Accelerate Results January Webinar Recording

Transcription

April Eskelson :

And again, welcome to part one of our webinar series Reset for 2021! Forget Everything You Thought You Knew. Today we’ll be focusing on resetting both your mindset and strategy to go further, faster in the new year. My name is April Eskelson and I’m the Director of Training at Jacaruso Enterprises. Again, I want to thank everyone that has joined us today. We know that this is a difficult time and we want to share what we’ve learned with you to increase your results.

April Eskelson :

So, everything has changed and will continue to change, from our daily way of life, our work situations, business, the way we communicate, travel, all of it. We don’t need to tell you anymore about this as we’re all aware of the new normal and the challenges that COVID has created. Your team may look very different, where you used to have 10 employees, you may now have two or one or none. You and your teammates may be wearing more hats than ever. Maybe you’re managing more properties or overseeing multiple regions. Some of you may be occasionally, or always, working remotely. There are many changes to our teams and our culture.

April Eskelson :

There’s a new learning curve for everyone, including our travelers. With the essential traveler segments being our top business, this has created not only new customers, but new bookers and guests. Many of our new customers are not only working remotely and holding additional job titles, but they may also be booking reservations for the very first time. The individuals that are traveling have new expectations around the hotel experience and they are listing health and safety as a top motivator in securing reservations.

April Eskelson :

Your hotel may also look very different. Your fitness center, pool, spa maybe closed or restricted [inaudible 00:01:55] with staffing and COVID precautions. You may be offering limited housekeeping services. Your food and beverage may have taken a hit with new laws or lack of staffing. What used to be the case is not the case right now. The ways that you were promoting your hotel may have changed. You might be rewriting your online messaging to appeal to travelers. Okay, so tough times have happened before and we were able to get through it. But this time it was very different. There is one incredible difference that we have never before in our industry, and that’s the way that we deliver hospitality.

April Eskelson :

For the first time guests desire and expect hospitality, but at times with zero contact. Health and safety is the number one priority of travelers today. This really does mean we need to forget everything that we thought we knew and start over. So there’s no hugging our clients today, hopefully soon. But until then, our service and sales culture needs to evolve and still deliver.

April Eskelson :

Everything has changed and so should your service and revenue generating activities. We can no longer rely on business that used to bring us success. Nor can we assume our familiar way of connection will secure conversations, appointments or even create loyalty. With remote work environments and electronic communication being the norm, we need to stand out to be heard. Now more than ever,

focusing on how you can provide what the customer expects will differentiate you from your competitors.

April Eskelson :

It’s time for a reset. Like a chameleon changes color based on his new surroundings, we need to evolve our sales and service culture based on our clients’ new expectations. Our agenda today includes using a new perspective to Evaluate where you are versus where you want to be. Reset, set new expectations for yourself and the team. And lastly Guide, how to lead your team to success. Now, this agenda is applicable to every single person in hospitality, whether you are a line level teammate or a key stakeholder, everyone plays a vital role in revenue generation.

April Eskelson :

So, the first step is to evaluate. Let’s start with your hotel team. In the past, you had a person, people or team for each area of the hotel and everyone had some tangible concrete expectations. You may have been cross-trained yet most of the time you were able to stay in your own lane. Now is the time to take a new perspective and ask yourself realistically, what does your team look like? What do you want it to look like? Who is doing what activities well, and where are there opportunities?

April Eskelson :

The best way to evaluate yourself and your team is to ask these questions: What are my strengths and weaknesses? What are my priorities and how do they impact results? What is my time commitment for revenue generation and what are some realistic activities that I could perform? When evaluating your team, consider what activities need to be done to get further faster, then consider who on your team is best equipped to take on those responsibilities.

April Eskelson :

Prospecting should be the number one focus on revenue generation. When working with a different team dynamic, limited staffing or increased responsibilities, it’s crucial that you’re utilizing each person’s strengths regardless of their job title. Each member of your team can help in the process of finding new business. And, it might not be the typical person that you had performed that skill in the past. You may have someone on your team that has become a master at Zoom or online connections. Consider how you could use this person in a revenue generating activity.

April Eskelson :

Maybe your detail oriented finance teammate could assist in conducting parking lot shops. Also, consider your leadership style, be honest and assess your ability to show empathy. Great leaders know their weaknesses and enlist others on the team to support them in any areas that they might be lacking. The end game uses each person’s strength to connect with more clients in a meaningful, impactful way to secure revenue and fast.

