How to Work in Sales at a Hotel

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The sales department of a hotel is responsible for a lot of the hotel's revenue. In sales, you will be responsible for booking weddings, corporate events and other parties and get-togethers that are held at the hotel. You will also work directly with guests in the planning of their events. For this reason, you must know the ins and outs of your hotel. You also have to be professional and personable when dealing with clients. Here is how to work in sales at a hotel.

  • Take marketing classes in college. When you do, you will learn how to make connections with potential clients and sell the hotel to those individuals. It's not necessary to major in marketing but a few classes will look impressive on a resume.

  • Learn basic computer skills. You should be fairly familiar with word processors, spreadsheets and different email programs. An introduction course from any high school or college will give you all of the information you need.

  • Be knowledgeable about the hotel. You should know details such as how many rooms are in the hotel, which rooms are suites and what special deals (if any) guests can receive. Most hotels will actually make you take a test on this information before you can work in the sales department.

  • Work your way up from the bottom of the hotel "ladder." Many people who go on to work in sales at a hotel actually start at the front desk. At the front desk, you will learn the check-in software and other computer programs used by the hotel. This is also a chance to show off your skills working with people. Those who work at the front desk of the hotel are often confronted by less-than-friendly guests. Being able to handle those situations affectively is an excellent way to show off your people skills as well as how you deal with stressful situations.

  • Make connections in your area. Becoming friendly with churches, temples and businesses in your town or city can be the first step to driving business to your hotel. Call and email these places and let them know how the hotel can accommodate them for a variety of events.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be able to sell yourself. You should be confident yet personable when dealing with others on the phone, in person and via email. Remember that you are, in fact, selling a product. As the sales department of the hotel, you are the face of that product. Learn by watching. Every hotel utilizes its sales department in different ways (even though the overall objective is similar). Watch how others in the department deal with clients and any sticky situations. After you see this in action, you will have a better grasp on how you should act towards clients. Know what happens if you ever leave the sales department. If you quit or are fired from your position in sales, practically every hotel will force you to leave your job the very day you depart from sales. In most cases, you are literally walked out of the building by another person.
  • Don't worry about learning specific hotel software programs before you begin working at one. Every hotel will offer at least a week of computer training so that you can become familiar with these programs. Never share any information with other hotels. This is a guaranteed way to get yourself fired from your job.
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