The Impact of the Informed Buyer on the Sales Role

According to Daniel Pink, bestselling author of “To Sell is Human,” sales has changed more in the past 10 years than the previous 100. Technology and the availability of information is driving this change and sales people are no longer the gatekeeper of information about their product or service. Buyers are more informed than ever before and no longer need sales people for information.

Because of technology, buyers can be 60% through their buying journey before they ever engage with a sales person. Sales people are entering the conversations with clients later on in the buying cycle making it difficult to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Although the buying process has evolved, the sales profession is having a hard time catching up and is still selling like it was 1980. According to a study by Forrester Research that asked clients whether they valued their conversations with sales people, only 15% of those surveyed said yes. This exposes a major gap between what buyers are expecting vs. what they are actually receiving during their buying process.

I recently moderated a panel discussion at GBTA’s Convention in Toronto to engage buyers and sellers in a discussion on how to bridge this gap. What was the result? Well a big message from the buyers in the session was: Do your homework, understand my business and tell me how you can help.

It seems like common sense but talk to any buyer who has had a “product dumping” presentation from one of their sales contacts and they will quickly tell you it’s not common practice. Buyers are looking for sales people to connect with them in a more relevant way that addresses their specific business needs.

In fairness to the sales profession, the rules of engagement have changed and what has traditionally worked in the past no longer serves clients today. Sales people have been trained to sell their product so there is shift in mindset that needs to happen for sales people to start looking at the process through the eyes of the client.

Traditional sales people are faced with an identity crisis and are trying to understand what their new role is. It’s like the parent who is faced with their son or daughter going off to university. Although they are still needed, they are no longer needed in the same way.

And although it is absolutely the responsibility of the sales person to do their homework and understand their client’s business, as buyers, there are things you can also do to help bridge the gap that exists today between clients and sellers:

  • Be clear on your expectations about what you value and don’t value during your buying process.
  • Be transparent about how you prefer to communicate i.e.: face to face meetings, email, phone
  • Provide details of your purchasing process so they better understand how to manage your account to provide you with the best solution.
  • The more information you can provide about your decision making process (i.e.: criteria, timelines, budget), the more relevant their solution will be to meet your needs.
  • Don’t treat the buying process like a transaction. Building strong relationships with sellers (the client centric ones) will only help you do your job better.

It is a time of transition in the sales industry as we try to figure out how to sell to this new, highly informed buyer. One thing that was clear from the GBTA session: sales people want to get it right and understand how to add value and clients are waiting in anticipation. Bridging this gap so that clients get what they need out of the buying process is a win for everyone.

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.

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