Hotel Owners Linking Higher Yield from More Personalized, Direct Selling – The Best of David Brudney

While some things change in hotels, certain fundamentals remain intact.

Enjoy this Guest blog re-posting from the BEST OF DAVID BRUDNEY

Hotel Owners and Operators Expecting Higher Yield from Increases in More Personalized, Direct Selling Expenses


REPOSTED JULY 2016

While sales and marketing-related labor costs have experienced moderate growth and advertising has declined, more dollars are being directed to “Selling” expenses, according to a recent article by PKF Consulting (“Focus of Hotel Sales Personnel to Shift from Selling Room Nights to Capturing More Dollars”, by Robert Mandelbaum and Viet Vo).

 “If you’re selling a service, you’re selling a relationship”
Harry Beckwith

“Selling” expenses – – trade shows, travel, and prospect and client entertainment – – grew 9.2 percent in 2006, by far the largest increase of all major cost categories for sales and marketing departments, according to the PKF article.

What this information suggests is that maybe hotel owners and operators have rediscovered the importance and value of more personalized direct selling as a means to increasing revenue through higher average daily rates.

And doesn’t it suggest also that after investing millions of dollars in new technology, embracing state-of-the-art CRM, Sales and catering software and group database programs, managing the Internet distribution channels better and creating powerful, interactive websites and blogs, focus may be shifting now from technology based selling back to relationship based selling?

If so, hallelujah!  A primary message repeated in so many past articles of mine has been the concern I have over an entire new generation of hospitality sales professionals that have mastered the art of technology based selling while forsaking the timeless skills required in relationship based selling.

“Only a computer wants to do business with another computer.  People respond to people”   Harvey Mackay  

We’ve created a generation that prefers e-mails over phone calls, text messaging over personal sales calls and computer time over trade shows and travel.

E-mails and text messaging have become a necessity in all of our business and social lives.  No argument here.

But today’s direct sales teams must be adept at leveraging the value and impact of all of these communication and data exchange tools – – technology and relationship based – –  and understand when and where best to employ each.

Now that hotels have re-staffed their sales force “in an effort to capture group business and implement yield management strategies,”  according to PKF, I believe that owners, asset managers and operators will be looking to the direct sales teams to drive even higher group room rates in 2008.

This will pose no small challenge now with supply having caught up with demand and meeting planners, eager for the pendulum to swing back to more of a buyers’ market, having grown tired of paying top rates with fewer options.

 

Owners and operators’ expectations will be high and scrutiny will be intense.  There will be little, if any, patience or tolerance for direct sales teams that continue discounting practices to book group business.

Will direct sales teams respond to the challenge?  Have too many become too comfortable during the prolonged sellers’ market of recent years?  Have too many become too reactive and less proactive?  Have too many lost that selling “edge”?

The true test might be which sales departments have the experience and skills required to capture higher rates?  Which sales teams have benefitted from management’s commitment to advanced professional sales training during the recent span of high profits?

Let the real selling begin.

 

By David M. Brudney, ISHC, December 2007

© Copyright 2007

David M. Brudney, ISHC, a nationally recognized spokesman for hotels and a veteran with four decades of experience, is the principal of David Brudney & Assoc. of Carlsbad, CA

David Brudney & Associates- Hospitality Marketing Consultants

 

Hospitality Tip of the Week from HospitalityEducators.com

Crowne Plaza

A Providence RI hotel salutes its’ customers and staff in a special way.

(A special tribute to Southwest Airlines crew, which is known for their unique approaches to customer service)

How do you say THANK YOU to your best guests?

 

Success does not come by accident or chance.

Contact us for assistance.

Hospitality.jpg

Kathleen Hogan Ireland Sept 2013John J. Hogan CHA CHE CHO and Kathleen Hogan  MBA CHO are the  co-founders of  HospitalityEducators.com, which was created in 2010 to be a resource for hotel owners and professionals as they sought to improve market share, occupancy, operational efficiency and profitability.

