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How to Become a Sales Executive

by | CAREER TIPS

There are many jobs in hospitality that focus on the delivery of excellent guest experience. But what about the people who attract the clients to begin with? The job of sales executive, also known as a sales associate, is one of the most crucial in terms of ensuring a hotel is turning a consistent profit.

It may seem straightforward, but if you want to work in the sales department of a hotel it’s important to understand the job before you apply.

What is a sales associate?

Before explaining what a sales associate does, it’s important to make a distinction between retail sales and sales in a corporate setting.

Retail sales associates are people who work in a shop, kiosk, or some other type of retail establishment. They are there to attend to customers and sell products, goods, or services for their company. While they may deal with transactions from time to time, that is mostly the job of the cashier. A retail sales associate will be floating around a store, looking for customers who may need assistance and identifying possible sales opportunities.

For the purposes of this article, we will focus on the role of sales executives in a corporate setting, specifically in hospitality. 

A hotel sales executive is much different from a retail one. They work for a hotel, normally in an office setting and they contact or interact with customers over the phone or via email.

What does a hotel sales executive do?

Hotel sales executives are generally responsible for attracting new business opportunities and maximizing profits for their establishment. 

As a sales associate, you may be dealing directly with a potential guest who is looking for accommodation for their holiday. You could also be selling to other corporations whose employees travel frequently and therefore need reliable accommodation. 

Whichever type of account you are dealing with, a sales associate should be attentive. If you can listen to your customer and understand their needs, it will be much easier to make a pitch that resonates with them.

One of the main ways hotels generate revenue is by selling add-ons, extra, or amenities. It’s the job of the sales associate to secure these sales on a consistent basis. You will do market research, conduct surveys, and talk to your potential clients to identify the types of hotel services that would benefit them the most.  

You will be working to ensure customers are satisfied with the services they purchase. This could mean negotiating prices to make the service more cost effective. You may even need to offer customized services for certain clients to secure the final sale. 

A good sales manager is an adaptable one.

What is the career path of a hotel sales associate?

A hotel sales associate is the first step in the career path so there is a lot of room for growth. After getting your foot in the door and landing the job, it’s important to learn fast and sell with confidence. 

If you can consistently generate revenue for a hotel and have what it takes to lead people, you could be promoted to sales manager. Sales managers oversee sales executives and ensure that their entire sales team is on track to hit revenue goals. 

If you can lead your team to success as a sales manager then you might find yourself in line for a promotion to director of sales. The director of sales is in charge of coordinating and overseeing all sales activities for a hotel.

What experience/education do you need to become a sales executive?

Sales executive is an entry level position so it’s possible to get the job without prior experience in the role, especially if you have the right personality. Regardless of your professional experience, you should have a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field in order to make your resume stand out. A business degree gives you the necessary background to understand the nuances of working in a corporate setting.

A job in sales can be extremely lucrative for the right personality type. If you think you´d be a good fit for the role then check out the open sales positions available on Hosco today!

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