Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 33

 7.5-MINUTE READING TIME

HAT PORTION OF YOUR TOTAL OCCUPANCY IS
derived from group sales? For most operators, groups
form the cornerstone in the development of the
annual business plan as well as the foundation upon
which other segments are added. They require fewer
resources per guest to complete the booking, they are often
easier to manage from a service standpoint and they can contribute more per average guest to ancillary revenue streams.
Managed by your sales team, group efforts are typically
forecast based upon previous years' volume and cyclical
trends. While that's fine when trends are up, what happens
in those cases when your occupancies have not met expectation? Moreover, how do you know if the number of room
nights your team delivered in previous years is the most they
could accomplish?
A good sales team always wants to learn more, accepts
constructive criticism and is eager to find any way they can
to generate more occupancy. Common to all successful sales
teams are the following mantras or guidelines:
Business is conducted between people, not
companies. With selling being a relationship business, your sales team's contacts are invaluable assets.
Get close to your customer.
Loyalty should never be
taken for granted and a
sales contact should

never be left unattended for a long period of time. Use trade
shows and direct follow-up to maintain these all-important
relationships.
Everyone likes to be sold something. Many people believe
that properties sell themselves but that's hardly the case
and salesmanship is a vital skill to have.
Creativity counts. Boring does not sell and an important
part of the process is making an exciting pitch.
Selling is not a water tap. It cannot be quickly turned on or
off, and as such sales requires planning and patience.
It's always risky business. If your accounting department
likes your sales offers, chances are they probably won't
deliver the level of business you hope they will. Successful
sales programs are always on the cutting edge. Customers
know real deals and if you fool them once, you'll quickly
find that they never return.
Love what you do. Good sales associates are adequate
in what they do while great sales associates sustain the
effort year-in-year-out and are driven by their passion for
the business.
Stay focused. Keep to your core audience at first as your
property is not for everyone nor should it be.
Selling is a team effort. Solo acts rarely sustain themselves,
so keep this in mind when developing your staffing and
general approach.
Sell the sizzle not the steak. Appeal to property's emotional
benefits rather than just the logic-based features.

GETTING STARTED WITH 10 QUESTIONS
In developing any sales plan, it's a good idea to start with the
basics. There are many questions that need to be answered,
and it can be tiring to run through them all. In doing so,
however, you'll be able to work within a framework that will
allow you to maximize marketplace success.
While many of these questions may seem perfunctory, it
is often surprising to discover gaps or disagreements within
the responses that clearly need to be resolved before a plan
is formalized.
What are your property's key features? This may seem
straightforward, but remember that you're looking for a
business-oriented and not a leisure-oriented feature set.
Who are your competitors and how do they compare?
Once again, look at the comp set for groups, which may
be almost completely distinct from the leisure one.
Are your resources up-to-date? While this sounds simple
enough, it's amazing to me to see websites with defunct
occupancy charts, out-of-date photography and discontinued catering menus.
What are your limitations and restrictions? Review calendars and check for local events, citywide activities and
statutory holidays. Understand the impact of planned
renovations on guest and meeting room availability.
TODAYSHOTELIER.COM | NOVEMBER 2017 | 33


http://www.TODAYSHOTELIER.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Today's Hotelier - November 2017

Letter From the Chairman
Letter From the President & CEO
The Perfect Storm for Hotel Owners
Design That Brings People Together
New Brands Design for a New Kind of Hotel Experience
Time for a Group Sales Tune Up
AAHOA Interview
Marketing
Technology
Small Business
Finances
HR
AAHOA @ Industry Events
AAHOA Founding Members
AAHOA Vendor Partners
Classifieds
Advertiser Index
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - intro
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - cover1
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - cover2
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 3
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 4
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 5
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 6
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 7
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 8
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 9
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - Letter From the Chairman
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 11
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - Letter From the President & CEO
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 13
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 14
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 15
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 16
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 17
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 18
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 19
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - The Perfect Storm for Hotel Owners
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 21
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 22
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 23
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - Design That Brings People Together
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 25
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 26
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 27
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - New Brands Design for a New Kind of Hotel Experience
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 29
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 30
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 31
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - Time for a Group Sales Tune Up
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 33
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 34
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 35
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 36
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 37
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - AAHOA Interview
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 39
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - Marketing
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 41
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 42
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 43
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - Technology
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 45
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - Small Business
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 47
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 48
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 49
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 50
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 51
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - Finances
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 53
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 54
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 55
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - HR
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 57
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - AAHOA @ Industry Events
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 59
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - AAHOA Founding Members
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 61
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - AAHOA Vendor Partners
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 63
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 64
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 65
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 66
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 67
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 68
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 69
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 70
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - Classifieds
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 72
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 73
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 74
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 75
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 76
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 77
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 78
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 79
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 80
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - Advertiser Index
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - 82
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - cover3
Today's Hotelier - November 2017 - cover4
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