The husband and wife team are transitioning the original membership site concept and evolving the business model today to a focused resource offering consulting, training, and individualized support to both hospitality and other service businesses.   Services include keynote addresses workshops, online support, metrics measurement, marketing and customer service from a group of more than a dozen experienced professionals.   While continuing to serve hospitality, the demand for these types of services is growing and can be personalized.

John Hogan is also the principal of HoganHospitality.com, which provides a range of expert professional services for hotel owners, including professional development for organizations, training, consulting and expert witness services.

John Hogan Sept 2013DSCN0215

Contact information:  Kathleen Hogan  480-436-0283,

John Hogan

602-799-5375 or service@hospitalityeducators.com

Workshops Available include: 

From the Chalkboard to the Front Line

What They Don’t Teach You at Hotel School

Focus:

  • Hotel Profitability
  • Hotel Sales
  • Marketing Ideas
  • Hotel Operations

There will always be an ongoing debate on the comparative merits of experience versus the knowledge acquired in formal educational settings.   The best lessons anyone can learn from hotel schools include an awareness of what really occurs on the front line in the actual hospitality setting.  This keynote transitions the academic message to the real world of running a profitable hospitality business.

 Click    here   for Keynotes and Workshops Available 

http://www.HoganHospitality.com
Your Hospitality Resource for Hotel Owners, Innkeepers, Managers and Associations

Ten ways to reach 5,000+ potential customers for under $500| HospitalityEducators.com Tip of the Week

Over the last several years, I have shared ideas in columns that have  addressed the guest experience and delivering service.  These columns have generated a high level of reader interest and a future article will recap of some of their comments on impressions of service levels, customer expectations and service codes.

An underlying theme in these columns is the ongoing need for all of us to retain the “high touch” personality that is the heart in hospitality.  Technology is an important ingredient in the guest experience, but it is not the reason guests list when sharing why they make the decision to return to a hotel or to demonstrate loyalty.

Time for reflection

If you think back on your career, a major step was when you were entitled to your first business card.  That “entitlement” was sort of a rite of passage – a sign of having “made it.”  Chances are that you gave that card to as many people as you could – at least for a while.  As time wore on, you did not have to re-print as many as the first year.  Other things took priority. Technology took more of our time and communication focus.

Many successful people continue to re-order their cards regularly, as they find that business cards are one of the most under-utilized sales tools in the hospitality industry by many people.

Today, successful hoteliers, sales managers, general managers and owners value this low-cost, easy-to-carry, easy-to distribute sales piece as one of their most valuable tools. Prior to the late 1990s, most business cards were fairly basic – name, title, company name and address, phone number and perhaps the company slogan or motto.  Today’s cards contain much more information

  • the above basics
  • proper brand identity if you belong to a referral group or franchise
  • email and web-site address
  • social media information
  • cell or home number if you have the kind of position or personality that is service sensitive enough to warrant the kind of commitments that tell existing and POTENTIAL customers that you care MORE than your competition.  (Yes, I have a bias here regarding service.)

Today’s cards may be a dual or a tri-fold in design, listing

  • your property’s facilities in some detail, such as number and types of accommodations
  • banquet or meeting capacity
  • special services, such as saunas or spas, casinos or recreational facilities
  • amenities such as managers’ receptions or continental breakfast

Some include detailed maps from nearby interstate highways and others feature four-color photographs of the hotel or perhaps the view from the hotel’s front door.  The decision is yours on content, but your local printer, hotel association or franchise director can give you a wealth of options that have been successful for others.

After the cards are printed, what is next? The next is the fun AND critical part of using them effectively: distribution.

