Is It Time for a Sales Check-up?

Excerpt from “Room to Grow” by Tammy Gillis

A lot has happened over the past several decades with regards to sales in the hospitality industry. From staffing shortages, and the difficulty in holding on to good salespeople, to the dependency on OTAs (online travel agencies) for base business, to the reality that any salesperson who came into the industry from 2009 to 2019 didn’t have to look too far to find business.

Below the surface, a dangerous trend was unfolding: the sales function wasn’t being properly managed or supported for a time when sales wouldn’t just “happen.” During an economic downtown or an increase in competition such as an oversupply of hotels in your market, those who survive will do so because sales is something they have consistently and effectively managed in good times and in bad.

It’s not that sales teams lacked information and data. Salespeople already had the technology and tools they needed at their disposal, but they were not using the information to better understand the customer. Most were not taking the time to do research, and or not taking the time to understand if they were a fit. On all fronts, it was mostly a reactive environment, and hotel teams became complacent. When the downturn hit, and hit hard, hotels suddenly faced a re-imagined sales environment, one where salespeople could no longer hide behind their desks as phones stopped ringing and incoming inquiries became nonexistent.

The realities of today present an opportunity for those who are willing to make some fundamental shifts in how they approach sales. What do we need to do to elevate sales in the hospitality industry and move forward with a strong sales imperative? Let’s start with a sales check-up.

Sales Check-Up

Here’s some questions to ask when evaluating your sales strategy:

Smiling and dialing: Is your sales team smiling and dialing without adequate planning, research, and preparation ahead of time—frustrated because no one calls them back, and when they do, all the customer wants is a cheaper rate?  This is the most common symptom we see. It consumes hundreds of hours of time, with current statistics telling us it takes 18 calls to connect to a single buyer, and in the end, all you’re doing is giving the customer information they can likely find out on their own.

No prospect wants a call from a salesperson who isn’t prepared and is just going to pitch-slap them. Despite the low pick-up rate, salespeople need to be prepared as if a prospect is going to pick up every time.

Cold calling isn’t an effective sales strategy and given the information and tools salespeople have at their disposal, your team needs a sales process and a framework for researching prospects before picking up the phone or sending an email, to make it a warm call.

The revolving door on the sales office: Are you experiencing high turnover in your sales department? Hotels lose momentum and struggle getting traction with their sales efforts. How many salespeople have you hired in the past few years? When you do hire, are you sure what “good” looks like today? In other words, are you clear about the characteristics, skills and the mindset you are looking for in a salesperson?

High turnover and not having the right person in the right seat is disruptive to your business in many ways. It’s expensive to continually hire, train, and ramp up a new person only to have them not work out and have to do it again.

Sales has changed dramatically in the past few years. Sellers need more than just strong product knowledge and interpersonal skills and your management should know how to choose the right salesperson for the right role. Each role profile requires its own skillset and mindset. Keeping good staff is also a challenge because sales isn’t a career most people choose.

Some of Our Clients

Proudly Serving Clients throughout US & Canada

"As a management company with 4 smaller hotels in busy transient markets, we have struggled to keep our sales and marketing costs relative to the size of our hotel.  The cost and time invested in attracting, training, and retaining good salespeople with the current job climate can be not only daunting but frustrating with turnover.  With varying demand in the market, a sales manager needs to recognize when to take the business, and when to say no to it.  The right rate, at the right time!

We have solved all these problems through turning this demanding role in 3 of our hotels over to Gillis Sales.

Gillis is a trusted, credible partner who has supplied me with experienced professionals who know the fastest route to the business I need.  This has become our most effective resource, and I 100% recommend the Gillis solution to my colleagues."
Patti Barker -

Vice President of Hospitality, Metropolitan Hospitality Management

We have the pleasure of working with Gillis Sales, and couldn’t be happier with the results. Their expertise in the hospitality industry, combined with their innovative sales strategies, have delivered exceptional revenue growth for our property. I highly recommend Gillis Sales to any hotel looking to boost their sales and increase their bottom line. Their commitment to excellence and personalized approach make them a valuable partner in the competitive world of hotel sales.
Preena Patel -

Preena Patel, Administrative Director,  A-1 Hospitality

"The math is simple: Gillis equals heads-in-beds!

The sales pro's at Gillis have been instrumental in building occupancy at Motel 6 and Studio 6 hotels in Canada over the past several years.  Working collaboratively with owners and managers, Gillis takes the time required to find and convert prospects to guests.  Gillis provides a best-in-class solution for hotels that don't have a dedicated, well-trained sales team."
Irwin M. Prince -

Irwin M. Prince, President & COO, Realstar Hospitality

“We had the good fortune of engaging Gillis after years of managing our sales effort inhouse. They came highly recommended through brand leadership and seasoned sales professionals – and they haven’t disappointed. Despite only a few months into our relationship, they have had an immediate impact on our hotels and key account relationships. The Gillis team has already established themselves as one of our most valued and trusted advisors and partners. They have always displayed the professionalism, passion and accountability demanded by their profession. The Gillis team is well prepared, highly engaged and goal orientated. To this end, they have solidified accounts, delivered new bookings and helped to diversify our business drivers. As a result, they have earned the deep respect and trust of our organization. I would not hesitate to recommend Gillis for any organization that requires the highest levels of sales performance, execution and professionalism.”
Perry Batke -

CHA, General Manager, Denham Hospitality Organization

“Tammy Gillis and her organization have been nothing short of amazing! We have seen an approximate ROI of 10x at our BW PLUS hotel as well as a ROI of 4-5x at our BW hotel. The sales team is so dedicated, passionate and driven to deliver revenue to hotels. I just wish we started sooner with Gillis!”
Hitesh Patel -

President, Colorado Hospitality, Inc.

Contact Us for a Complimentary Sales Consultation

800.296.2962 |


Sales is the life blood of your organization.

No business has ever succeeded without sales. Knowing where to start can be overwhelming.

The good news is, we can teach you how to do it OR we can do it for you.

Our services will help you sell more rooms, stand out and succeed in a competitive market, and train your staff to implement sales more effectively.

Interested to learn how this applies to you? Contact us for a complimentary consultation.