Hotel Sales Super Star

11/03/2009

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Are You Truly Selling All The Time?

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Seems like a pretty easy question to answer – I am a Sales Manager therefore yes I am selling all the time.  But am I really?  Stop and ask yourself how much of your day really is spent selling?

As Sales Managers in a hotel we are being paid for the primary purpose of finding business for the hotel which therefore translates into revenue.  So why are so many of us finding ourselves spending large portions of our day in tasks that are not in any way contributing to more sales?

You know the tasks I mean!  Tasks like helping out the Front Desk check in a group because you want it to go smoothly, or helping banquets finish setting the ballroom so that it will be ready in time for the Wedding, or hand-delivering revised BEO’s to the kitchen because their printer doesn’t work.

Why do we do all of these tasks?  Well we keep telling ourselves that its because we are taking care of our clients, so we can’t possibly let our friends in the operational departments make a single mistake.  You know what we are?  We are ENABLERS! 

So the end result is that we spend all this time in the operational areas of the hotel sharing their responsibilities.  Sure we are being team players and we are there to make sure that the operations team look good.  But when was the last time your Banquet team offered to come and help with a Sales Blitz?  When was the last time the Chef offered to come and do Prospecting Calls?  When was the last time the Front Office team assisted with responding to RFP’s?

Being team players is very important but there comes a point where you lose the ability to perform successfully in your own role when you are so busy enabling other departments by performing their roles for them.  Every hour that you spend down on the Banquet floor is an hour that you could have been prospecting for new business.  Every minute you spend in the kitchen updating the Chef’s copies of the BEO’s because they haven’t read the change log is valuable time that could have been spent responding to leads.  Every room that you help strip because housekeeping are behind with turning rooms for your big check-in is 15 minutes that you could have used to steal some business from a competitor.

Sometimes you really do have to let go.  Step back from Operations and let them run their own departments. Be cruel in order to be kind.  Yes this could potentially cost you a couple of groups in the short term – if your operations team is not rising to the challenge.  But hold them accountable.  What’s more your operations team may actually surprise you – they may be way better than you actually give them credit.

I suggest that all Sales Managers should keep a tally of how much time you spend on any task other than selling.  Add that time up at the end of the month and determine what percentage of your time you are spending on actually producing business.  Then if your operations team is not on-board, present them with the numbers.

Let me give you an example.  If you determine that you are only spending 50% of your time selling, and last month you booked $100,000 worth of business, that means you COULD have booked $200,000 of business if you weren’t busy enabling all the other departments.  Is your hotel willing to miss out on that much revenue or are they now willing to force the ops teams  to take control.

I say let go – let go now!  Let the operations team run the operation and get back to selling!  Its not easy to let go (ask any parent with a child learning to ride a bike!) but in an economy like this the stakes are too high.  Get back to selling – your operations team is depending on YOU to bring in the revenue!