Following are some ideas we have seen used at hotels throughout the world:

  1. As an introduction to almost everyone you meet for the first time  – one never knows when they might need lodging/meeting/food services in your area
  2. In all correspondence – even with technology, everyone has some kind of card case or the option to paste the info into their computer from your card
  3. In all billing – a thank you on the back of your card can have great goodwill!
  4. In all payments – your suppliers also need edging/meeting/food services in your area at some point. We must all learn to regularly ASK FOR THE SALE!
  5. At all industry and business meetings – we all need to network
  6. In your restaurant – if you meet and greet guests (as either the GM, sales manager or restaurant manager). Let them know you care about them
  7. At check-in/out – A rack at the desk works for some hotels, but a sales manager or GM personally thanking EXISTING guests at checkout and asking them to return impresses many travelers.  Giving business cards is a reminder of the experience that they might relate to others back home. This is great referral potential and a way to build guest loyalty.
  8. For complimentary or discounting purposes when appropriate
  9. With all sales and marketing promotional pieces – put a name with the hotel and finally
  10. As a thank-you; a personal note is just that – a time taking, individualized sign of appreciation.

Business cards today can cost as little as five cents each.  Giving 20 out per business day equals roughly 100 per week, 450 per month and 5,400 per year. Can you think of any other personally delivered message that exists for under $500 a year?

              “In sales, you must make the customer remember you”                                            Victor Kiam, former owner, New England Patriots,  Former CEO, Remington Shavers

Keys to Success Hospitality Tip of the Week:

Focus on Operations & Profitability Recognize that supporting and offering English as a 2nd Language is an investment, not an expense for many areas in the hotel. It helps everyone to improve communication, to feel more involved and that the person learning English is cared about as an individual by the employer.

Feel free to share an idea for a column at  John@hoganhospitality.com anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements …………. And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.  602-799-5375 

As Co-Founder of a consortium (www.HospitalityEducators.com) of successful corporate and academic mentors delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing the hospitality industry, I invite readers to visit our site that offers a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas that are designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.

Consulting Expertise and Research Interest

  1. Sales Management and training
  2. Turn-around and revenue management
  3. Professional Development for the Organization and the Individual
  4. Customer Service
  5. Making Cultural Diversity Real
  6. Developing Academic Hospitality programs
  7. Medical Lodging Consulting

If you need assistance in any of these areas or simply an independent review or opinion on a hospitality challenge, contact me directly for a prompt response and very personalized attention.

www.HoganHospitality.com Your Hospitality Resource for Hotel Owners, Innkeepers, Managers and Associations

90 Days to Success in Sales| Recommended Reading by HospitalityEducators.com

90 days to sales success

When I review and read a business book, I tend to compartmentalize it for content, approach, flow and conclusion. In this book, the author has generally done a solid job of planning, relating and summarizing the intent and value to be found in the work.

Overall, I believe this is a solid reference for someone who is new to selling, regardless of age. It has substance for those in career change situations, as well as those just entering the field from college. Hoxie asserts throughout the book that being a professional and successful sales professional is an ongoing commitment to building rapport, honest customer relationships and follow through.

The book is broken into 15 main topics areas
1. Sales basics
2. Initial prospecting
3. Initial sales meetings
4. Presentations, solutions
5. Closing
6. Objections
7. Goal setting
8. Continual prospecting
9. Industry specifics
10. The life of a salesperson
11. Sales management
12. Retail sales
13. Your 90 day plan
14. Beyond 90 days
15. Thirty three AST (I will not give the abbreviations away, but they are right on)

Hoxie properly opines that not all sales jobs are worth taking and that are clear benefits and downsides in selling. Each chapter covers a particular topic and offers suggestions and ideas. I do not totally understand the sequence of certain chapters, but that is the author’s perspective. It did seem the title of the book (90 day plan) would be introduced before the next to last chapter, but it does share some good concepts.

This book is very detailed and structured and I believe most readers will appreciate the easy to follow case studies and the pros and cons that are included along the way. The action steps offered are also a positive addition to this kind of book, as they could help guide readers in a week by week channel of activities.

The chapter on objection handling with specific phrases (“I’m on a budget,” “I need to ask….,” or “Can’t you do better on price” etc.) is an excellent practice field for almost anyone , with are scripted answers that could help the novice or uncertain person.

