Sales Jobs: Are they all the same?
Why a Career in Hotel Sales is so Unique
In the environment where the clients are as diverse as the services you have to offer, a hotel sales career is guaranteed to deliver diversity and excitement every day. Hospitality sales is a creative and challenging occupation, as you are creating someone's life away from home. According to Kaelen Henderson, a Sales Manager at the InterContinental Toronto Center, her position, "offers a lot of diversity because a career in hotel sales is dynamic consisting of number crunching, reporting, marketing the hotel and relationship building both internally with the hotel associates and externally with the customer."
Teamwork - Selling a Guest Experience
There are two common denominators in a sales career regardless of industry, exceptional customer service and the ability to assess a clients needs. However, what makes hospitality sales for hotels and timeshares unique? The answer is that it is not one product or service that you are selling; it is a combination of many that create the entire guest package. Day to day there is the unique challenge of coordinating a guest package that includes a variety of services including:
- Boardrooms and Conference Services
- Parking and Valet
- Banquet Functions
- Limousine Services
- Restaurant Reservations
- Room Service
The key to being successful is to be knowledgeable and sell an experience that you know the hotel can deliver. Coordination skills and day to day teamwork are a must. Unlike a traditional sales job, in order to be effective you need to interact with all service areas of the hotel to coordinate a sale. Kaelen Henderson considers the team based environment to not only be essential but an added benefit, "It is a phenomenal feeling to know that your client's meeting was a success due your efforts in Sales, due to the efforts of the Conference Services Manager, who coordinates all of the other departments and their services to execute a successful experience."
Not all experiences that you create for clients will be the same, and each new sale will require communication between the different departments to ensure great service. This is not a job where you sit behind a desk selling the same service or product over and over again to the same type of client. In a hotel or timeshare environment, you are interacting with clients from all walks of life from all around the world. This is a job that is ever changing and dynamic.
Perks and Rewards
If the team work and diverse work environment is not enough to peak your interest, there are other rewards and perks to a hotel or resort job. As with many other positions within hospitality, the opportunity to travel and transfer around the world is often available. But when you are dealing with guests from all over the world, you may not feel the need to go anywhere.
So what are the necessary character traits to be successful in a hotel sales career? Kaelen Henderson points out that the formula for success is a person with, "Effective communication skills, excellent people skills and a motivated attitude, the rest falls into place with the assistance of strong leadership in senior management and excellent training."
When asked what she would say if she had to sell this position to a new recruit in an interview, Kaelen's top five reasons for choosing this career were:
- Guaranteed diversity in day to day responsibilities
- High paced work environment
- Consistent team interaction
- Opportunity to travel and transfer around the globe
- Career development and advancement opportunity
Connecting with people and maintaining internal and external relationships is the objective for sales in the hotel / timeshare space. What keeps Kaelen Henderson engaged in her career? She explains that it is all about the rewards of relationship building: "If all goes well, I then have the opportunity to re-book future business with the same client and continue a lasting business relationship." Kaelen Henderson