-2-3, get out.

Hopefully it will be no news to the savvy hotel sales manager, but your grip should be firm but not crushing or weak.

For the hotel sales manager (and all of us) delivering a correct handshake can make or break your first impression on another person. A shake that’s too weak can convey weakness or lack of self-confidence, while one that’s too strong can convey hostility. A well-executed handshake shows self-confidence, trust, and a true interest in the other party.

As a test, I recommend that you practice with friends or others you trust, and ask how you might improve. It’s always a great asset for a hotel sales manager to have a good handshake.

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Posted 10/1/12

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