There are industry specific Q&A’s on selling advertising, real estate, services and different kinds of products. Hoxie highlights the common error in sales and marketing of focusing too much time and money on new potential clients, rather than appreciating the existing base.

I recommend this as A Solid Work for Those New to Sales

John J. Hogan CHA CMHS CHE CHO
HoganHospitality
HospitalityEducators

Hospitality.jpg

Kathleen Hogan Ireland Sept 2013

John J Hogan CHA CMHS CHE CHO and Kathleen Hogan MBA CHO are the co-founders of HospitalityEducators.com, which was created in 2010 to be a resource for hotel owners and professionals as they sought to improve market share, occupancy, operational efficiency and profitability.

 

The husband and wife team are transitioning the original membership site concept and evolving the business model today to a focused resource offeringJohn Hogan Sept 2013DSCN0215 consulting, training, and individualized support to both hospitality and other service businesses.   Services include keynote addresses workshops, online support, metrics measurement, marketing and customer service from a group of more than a dozen experienced professionals.   While continuing to serve hospitality, the demand for these types of services is growing and can be personalized.

John Hogan is also the principal of HoganHospitality.com, which provides a range of expert professional services for hotel owners, including professional development for organizations, training, consulting and expert witness services.

 

Contact information:  Kathleen Hogan  480-436-0283, John Hogan 602-799-5375 or  service@hospitalityeducators.com

Workshops Available: 

 Lessons From the Field:   A Common Sense Approach to Effective Hotel Sales 

A to Z Steps to Profits

45 Proven Ways to Succeed in Hospitality in Any Economy

Hotel Sales Action Steps to Succeed – Anytime, Anywhere 

10 Hotel Mistakes to Avoid in Selling 

Resolving Problems between the Boss and Yourself | Dr. Marc Clark Guest Blog from HospitalityEducators.com

Resolving Problems between the Boss and Yourself

Use the following checklist to assist you when dealing with problems.

When a potential or real problem arises:

  1. Acknowledge that there is a problem. Most problems with a boss are resolved by accommodation
  2. Identify possible solutions in dealing with the problem.
  3. Contact boss about the problem and set up discussion time.

During the meeting:

  1. Inform boss of the problem. Use disarming tactic to reveal the problem: “Boss, I need your help in dealing with a situation.”
  2. Acknowledge the boss’s position of authority in dealing with the problem.
  3. State the problem objectively.
  4. Be mindful of a threatening response. Example: “Are you suggesting that I might be the problem?”
  5. Ask your boss for possible recommendations and solution options in dealing with the problem.
  6. Thank the boss for his or her time, courtesy, and assistance with the matter.

After the meeting:

  • Follow up. Tell the boss how the solution is working.

TIPS TO PONDER:

  1. Do not take the problem personally.
  2. Empathize by putting yourself in your boss’s shoes.
  3. Be an active listener to his or her responses.
  4. Be open-minded.
  5. Don’t attempt to change the subject.
  6. Don’t interrupt; you will get a chance to speak.
  7. Maintain personal integrity.

Dr. Marc Clark, CHA, CHRE, CHE, CHO
President & CEO at SmartBizzOnLine.com

Conflict with your boss is always uncomfortable.  These tips offer tangible ways to address this situation.

Recommended Reading from HospitalityEducators.com – From Hotels to HTMLs

 

From Hotels to HTMLs: A Complete Guide to Internet Marketing for the Lodging Industry by Anil Aggarwal, Benu Aggarwal
” 5.0 out of 5 stars On Target!,

This one-of-a-kind book offers practical, proven information for hotel professionals on all aspects of Internet marketing, which hoteliers can use to improve their revenue and online presence.

All the strategies illustrated – from traditional search engine marketing to mobile, social media, e-mail, and website optimization – have been successfully deployed to create good return on investment for client hotels of Milestone Internet Marketing.

The book provides practical tips in easy-to-understand language, and offers nearly a dozen handy checklists to monitor a property’s Internet marketing progress.

