Who are your salesmen (and women)? – Part 1

Over the next few days you will read about how you can get the best from your staff and find out how they could improve sales within your business.

When I’m delivering customer service or sales training in hotels or hospitality businesses I often ask the question; “Who here has a responsibility for selling?” Obviously all the people with the word sales in their job title put their hands up, but they are usually the only ones. Surely everyone in your hotel or hospitality business will have an impact on sales, regardless of their role, and whether they are front or back of house.

 

First impressions

Guests’ and prospects’ first impressions will certainly  influence their level of spending. This is not just down to how the phone is answered or the welcome from reception on arrival, but it’s what your guests see and hear from behind the scenes. What response do they get from off-duty staff when they drive into your car park, or even down the high street close by. Wherever your staff are where they can be recognised as staff (because they are in uniform, or have already had dealings with your guests) they are bound to make an impression.

Picture the scene: you drive along the street approaching the hotel and you see two staff in uniform fooling around with loutish behaviour. You pull into the car park only to find that all the choice parking  spaces close to the hotel entrance are filled with (dirty) staff cars. You park at the far end of the car park and whilst struggling with your heavy suitcase you pass by another member of staff who does nothing to acknowledge you. Tucked away in a corner you see a little huddle of chefs and waiters puffing on their cigarettes. On entering the hotel a member of staff is leaving, but fails to hold the door for you, let alone greet you.

Check-in is swift but you’ve booked a standard room on a room only basis, and you are given no other information about any of the services or facilities that the hotel has to offer.

So within the space of about five minutes just how many opportunities have been lost to create a great first impression and create the right mind-set for your guests to want to spend their hard earned cash?

 

What contributes?

Your staff’s ability to encourage sales will be dependent on a number of factors:

  • Their behaviours, conduct and appearance
  • A knowledge of your customers’ needs and
    expectations, and of the products and services
  • Their skills and confidence in the sales process
  • Being given the right incentives, support and
    recognition

Behaviours

Let’s just reflect back on the scenario described earlier.  Do you think any of this behaviour was a deliberate ploy to undermine the sales process? No; it’s far more likely that these members of staff are completely oblivious to the potential impact of their behaviours. Communicating your expectations of staff’s behaviour, both on and off duty, should form part of their induction. Bring this to life by getting them to put themselves in the guests’ position and to identify what impression they give, and what guests might expect.

 

Part 2 tomorrow, will be about how knowledge and skills all help towards better sales within your business.

 

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