Smart hospitality sales people use a to-do list

hotel sales managers use a to-do list

Great hospitality sales people use a to-do list every day. It sounds simple and you’ve heard it before, but it’s true.

As you explore our hospitality sales blog posts and training videos, you have no doubt figured out that we are all about isolating those common denominators common to all great hospitality  sales icons. Now let me share with you another of those common denominators that you’ll find of all great hospitality sales pros.

But first, I need to ask you a question. Just between you and me, do you have an up-to-date to-do list right now? These beg the questions…

  • Do you accomplish more on the days that you do a to-do list?
  • What happens on the days that you DON’T create and consult your to-do list?

In our studies of the common denominators of the hospitality sales people that are blasting quota month in and month out, we see that they all recognize that the to-do list is a critical time saving tool. And if you get into the habit of using one properly and consistently, you’ll have new-found time too. This will give you time to do more and get better, and that’s the keep to a great hospitality  sales career.

Our first tip: You start working on the to-do list at the end of every day for tomorrow. The last thing that you do before you go home tonight from your hospitality sales duties is to start your to-do list for the next work day. Two things will occur: First, when you wake up in the middle of the night with that screaming anxiety over the meeting room that needs to be turned, you can calm down because it’s on your to-do list, right where it’s supposed to be. When you come to work the next morning, you will look at your to-do list and get to the tasks on it, hospitality sales items and others.

Two: In addition to creating and referring to your list, you must prioritize the items on it. Some people use a “1-2-3” system, while others use “A-B-C,” and still others use happy face, smiley face, frowny face. You choose what you like best, but personally I use “A-B-C.” Here’s what those letters refer to:

  • It’s a C if nobody needs to know where it is.
  • It’s a B if someone is on the phone asking where the item is.
  • It’s an A if someone is standing at my desk and wants it now.

well, just kidding…more or less. Obviously, the goal here is to spend your time on doing the “A’s.” Items can go up or down the priority list as conditions change (and they will), but this leaves you in control.

But WHEN do you tackle these high-priority tasks? This brings us to an interesting discussion of your peak performance periods, especially regarding your hospitality  sales effectiveness. I heartily recommend that you create a daily diary for two or three weeks to find out when you’re at your best. Obviously we should be planning our most important to-do list items during our peak performance times.

I’ll give you mine, which is an example for a morning person.

Each day I wake up around 5 or 5:30, every morning, whether I’m on the east coast or I’m on the west coast. If I’m back east I’ll wake up 5, 5:30. Here in California I’ll wake up 5, 5:30. And I set the alarm, but I’m almost always up before it, I’m always doing something when the alarm goes off. I do this because I’ve studied my rhythms and history, and I know that I have my maximum energy early in the morning.  I am at my clearest, my brain cells are functioning the best, and I am capable of tackling the most difficult tasks. So I always take the A’s on my to-do list and try and perform them before 11 in the morning.

Around 11 o’clock I begin running out of fuel; I haven’t had much of anything to eat yet, so I’ll begin slowing down. As a result, when lunch time comes around I need food. So I don’t schedule anything from 12 to 2, because I’m usually with customers at lunch.

For me, around 2 o’clock my body begins processing the food; from around 2 o’clock to 3 o’clock I have a lot of trouble focusing. I’m processing the food, my fuel hasn’t turned into energy yet, I really could take a nap standing. So I don’t plan anything difficult between 1:30 and 3, 3:30. It’s my low output time. I’ll do my B and C tasks during that time. But then around 3:30 or 4 o’clock, all the food I’ve had at lunch has begun to process and my energy starts coming back. So from 4 o’clock to 7 or so, I’m back at my maximum output. I’ll put my most difficult tasks again in that time period. Now if I’m going out, I could stay up till two in the morning, I have no problem.

But the point is, do you know what your personal best times are for hospitality sales are? You’re hired for hospitality  sales, so you should do that during your peak periods if at all possible. 

You should do other A’s at this time too. Don’t fake yourself out at the end of the day saying “Well, that was a great day, look at all the Cs I crossed off my list.” Those A’s will keep coming back over and over again with a vengeance. So ask yourself these questions: Must it be done today? What if it’s not done today? What if it never gets done at all?

And my favorite method of classification, can I get someone else to do it?

Posted 8/27/13


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