Hotel sales clients: are you calling on the right ones?

research your customers

Hotel sales people, when we studied them, are often calling on the wrong customers.

Hotel sales people are simply not focusing on target markets that yield the highest return for the time that they invest. Often, this means that the director of sales has the hotel sales staff deployed incorrectly.

However, it is more common that the hotel sales person is spending time soliciting clients that have little or no chance of doing business with their hotel. The reasons they won’t be their hotel sales clients vary greatly: maybe their hotel is too big or perhaps it’s too small;  too near from the client or attendees, or too far; too expensive or not upscale enough; it’s a resort and the client does intense business seminars.

In short, what you’ve got, they’re not buying.

We find this particularly true with new young hotel sales people. This is a common scene for them at the end of the day. They meet with the Director of Sales, and the DoS says, “Hey William, how did you do today?”

hotel sales manager and director of sales

His response it, “I had a pretty good day. I made all the calls you assigned me to.”

The DoS says, “So how many customers did you talk to?” (That is our currency by which we measure everything, isn’t it — how many customers do you speak to?)

“Well, I talked to 20 hotel sales customers today!”

The DoS is happy to hear this and says “Well, that is a good day. What’d you book by the end of it?”


“Were you able to book anything tentative?

“Well, I, er, um…”

“Well how many outside sales calls did you set up?”


“Were you able to set up any site inspections for the customers to come over here?”

“Well, I, Um, er, uh…” William is starting to do a pretty good Porky Pig imitation — that’s all folks!

Finally the DoS has to request, “Let me see your list.”

Much to the disappointment of the Dos, he sees that the list of customers that the hotel sales manager has been working from contains far too many names of clients who would never use their hotel, for the reasons listed above — and a million more.

William spent his whole day calling on customers that in a million years could never use his hotel!

Folks, this might sound harsh, but if you are like William, the way you are wasting the money the hotel pays you, you might as well  just go to the restaurant or front desk, open up the cash drawer and help yourself.

The lesson: qualify the hotel sales accounts you call on — you’ve got to do your research. There are just too many good resources out there for hotel sales people to just guess.

Posted 9/11/13

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