Hospitality sales: do you try to do too much?

hospitality sales discussion

Hospitality sales people just naturally try to do too much.

Hospitality sales people are the epitome of the industry’s high motivation and high energy. Most of us are alpha males or alpha females. We’re all moving a million miles an hour, but we’ve got to be in control. I often preach that hospitality sales people have to slow down and be clear of what you’re doing.

With all your enthusiasm and abilities, are you trying to do too much?

I enjoy reading the work of Brian Tracy, who is a terrific trainer in a vast number of business skills, among them time management. Brian writes that efficient delegation is a desirable trait in managers, and he’s right, of course. And we want clear lines of communications with our boss, so that we know what is expected of us and what our priorities are. If you don’t know what’s expected of you, you’ll be floundering in your job. This is true in any management relationship, not just hospitality sales.

In addition to the managerial aspects of delegation, it is also a great time management tool. And that’s something that can really get the hospitality sales person in trouble. It’s called lateral delegation.

You know, when one of your colleagues from sales or another department comes into your office and says, “Hey, can you help me out with this?” Because we are alpha-types and are in the service business because we want to please people, our first response is always that  you want to help. And then that person is going to walk back to their office, pull out their to-do list, and they’re going to scratch that off their to-do list because they got you to do it.

The problem is, by saying “Yes” you’ve made it harder to devote time to completing your own tasks and goals. What you need to do is be able to say “Listen, I’ve got to be honest with you, I am ferociously loyal, I will take a bullet for you, you know I’ll do anything you ask, but look at my to-do list today. I’ve got lunch and three site inspections. As a result, I appreciate that you need my help and if you really need my help, fine.”

If it’s your boss, you really can’t get out of it so you’ve got to respond nicely but effectively say “What on my to-do list is not going to get done today?” Let your boss have the choice.

“Gee, I forgot you had those three site inspections and a lunch, let me get someone else to do it, or let’s do it after five o’clock. Maybe let’s see if we can’t get two people to help out, maybe we can get it done.” Whatever the solution is, give your boss or colleague some choices.

Are you trying to do too much because others drop things on you?

Posted 5/13/13


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