I have watched the author’s progress in helping hoteliers the past ten years and I extend her our compliments.

Dr. John Hogan CHA CHE CMHS
HospitalityEducators
Hogan Hospitality

Success in hotels and hospitality does not come by accident or chance.

We can help

John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com or 602-799-5375

 

HospitalityEducators.com was created to help hospitality businesses address problems via a training and information resource site to help you increase your Hotel’s revenue, market share and profitability.  With more than 2,000 pages of tips, guides, best practices, strategies, plans, budgets, videos and resources, HospitalityEducators.com is the #1 independent website for hotel owners and managers.  This site can help you solve your problems now!      Read More  

KEYS TO SUCCESS  is the umbrella title for our programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my “HOW TO” articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS™, Lessons from the Field™, Hotel Common Sense™ , THE P-A-R PRINCIPLE™  and Principles for Success.

Feel free to share an idea for a column at john.hogan@hospitalityeducators.com   anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense,


 Dr. John Hogan CHA CHE Boston Dec  2010

John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is CEO and Co-Founder of HospitalityEducators.com , which has more than 2000 resource pages and has become the #1 independent website for hotel owners and managers. He is also the Principal of HoganHospitality.com, which offers hotel expert witness services and hospitality consulting.

Contact us for assistance – John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com 602-799-5375 HoganHospitality.com : john@hoganhospitality.com

KEYS TO SUCCESS is the umbrella title for our programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my “HOW TO” articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS™, Lessons from the Field™, Hotel Common Sense™, THE P-A-R PRINCIPLE™ and Principles for Success.

Building Profits – one step at a time | Insights from HospitalityEducators.com

Building Profits – one step at a time

Profit – noun

  • a financial gain, esp. the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying,
  • operating, or producing something : pretax profits | his eyes brightened at the prospect of profit.
  • advantage; benefit

Profitability – adjective

  • (of a business or activity) yielding profit or financial gain.
  • beneficial; useful
  • One of the reasons that people own hotels is for the potential of profitability, both operationally and the
  • longer term increase in the asset value.

Like many industries, the lodging segment of the hospitality industry has its cycles.

The global market place has been adding different dimensions with increasing competition and changing dynamics in both supply additions and demand options.

This resource examines 13 specific strategies that are aimed at improving revenues and monitoring expenses. Examples of international currency are included with each strategy.

1.  Create or participate in a sales blitz campaign with your brand, regional partners, co-op or local Convention and Visitors’ Bureau (CVB)

In this day of global choices and at times illogical discounting, the need to keep your hospitality business name and identity visible and fresh in the minds of existing and potential customers.

Working with others in a collaborative effort will increase your market presence and  will allow you to promote your business in professional and synergistic ways.

Sales blitzes are often supported by online, mail and advertising efforts as well.

The full set of strategies is available at http://www.HospitalityEducators.com with the title

Watch this blog for the remaining BUILDING PROFITS Steps and Suggestions

MAKE YOUR HOTEL MORE PROFITABLE   NOW

Success does not come by accident or chance.

Contact us for assistance.

John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com or 602-799-5375

HospitalityEducators.com was created to help hospitality businesses address problems via a training and information resource site to help you increase your Hotel’s revenue, market share and profitability.  With more than 1,000 pages of tips, guides, best practices, strategies, plans, budgets, videos and resources, HospitalityEducators.com is the #1 independent website for hotel owners and managers.  This site can help you solve your problems now!      Read More  

KEYS TO SUCCESS  is the umbrella title for my 2011-2012 programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my “HOW TO” articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS™, Lessons from the Field™, Hotel Common Sense™ , THE P-A-R PRINCIPLE™  and Principles for Success.

Feel free to share an idea for a column at john.hogan@hospitalityeducators.com   anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense,


 

John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is CEO and Co-Founder of www.HospitalityEducators.com , which delivers focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today.
www.HospitalityEducators.com  is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.

www.HoganHospitality.com
Your Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations.