Just like any business, a hotel looks to its sales force for the majority of its revenue. Because of this, the hotel sales manager is one of the most important roles in the hotel. This position is tasked with finding large amounts of business in order to keep a hotel's rooms filled and a steady stream of guests flowing through the property. This position is lucrative, with a range of £40,000 on the low end of the pay scale to more than £65,000 for a director of sales in a luxury resort property. Not only that, but a sales manager has an opportunity to advance to a director of sales position and then move into a general manager's job.
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Any sales person will tell you that the key to making sales happen is to have a pipeline that is always full. That is where prospecting comes into play. A sales manager must continually reach out to find new business in order to sell the hotel. Sometimes this requires cold calling companies to see if they are planning on holding conferences. At other times, this is networking with a local tourism office to get sales leads of groups coming to town.
Once the prospecting is over, a sales manager must make a sale to a client. This usually requires several meetings with potential clients in order to prove to them that the hotel is the best on for their function. There is often negotiation on conference fees and hotel room rates in order to get the best deal for what a client is looking for. Selling requires a friendly, personal touch in order to make potential clients feel relaxed and at home in the hotel.
In order to keep the pipeline open and the selling process ongoing, the sales manager must take meticulous notes of every client discussion. These notes can be used to assist the sales manager remember what was talked about and they will help in future proposals, regardless of whether the hotel did or did not get the business.
Once the client accepts a proposal, the sales manager is then tasked with putting the terms of that proposal into a contract. This contract will usually be a standard contract provided by the hotel. However, every once in a while the client will ask for something that is not in the contract which will cause the sales manager to meet with hotel management to ascertain if the contract can be adjusted. The sales manager is then responsible for making sure that the contract is signed by both parties.
Finally, since the sales manager has become the "face" of the hotel during this process, she is responsible for meeting with her client in order to take care of any questions, comments or concerns the client may have. This may include introduction of other hotel managers who the client will be dealing with or providing constant support to a group function.
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