Insights from the trenches

10 Things a Hotel General Manager Can Do to Help Sales

Last year, I wrote an article that was viewed by over 5,000 people as well as liked and shared by many. In case you missed it, here it is. Does it resonate with you?

The role of hotel general manager is multi-faceted; it requires the talent and skill to be the ambassador of the hotel to guests while also being fiscally responsible to ownership for delivering the bottom line. But, nothing is more important than generating revenue and by incorporating some basic activities into your weekly or monthly schedule, general managers can see exponential results.

  1. Get to know the top five accounts (by segment). Make a point to meet the primary booker for the hotel when they are in the hotel or you are in their city.
  2. Develop a relationship with the president or CEO of each top account with monthly breakfast or one-on-one lunches. Sales Managers are usually not able to get into the C-Suite level, but you can. These are the key influencers of where their organization’s travelers choose to stay.
  3. Help to close business during a site inspection: say ‘hello’ to the customer using their name, know something about the event, meeting or their business, and show genuine interest in getting the business.
  4. Rally the operational side of the hotel for key site inspections. During operational meetings, support the sales department when discussing key sites and reaffirm why they are important to the whole hotel.
  5. For the group market, meet with the meeting planners while on site for an event or meeting, daily if possible. Pass by the registration desk and check-in to see how everything is going. It’s easier to get an existing customer to return than find a brand new one.
  6. Institute an open-door policy for service breakdowns. When a service issue happens at the hotel, encourage the sales team to come to you to solve the problem. When the rest of the hotel knows the GM is personally involved, it helps to solve the problem faster.
  7. Once per month, call three clients to either close tentative business or to thank departed clients for selecting the hotel. It’s a quick phone call, even leaving a voicemail is fine, and it will help to increase the potential for the client to return.
  8. Give the sales team all the tools that you can (and at least do the due diligence when they ask for something). Things like sales training, fast computers, and updated professional photography of each room type and function room help them to book more business for your hotel.
  9. Get rid of distractions in the sales department such as lobby duty, Saturday coverage for sales managers (unless their market requires it), operational meetings, and even daily revenue meetings. Free up the sales managers’ calendars so that they can focus on bringing in revenue to the hotel.
  10. Hug your sales team – figuratively that is! Recognize and appreciate them; drop by the sales office on a regular basis, ask how their day is going, and ask how you can help them succeed. Acknowledge and recognize their efforts and successes in front of the rest of the hotel.

The sales team that knows they have the support of the General Manager, will go the extra mile and make that extra prospecting call that could lead to ‘the’ piece of business that moves the hotel into #1 in market share, or exceeds the hotel budget for that quarter.

“Remember the difference between a boss and a leader; a boss says 'Go!' and leader says, 'Let's Go!'” 
― PowerPlug!

If you would like to learn more about what general managers can do to increase revenue, simply reach out to Jo-Anne at jo-anne@jhhospitality.com