As general managers, we are responsible for leading everything at the hotel and delivering the results to contribute to its overall success. We help to drive sales and profitability as well as guest and team member satisfaction and ensure brand standards are met. To achieve that mission, it is important that general managers are involved in sales and that they make sales a priority on a daily basis.
Sales is about building relationships, and that means a lot of smart sales calls, entertaining and, of course, networking events. As a focused-service general manager, sales has always been a part of what I do on a daily basis. Whether it is visiting key accounts, attending networking events with the sales team or even prospecting potential business on a regular basis, the general manager must be a part of the sales department to the fullest.
Supporting the sales team by meeting clients and picking up the phone and thanking them for the business goes a long way. Sales involvement from the general manager also can play an important role in relationship building for group business. Imagine a group that meets a general manager before making a decision — this could help the meeting planner make that purchasing decision because they would know the hotel has the ability to service the needs of their groups, and the general manager can offer that reassurance. It also doesn’t hurt when groups are on property to make sure your presence is known.
Of course we have to remember that sales is about building relationships and that people do business with people they know, like and trust, so it is also important that the general manager is assisting the sales team and adding value and support for the department, not hurting a relationship that a sales team member has built.