Salespersons will best capture the returning demand for accommodation by rebuilding strong personal relationships. Before the pandemic, hotels only cared about maximizing the rate and not the long-term relationship. Customers probably had a turbulent year when they were not allowed to travel and are now looking forward to traveling again. Hotels that build trust through their salespeople by having new hygiene standards and new technology in place will be winners.
Before the pandemic, hotels could afford to say no to corporate contracts, meetings, and leisure groups not paying high enough rates. Relationships were no longer as meaningful as they once had been. The Revenue Manager was the king in the hotel empire and focused only on high-paying customers. There was no end in the steady flow of guests willing to pay a premium rate. Suddenly, the story took an unexpected turn. Governments panicked when the virus started to spread and implemented lock-downs and travel restrictions. Guests were not allowed to travel. Many revenue managers were laid off or furloughed until further notice.
The demand is slowly returning
More than a year later, the world slowly opens up again, and people begin to travel. There are more hotel rooms to fill than there are guests in need of accommodation. This time it is primarily not about the rate. People have saved a lot of money during the pandemic and are willing to spend. Guests want quality experiences after a year of boredom at home. In the next couple of years, hotels will have to fight to win every single guest.
The era of relationships
The recovery will be the era of relationships. Every hotel needs a people person who can build strong relationships with customers and bring their business to the hotel. It is more important now than ever before since the demand is lower and there are too many customers’ choices. A great sales manager will convince the customer to give most of their business to her/his hotel. As a result, there will be fewer internal fights about the rate and whether to accept the price or not. This time, a great relationship will win over a higher rate.
Talents left the industry
Many sales talents left the hotel industry during the pandemic. They quickly found jobs in other sectors with higher pay and better overall working conditions. It will be challenging to lure them back to the hotel industry. A more realistic scenario is to recruit a younger generation of salespersons. In this case, hotels need a solid job description and a reliable onboarding process to get them up to speed fast. Hotels cannot afford to lose valuable sales time now when the demand starts to grow.
Download the job description
We have put together a comprehensive but not too detailed job description for a sales manager. You are welcome to download the job description and adapt it to your hotel company and your salespersons.