- I don’t like being pushy, so I don’t make suggestions.
- The customer knows that they want anyway. I’ll just be bothering them if I make suggestions.
- I always ask if they belong to CAA so that I can give them a discount.
- How am I supposed to know what someone wants?
- If they already have a reservation, then the sale is done.
- I’m not in sales. I’m just a front desk agent (or server)
Those are just some of the phrases I’ve heard from participants in my “Sales as Service” workshop. In all the sessions I have done, very few people identify the ability to sell as important to their front desk or food and beverage server role. There are a number of reasons for that.
- Many have a negative perception of a salesperson. When asked what words or phrases come to mind when they hear the word “salesperson”, by far the majority of words or phrases are negative. Pushy, relentless, commission, annoying, don’t know when to stop, etc., etc., etc.
- Many see themselves as being there to take orders and fulfill those orders.
- Many have never been taught how to sell.
Creating a strong internal sales team starts with helping your service professionals realize they are also hospitality sales professionals. Hospitality sales professionals:
- Are always customer focused. Successful sales professionals are committed to enhancing their customer’s experience. A sale is not about pushing a service or product; it’s about matching a service or product to the individual customer’s needs, wants and expectations.
- Know their customers. They understand that not all customers want, need or expect the same thing.
- Know the features and the benefits of the various products or services their company provides. And because they also know their customers, sales professionals know which product or service will best match their individual customer’s needs, wants or expectations.
- Know the selling process and how to identify a sales opportunity. They know that if they omit some steps or don’t move through it a pace the customer is comfortable with, the chance of a lost sale is increased, and just as importantly, the customer may lose out on a wonderful experience.
- Understand they are selling an experience, not just a room or a meal at a certain price. They use words and phrases to create a picture or a feeling.
Sales and service go hand in hand. Service professionals who also consider themselves sales professionals are good for business. Their confident ability to suggest options and add-ons helps the bottom through more closed sales at higher rates or increased customer cheques and higher customer satisfaction scores.