Who are your salesmen (and Women)? Part 2

Yesterday in Part 1, we talked about how the scene is being set for the first impression of your business and also who contributes towards it,  today it is about increasing knowledge and skill base and how this will help contribute to improve your sales in all roles within your business.



In order to sell, upsell, or cross sell, as a minimum staff need to understand all the offers, products and services you provide. This goesbeyond just a laundry list; it needs to include some understanding of the features and of course the benefits from a guest’s/customer’s perspective. What’s included in a package, what are the different options, what are the recommendations or suggested combinations? A good understanding of your customers’ profile, needs and expectations will help this process.

When I’m working with some businesses I’m often somewhat alarmed by the lack of exposure staff have to other departments. Have any of your porters ever set foot in the spa, your receptionists ever sat in any of the meeting rooms, your chefs seen a bedroom, or your housekeepers walked around the grounds? How can staff ever hope to convey to guests all the
benefits of these facilities if they’d never had any first-hand experience? Experiencing them for themselves will not only make them more memorable, there will be more willingness to promote if they are confident to talk about them, and it will
certainly be easier to evoke an emotional a ppeal through vivid descriptions of taste, smell, feel, if they’ve been there themselves.

Of course, staff don’t need to be expert in everything, but it always helps if they ‘know a man who can’ so they can refer to or call on the appropriate person when needed to deal with a specific guest request or query.

Hospitality is an ever-changing business, and every day there will be specific and individual options, events, and situations. This is why it’s so important to have regular staff briefings so everyone knows what’s happening and when (see previous article “do
your staff know the score
”). This includes knowledge of what’s available, what are today’s high profit items to be promoted, and just as importantly, what’s not available.



Teach staff the mechanics of upselling. How do they ask open questions to identify what the customer wants; how to listen actively to customers’ requests or preferences; how to respond, and make suggestions, or offer alternatives that best meet the customers’ needs.  Give them examples of how they would describe each of your products and services.
Rather than a script, allow them to develop their own dialogue, one that comes naturally to them, rather than something they have to remember and run the risk of forgetting.


Tomorrow in Part 3, will about how to bring all the elements together which have been discussed today and what can be put in place to support this.

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