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How to Set Hotel Sales Team Goals and KPIs in a Time of Unpredictable Demand | By Doug Kennedy

It’s the time of year when hotel sales leaders are finalizing their budgets for the coming year, and 2022 is certainly a challenging one to set sales goals based on KPIs. First, let’s look at what has been done historically and then explore alternatives.
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy


How To Set Hotel Sales Team Goals and KPIs In A Time Of Unpredictable Demand | By Doug Kennedy

It’s the time of year when hotel sales leaders are finalizing their budgets for the coming year, and 2022 is certainly a challenging one to set sales goals based on KPIs. First, let’s look at what has been done historically and then explore alternatives.
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy


Where are all These Guests who Supposedly Prefer Humanless Hotel Experiences? | By Doug Kennedy

For probably a decade now, I have almost daily been reading articles and blog posts about how today’s hotel guests prefer to interact with technology rather than humans. Of course, it is not by coincidence that most of these are authored by executives who are peddling the latest “essential” guest technology. Often these articles and blogs are accompanied by survey results to supposedly support the theme. Yet when I look for details on sample size and methodology, I usually find there is n...
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy


Where Are All These Guests Who Supposedly Prefer Humanless Hotel Experiences? | By Doug Kennedy

For probably a decade now, I have almost daily been reading articles and blog posts about how today’s hotel guests prefer to interact with technology rather than humans. Of course, it is not by coincidence that most of these are authored by executives who are peddling the latest “essential” guest technology. Often these articles and blogs are accompanied by survey results to supposedly support the theme. Yet when I look for details on sample size and methodology, I usually find there is n...
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy


As Demand Returns For Groups and Events, Let’s Not Slip Back Into “Order-taking” | By Doug Kennedy

Based on the conversations I’m having with clients and contacts it seems that demand for groups and events is coming quicker than expected. At most hotels, salespeople have either been recalled from furlough or from helping to cover hotel operations. As they return to their old “chairs,” this is a great time for leaders to set new goals and/or for self-motivated sales supernovas to create new habits for themselves.
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy


A True Story of An Authentic Hospitality Welcome | By Doug Kennedy

Recently while on the road conducting training for the Camelback Resort in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, I had the opportunity to experience a genuine, authentic welcome. Before that story, let me first share a few details about my expectations, as well as what happened before my arrival.
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy, Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, Camelback Resort


The Spirit of Hospitality Flows Like Currency – Your Heart Is The Power Bank | By Doug Kennedy

Have you ever walked in to work at a hotel or hospitality company and immediately recognized that someone, somewhere has determined that today is going to be “one of THOSE days”? It’s almost like someone posted a sign at the staff entrance to make it official. When you greet your first co-worker, they mysteriously transfer the bad vibe over to you. Before you know it, you too are sending the same negative vibe on to others. Pretty soon it begins to feel like everyone on your work team is ...
Tags: Travel, Power Bank, Doug Kennedy, Heartbreak Hotel


Are Your Guests “Apped Out?” Only Welcoming Words Such As These, Spoken By Humans, Convey Authentic Hospitality | By Doug Kennedy

As a writer in the hospitality space, I am often approached by new companies with emerging technology who are looking for PR. Despite that my articles are almost always related to training tips for human engagement such as sales and hospitality skills, they somehow think that my help promoting whatever new gimmick they have come up with is key to their industry penetration.
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy


Are Your Guests “Apped Out?” Only Welcoming Words Such As These, Spoken By Humans, Convey Authentic Hospitality | By Doug Kennedy

As a writer in the hospitality space, I am often approached by new companies with emerging technology who are looking for PR. Despite that my articles are almost always related to training tips for human engagement such as sales and hospitality skills, they somehow think that my help promoting whatever new gimmick they have come up with is key to their industry penetration. Recently I was approached by yet another company about an exciting new innovation they had invented there and were l...
Tags: Travel, Google, Doug Kennedy


The Battle For Direct Bookings Is Hand-to-Hand Combat, Not Aerial Strafing | By Doug Kennedy

For years now, hotels have been fighting desperately to win back market share from third parties such as Online Travel Agencies and thus reduce the cost of customer acquisition. Huge sums are spent on strategic initiatives such as ad campaigns, updating guest loyalty programs, improving organic and paid SEO, making sure the website tells the hotel's story, and ensuring a smooth journey from looking-to-booking.
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy


Hotel Sales For Today’s Remote Buyers Requires More Than “Funnels,” “Wow,” and FAB Phrases | By Doug Kennedy

