Open minds, open hearts and wide open doors
Hong Kong hosts numerous trade shows and events, and attracting attendees to the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong is the aim of senior sales manager Yan Tsang and her team.
"The demand [for hotel services] is very much related to events. Peak seasons are in January, April and October, when various trade shows take place. We have to be aware of this to push certain markets and promotions," says Tsang.
The main duty of hotel sales is to provide account services. "[I] offer clients the best travel solution for their budgets. Corporates understand that it is hard to reserve rooms and function rooms during peak months, so we encourage them to host meetings during the summer," says Tsang.
With the volatile global economy, it is important for hotel sales to look into the right countries and industries for business. "Latin America is an emerging market that we hope to develop. Sales pay visits to prospective clients to explain the services that we offer," says Tsang.
Like any sales personnel, a hotel salesperson must have the heart to serve, and love working with people. "We are looking for candidates with strong language skills and open minds," she says.
This is because sales meet with clients from different cultures and walks of life, and need to be aware of cultural differences. They also need to be motivated to meet sales targets. Having an academic background in tourism is an advantage, but not a prerequisite to enter the industry.
The entry position for hotel sales is that of a sales co-ordinator. Within two years, he or she can progress to the sales executive position, then upwards to assistant sales manager, manager, senior manager and director of marketing.