Hotel sales people need proper training

hotel sales training

Hotel sales people need to have skills, not just “the look.”

Hotel salespeople rarely receive any accelerated training as it relates specifically to their market and the task at hand. We find this is particularly true when there is not some strong corporate presence that provides the training. This is actually the premise around which I’ve built my hotel sales training company.

When I started in the business, I got lucky and worked for someone who took the time to show me how to do it. Others that got lucky turned out to be okay. However, if they didn’t get lucky, they’re still figuring it out. I was with Hyatt for over fourteen years, and as time went on I was considered a very strong and powerful trainer in my hotels. I was looked upon as a real go-to person, and that’s not true. When I look back at it, I am mortified by how weak my training skills were. Here was our idea of good training: first of all, you hire the person that has their tie on straight, that has their hair just right, we hired someone for hotel sales because they’ve got “that look,” right? And they had the right answer to the big question in the interview. The question was “Why do you want to get into sales?”

The big answer that we all give? “Because I really love working with people.” Right answer! Okay, you’re in! That, plus the fact that you’re breathing, makes you an outstanding candidate.

From that point, we have a little training, right? We put them a half a day at the front desk, because Lord knows, we’ve got to get on good terms with those people because they’re the guys who fix all our errors on our rooming lists and on your billing. Then we have to give them a half day of training in reservations because they have to understand all the codes, the category 14s, the best available rate, what is markup, all those types of things.

And then, we take our bright young bushy eyed hotel salesperson back to his or her office or cubicle and we say there’s your desk, there are your computers, good luck, God Bless, my door is always open. But if you think new hires, in the early stages of their hotel sales employment careers are going to ask you a question, you’re sadly mistaken. They are not going to do that, because they just sold you a bill of goods in the interview process and trust me, they’re going to rely on their people skills for their first 90 days. People skills include work ethic, creativity and image projection, and they’re going to hope like crazy that their selling skills, the identification of new accounts, making effective presentation, removing resistance at the point of sale, negotiating and closing somehow develop before they’re discovered.

That’s why a formalized hotel sales training program is crucial. We certainly think that our training blog posts and videos on this site aid in that process. But the process needs to be systematized so that all the relevant points are covered, from the general to the specific. To that end, all hotel sales people should be doing some things the same as everyone else, and different markets need specialized training.

Posted 2/11/13

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  1. Steven
    5 years ago

    I feel lucky because I found your web site.

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