Although the pace of change has accelerated during the pandemic era, the hotel sales habitat has been evolving rapidly for years. Yet when our KTN team conducts group sales shops and our sales "lead flow" audits, we find that most - but not all - hotel salespeople are stuck in the early 2010s. This is not surprising, given that too many hotel sales training programs are still focused on outdated models such as sales funnels, feature-advantage-benefit (FAB) phrases, and "wowing your prospe...
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy, KTN


How Hotel Salespeople Are Using Tech To Put People Back In The Sales Process | By Doug Kennedy

In recent years, sales conversations between buyers and suppliers have moved to digital formats such as email and in-app platform messaging in CVENT, The Knot, and CVB apps. Too many salespeople mistakenly believe that two urban legends: that planners exclusively prefer digital communications, and that the most important factor is simply being the first to respond. On top of it all, the 10+ years of surging demand in the pre-pandemic era caused the sales culture at many hotels to devolve ...
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy, CVB


The Spirit of Hospitality Is Nurtured By Gratitude | By Doug Kennedy

As we count down the final days and prepare to turn the calendar to a new year, so many of us are tempted to think "good riddance to 2020." When I read posts and view memes on social media, it seems that most of us cannot wait to put this year behind us. Indeed, it has been a tough one for all, especially those of us who work in the hospitality and tourism industry. Yet when I sit at my desk writing my last training article of this crazy year, thinking of all the ups and downs I have gone...
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy


Hotel Sales Training Insights From A Professional Third-Party Meeting Planner | By Doug Kennedy

As a hotel sales trainer, I often rely on conversations with top-producing sales leaders when designing the latest "best habits" for hotel sales success for our newest KTN workshops and webinars.
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy, KTN


Four Quick Training Tips For Hotel Sales Prospecting Success | By Doug Kennedy

Now that 2020 is winding down and the preliminary vaccine results are favorable, it is time for hotel salespeople to recommit to put on their orange vests and embrace their role as sales hunters. In previous articles for this publication I have spoken about the transition from Sales Fishing to Sales Hunting, the Habitudes of Sales Success, and how salespeople can master their Remote Sales Skills. Here are four additional specific sales tips.
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy


Five Ways Focused Service Hotels Can Increase Direct Voice Bookings | By Doug Kennedy

Although they are generally outperforming other lodging segments, most if not all focused and selective service hotels are looking to build occupancy and rate. Indeed, hoteliers can and should continue to focus on digital marketing opportunities to the full extent. However, let us not forget some old-school "analog" ways to generate revenue. Here are a few ideas for training and development.
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy


Hotel Sales Habitudes For The Long Ride To A Slow Recovery | By Doug Kennedy

Now that we are beyond six months into this pandemic era, most hotel salespeople and their leaders have come to accept that it is going to be a long, slow ride to a full recovery. For those of us who have experienced loss, the emotions may have felt similar to moving through what grief counselors call the "Five Stages of Grief."
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy


Why Independent Call Centers Often Outshine Hotel Brands | By John Smallwood

Most hotels have suffered a major decline in sales leads from reliable digital channels. Can the voice channel pick up the slack and drive direct bookings? Doug Kennedy, President of the renowned Kennedy Training Network, certainly believes it can.
Tags: Travel, John Smallwood, Doug Kennedy, Kennedy Training Network


Hotel Sales Skills for Selling Remotely | By Doug Kennedy

As hotels bring their sales teams online, sales managers have plenty of work to keep them busy with managing date changes for previously booked groups and events, yet the most vital task is to bring in new business. Meanwhile, the previously reliable flood of inbound RFP's has slowed to a trickle, so the hotel sales culture needs to make a major pivot from "sales fishing" to "sales hunting." During the last 10+ years of growth in demand, most hotel sales teams could drop their digital "ba...
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy


Now, More Than Ever, Get Your Reservations Team On A QUEST For More Transient Bookings | By Doug Kennedy

Over my career in lodging industry sales and service training, I have designed numerous reservations training programs with names like 7-Steps For Reservations Sales Enhancement, Cooking UP New Reservations Sales, and Hotel Reservations SAILS Training. Then, after recognizing that so much had changed on the caller's side of a reservations phone call, I designed our newest KTN program and titled it Reservations Sales QUEST. In doing so I threw out all my preconceptions, locked myself in my...
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy, KTN


The Profession Of Hotel Sales Is At A Fork In The Road: Which Path Will You Follow? | By Doug Kennedy

Certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted virtually every type of industry to one degree or another, and in different ways. While some industries such as the tech sector flourish, others such as retail, restaurant, hotel, and tourism languish. Yet one thing the pandemic economy has done for virtually all industries is to accelerate the pace of changes long underway. There are so many examples. Telemedicine has been around for a decade now, yet only now are patients and providers embra...
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy


These Times, More Than Ever, Call For Heartfelt Hospitality | By Doug Kennedy

Based on what I hear, working in the lodging industry during the current COVID-19 pandemic can be especially stressful. Not that it has ever been an easy profession. While today's guests threaten to write a bad review, guests of yesteryear similarly threatened to write a letter to J.W. Marriott or Conrad Hilton.
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy, J W Marriott


The Most Important Hotel “Salesperson” Right Now Is Working Behind Your Front Desk | By Doug Kennedy

As my frequent readers know, I have long advocated for hoteliers to view the front desk as a revenue- generating position, not an operational expense. In previous posts I have provided training tips for upselling at registration, converting "property-direct" voice inquiries, converting those who booked via third parties to booking directly next time, and perhaps most importantly, sourcing leads that can be passed along for follow-up by the hotel sales team.
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy


Train Your Hotel Staff To Show Hospitality When Enforcing Mask Requirements | By Doug Kennedy

With most hotels around the globe requiring guests to wear facemasks in all public areas these days, it has fallen upon the frontline hospitality staff to enforce this policy, which in many cases is also municipal ordinance or decree. Although most guests comply voluntarily, a small minority are voicing their displeasure but still complying. An even smaller, but very vocal minority of hotel guests are challenging our staff's authority to require compliance in a way that is confrontational...
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy


Hotel Salespeople - Use Video Email For Personalized, Narrated, Virtual Hotel Tours | By Doug Kennedy

As those who read my hotel sales training articles or who attend my workshops know well, I am a huge advocate for using a "tech for touch" approach to stand out from the competition. I have long recommended that hotel group and event salespeople embrace the use of personalized video email in many ways, such as networking, prospecting, responding to inbound inquiries, and following-up with those you have spoken with.
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy


How To Show The Welcoming Smiles Behind The Masks Of Your Hotel Staff | By Doug Kennedy

As part of the hotel and lodging industry's effort to help guests feel safe about traveling during the current COVID-19 pandemic era, nearly all are requiring hotel staff to wear facemasks. However, one down-side is of course the fact that our colleagues can no longer share their warm and welcoming smiles as they greet guests at the front entrance, pass by them in hallways and corridors or when serving them in dining and recreational outlets.
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy


Is Your Hotel Sales Team Ready For The Transition From "Fishing For Inbound Leads" To "Sales Hunting?” | By Doug Kennedy

In the course of a few months, the hotel group, conference, event, and BT sales landscape has transitioned from a period of historically high demand to near zero. After the tidal wave of cancellations and postponements in March, followed by an eerily quiet April and May when many were furloughed, hotel salespeople are now returning to an entirely new sales habitat.
Tags: Travel, Bt, Doug Kennedy


Is Your Hotel Sales Team Ready For The Transition From "Fishing For Inbound Leads" To "Sales Hunting”? | By Doug Kennedy

In the course of a few months, the hotel group, conference, event, and BT sales landscape has transitioned from a period of historically high demand to near zero. After the tidal wave of cancellations and postponements in March, followed by an eerily quiet April and May when many were furloughed, hotel salespeople are now returning to an entirely new sales habitat.
Tags: Travel, Bt, Doug Kennedy


Train Your Hotel Reservations On What To Say When Their Phones Start Ringing Again | By Doug Kennedy

What a wild two months that hotel and resort reservations sales agents have endured, as agents were the first to feel the impact of the COVID19 pandemic, as suddenly a tsunami of cancellation calls and emails flooded the phone lines and inboxes. How painful it must have been to watch hard-fought bookings cancel and to see the flow of revenue change direction. Even more so, these staffers have endured difficult conversations about the fine print of cancellation terms, travel insurance, and...
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy


Hotel Sales Teams: Use Downtime To Up Your Game At Using Screen Share, Video Email, Webcam Sales | By Doug Kennedy

Based on the conversations I'm having this week with our KTN clients, it seems that hotel sales teams are finding that there's a lull in activity right now. The flood of calls and emails regarding cancellations and postponements has abated, and most hotels are lucky to have even a trickle of RFP's coming in from traditional channels. For most markets, being too aggressive with traditional cold-call prospecting right now might be perceived as being insensitive. As a result, salespeople mig...
Tags: Travel, Doug Kennedy, KTN