Every person brings their own set of expertise and experiences to their role. But there are certain skills that every hotel sales professional needs.
Here are the top 7 skills we believe are vital for every hotel sales professional.
1. Listening Skills
Highly developed listening skills are vital to sales success. Active listening helps to capture not only the information being shared, but the emotions, feelings and challenges behind the words – and it’s when you address those emotions and challenges that you can really tailor your sales message to win over your audience.
Exceptional listening skills let you identify extra opportunities, including those that might not have been obvious prior to the meeting.
Being an effective listener also builds trust and a stronger relationship with your client.
2. Communication Skills
Communication is at the centre of any sales role. Sales people need outstanding written and verbal communication skills. They need to be engaging and persuasive on the phone, in person and in written materials.
But this doesn’t mean they need to be overly corporate or stuffy. If your communication is easy to read/listen to, clear and down-to earth, you make life easier for your potential clients. And most importantly, don’t waste your clients’ time – short, concise and to the point (while remaining friendly and approachable) is always best.
To be an effective sales person, it’s important to be able to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. When you’re able to do this, you really understand their situation, you can imagine the pressures they’re feeling, and you can identify with the feelings they’re experiencing. Each of these insights helps you to identify the “need behind the need” so you can truly help to solve their problems and create a solution targeted to them. And of course, this leads to a much higher chance of converting their business.
4. Follow Up and Follow Through
Good sales professionals always do what they say they will do. Customers have an expectation that you’ll follow-through on the commitments you make as quickly as possible, and one way to really lift the customer experience is to keep the client informed of progress, rather than waiting for them to chase up the information.
Another important skill is to be able to follow-up with clients or re-engage down the track without being pushy, spammy or too aggressive.
5. Networking Skills
Travel and hospitality are a competitive industries and the biggest opportunities lie in the relationships you can create. Successful sales professionals have a highly-developed ability to network in a genuine, authentic way. This is not about handing out or collecting the most business cards, but developing strong, mutually beneficial relationships.
6. Time Management Skills
From networking, prospecting, cold calling, organising famils, hosting site inspections, managing follow-up, managing your CRM and reporting – there are so many tasks that make up a hotel sales professional’s day. The ability to focus, prioritise, time block, manage tasks and meet deadlines is vital to doing the job well.
Rejection and lost business are par for the course for any sales professional – but skilled sales people know that a “no” just means “no for now”. In the face of rejection they persist in identifying leads, in following up and in staying in touch. They are skilled in managing their emotions and energy to bounce back from rejections and get on with the job.
When recruiting our own sales staff, these are the seven skills we look for alongside technical sales skills and key personality traits. What other skills would you add to the list?