It’s Time for a Sales Check-up – Part 2

Excerpt from “Room to Grow” by Tammy Gillis

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? Last time we looked at the importance of avoiding the cold call and the revolving door of your sales office. Let’s continue to take a look at how you can improve your sales strategy.

When evaluating your sales strategy consider the following:

If you build it, they will come: If you expected the sign on your hotel alone would bring in business, you may be under another common misconception. In a thriving economy, there’s enough demand generators to send you, and your competitors, all the bookings you need. But in a tough economy, when there’s oversupply in the industry and not enough business to go around, the brand alone isn’t enough.

The truth is that even during a thriving economy, a “build it and they will come” mentality isn’t sustainable. A successful hotel needs a strong local sales strategy and presence in the market. No brand will deliver enough business to keep a hotel busy all year round, and brands are not going to take care of a hotel’s backyard sales.

Losing opportunities at the front desk: Are your front desk staff qualifying leads or letting them get away? Do they see themselves as an important part of the sales team or do they see their role as “I check people in, and I check people out?” Do they have the tools, and have they been trained on how to qualify guests at check-in and how to convert incoming inquiries into reservations?

Don’t leave it open to interpretation. What gets measured gets done, and it’s critical to have SOPs that all front desk staff are trained in for handling check-in and reservations. They can be an important part of your sales strategy to identify leads and give them to the sales department or general manager for follow-up.

Making a Diagnosis

These are just a few scenarios to consider. If you can see yourself in any of these stories, you are likely experiencing some pain as it relates to your sales strategy. They may be slightly exaggerated (or perhaps not), but they are here to help you recognize the common symptoms of why the state of sales in the hospitality industry needs to change.

Each of these symptoms relates back to an overall approach to the sales function that is transactional, not strategic. As a result, in most instances, the above examples demonstrate how the sales function has become reactive, not proactive. There’s an immediate problem, so they solve it. There’s competition, so they offer a better price.

The consequences of any of these examples take us to the heart of the problem: a lack of sales imperative. In good times, you may get by with some of these scenarios, but when business begins to return, operations will likely take priority over sales.

All of this changes during times of scarcity. There’s not enough business for everyone when sales drop dramatically. The numbers back this up: According to a study by CSO Insights pre-COVID, only 53 percent of salespeople were meeting or exceeding their sales targets. The study suggested that sales organizations are not evolving fast enough to meet the needs of today’s informed buyers.

It becomes obvious that hotels have not been in control of their own destiny. They haven’t been in the driver’s seat. They’ve been a passenger, happily riding along taking business as it comes along until it doesn’t.

Now is the time to change our mindset about sales and take the necessary steps to re-build our sales strategy in order to ensure we are prepared for the next downturn. The hospitality industry is fiercely competitive, it’s hard work, and it’s not for the faint of heart. But the gains and the satisfaction are hugely rewarding for those willing to put in the effort. No one said it would be easy, but neither is the alternative.

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.