Hotel sales people: do you take on too much?

Flexibility is key to book business when you need it

Hotel sales people instinctively try to do too much.

Hotel sales people are the shining example of our industry’s high motivation and high energy. The vast majority of us are alpha males or alpha females. We’re all moving a zillion miles an hour, but we must be in control. I often speak about the fact that hotel sales people have to slow down and be directed in what you’re doing.

So… with all your enthusiasm and abilities, are you trying to do too much?

Brian Tracy is a terrific trainer in a vast number of business skills, among them time management. He teaches that efficient delegation is a desirable trait in managers, and he’s right. And we want clear lines of communications with our superiors, so that we know what is expected of us and where our priorities are. If we don’t know what’s expected of us, we’ll be floundering in our job. This is true in any management relationship, not just hotel sales.

In addition to the managerial aspects of delegation, we’re also talking about a great tool for time management. Something that can really get we hotel sales people in trouble is called lateral delegation.

We’ve all been there. When one of your colleagues from sales or another department comes into our office and asks, “Hey, can you help me out with this?” Since we are alpha-types and are in the service business because we want to be people-pleasers, our first response is always 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 us to do it.

The problem is, by saying “Yes” we’ve made it harder to devote our own time to completing our own tasks and goals. What we need to do is be able to say “Listen, I am ferociously loyal, you know I’ll do anything you ask, but here’s my to-do list today. I have a lunch and two site inspections. So I appreciate that you need my help and trust me to handle this, and if you really need my help, fine.”

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

His or her response might then be “Gee, I forgot you had those site inspections and the lunch, so let me get someone else to do it, or let’s do it after five o’clock. Or maybe we can get two people to help out, and 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? Know how to politely resist if it interferes with your priorities.

Posted 6/10/13


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