Training that Sticks

It Only Gets Better From Here...

Posted by David Lightman on Mon, Oct 17, 2011 @ 10:10 AM

Written by Kristy Westfall-Moyer

I just finished my second day of training with this team and I am already sad at the thought of leaving as they all feel like family now!  People here are so nice and accommodating, they really make you feel like part of their big family.

We started our first morning with an all employee daily meeting lead by GM Kenny.  It was a great session where he talked about mistakes as learning opportunities and that you if you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t doing anything.

class one webIt was a nice way to start our session, as a lot of what we talk about in Transient Edge® is new, and change can be hard.  We listen to pre-recorded calls to see how we sound currently so we can build from there and those can be tough as people feel they have “done it wrong” or “sound horrible”. We use those calls simply as a way to show where we are now.  They were not mistakes – we get to use them as learning opportunities and grow.

We spent the day talking about how to make our initial impression (incoming reservation phone call) of our guests to a legendary level.  At this hotel more than 50% of their business comes through the phone, so that is a smart place to start.

In one day we went from sounding friendly on the phone and offering the best rate we could find the customer, or transferring them to a central line, to committing to keeping as many calls on property as possible and spending a little more time with our callers and really building a relationship.

class two webWe decided it was a good idea to talk to our potential guests and try to make a connection so they would like us and think of us as a fun and friendly place to be and ultimately choose our hotel.  We practiced finding more out about the guest and why they were coming to Biloxi so we could build value by painting a picture and personalizing what their experience could be if they stayed with us.

We talked about how the two main rules of sales training, including getting the customer to like you, as we buy from people we like and asking for the sale since the customer called us and sooner or later needs a place to stay.  We might as well ask them to buy from us what they called about in the first place!  If you ask you shall receive…we addressed both of those crucial points in our Transient Edge® program: how to get the customer to like us and how to ask for the sale, so we can get it! It was a super day!

Day two kicked off with the same front desk group and we spent some time talking about how to find out what a caller’s true objections are and how to handle those concerns and ultimately overcome those objections and ask for the sale again.  We talked about how we are here to help people buy and by uncovering any potential issues; we are helping them to make a decision.

class three webWe ended our front desk training with covering upselling and talked about all the reasons to upsell, who all it benefits; what it does for us, what it does for the guest and what it does for the hotel.  By offering upgraded views and room types or offering to make packages or special arrangements or making a reservation for the guest in our restaurant, we all win in experience for the guest and revenue for us.  More money leads to hundreds of great things for all!

My afternoon session was spent with some friends from the fantastic F&B team and we also covered upsell.  Again, we talked about how everyone wins when we upsell consistently; the guest gets to try something new or maybe something they didn’t know we had, we make more money as does the hotel!

restaurant signWe learned that if we could just sell two more appetizers, drinks and desserts/sides per day (just 2 of each per day, not per customer!) we could add more than $150 to our paychecks each month and nearly $100K in revenue for the hotel, annually!  Just by simply offering someone a little extra so their dining experience is even more memorable.  It adds up quickly!

It was an eye-opening session and we discussed when and how to upsell and how to avoid overselling.  It is part of our jobs and everyone wins!

I spent some time with GM Kenny after my final class and am completely convinced that he is ready to lead this team to more victories!  He is a terrific leader and completely committed to his team and to this Hotel Makeover.  I know he will get instant and long-lasting results and will see his business grow times ten!

Thanks again Four Points by Sheraton Biloxi- you are amazing! Best of luck, I look forward to seeing your great results!

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