April Eskelson :

Your clientele has also changed. Corporate and local negotiated business has declined. Group, sport and leisure has dissipated in many of the markets but there is still travel. We have found success in the essential market segments. When working with these new essential markets, there is a lot of information to learn. The segments that are traveling in your area and having a basic knowledge of

them, their needs, expectations and how to appeal to them. And lastly, how do we wow these travelers in very different segments.

April Eskelson :

Each market segment has unique policies, expectations and needs. It’s imperative that you learn as much as possible about each segment to offer the right solutions. When considering the essential market segments, try not to make assumptions. For example, in the transportation segment you might say, “I already work with this segment,” and immediately think of an airline contract that you have. But, there’s so much more. Within that segment there’s also logistics, maritime, freight, rail, road transportation.

April Eskelson :

When considering travelers take a look at the entire segment to see what you might be missing. For today’s webinar, we will use the medical segment and the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccination as an example. We know that this is a lucrative market right now and many opportunities are surrounding the vaccination that you could be infiltrating. The military and National Guard as they may be called on for distribution, cold storage facilities will be needed for both transportation and storage.

April Eskelson :

Large medical centers and universities may also assist, security companies might be needed. Traveling nurses will be called upon to administer the vaccination. And, keep an eye out for pop-up distribution centers and facilities that will partner with the government for distribution. These facilities may even need to retrofit their existing layout to make distribution possible. This is just one example of how rich each segment is when it comes to infiltration.

April Eskelson :

This is new for all of us. Accelerate, Jacaruso’s online training platform, has created additional training to help you. Once you become a subscriber to the monthly e-learning platform, you will have access to our Take 5 quick tips for prospecting. These are short videos that talk about either a segment, a tool or an idea, even how to uncover or infiltrate a market. We’ve also created resources attached to each video like flyers, lead sheets and other tips. All of these resources are customizable, downloadable and printable so that you can start using them today.

April Eskelson :

All right, so let’s assume that you watched a Take 5 video, you’ve infiltrated the market and now have located a group of traveling nurses that will be administering the vaccination for the next few months. How will you secure this piece of business? Well, everyone at the hotel plays a vital role in this.

April Eskelson :

All right, are there any puzzle fanatics out there or has anyone started putting puzzles together since quarantine? I have never in my life done a puzzle until now. I’m actually finding out that I’m doing many things that I’ve never done before. Consider your hotel team to be similar to a puzzle. Each piece is unique yet it takes all the pieces to come together to complete the goal. Also, consider how satisfying it is when you snap in that last piece of the puzzle and your masterpiece is complete. That’s the gratification that you will feel when your guests checks in and all the pieces are in place.

April Eskelson :

Okay, great. But how do we do that in today’s environment? Well, the first step is to put yourself in your client’s shoes. We live and breathe the hotel every day. So we understand the changes that have taken place, but our guests do not. We need to step away and take the client’s perspective. So using our example of the group of traveling nurses, let’s consider what we know about someone working in this profession.

April Eskelson :

All right, so health and safety is key. They work long hours. Sleep is, of course, important. It’s a very stressful environment. They may want healthy food options. Of course, they’re working away from home and they’re still human. They have daily responsibilities. They need to pay their bills, connect with family, watch TV. They might have a pet traveling with them or have friends or family visiting on the weekends.

April Eskelson :

Once you have truly put yourself in their shoes, you can now start to create solutions that will appeal to the individual. Keep in mind that each market segment may have very different results in your evaluation. A traveling nurse for example, may have very different needs than a traveler in the construction or transportation segment.

April Eskelson :

Next, evaluate your hotel. Are you ready for these guests based on your evaluation? With all of the changes to our industry, you do have a tremendous opportunity to create loyalty by creating a hotel experience that considers an executes on customer expectations. Now this isn’t hard, but it is different. It takes research, thought, passion and implementation. Please know that everyone in the industry will not do this. And it really does raise the bar.

April Eskelson :

For those of you that do embrace and execute on the new hotel experience, you will differentiate, stand out and create loyalty, increasing your revenue now and into the future. The details matter. All right, so back to where you are versus where you want to be. So cleanliness of the entire hotel is key to our customers. Are you exceeding their expectations? How are you delivering on food and beverage options? What is the accessibility of your amenities and how are you communicating those to the guests? Lastly, what is your service feel like to the guest?

April Eskelson :

When it comes to messaging, it’s important to review each of your online listings and update your messaging. To simplify this task we have created available resources. Our teams met has met with a number of industry experts and uncovered ways to appeal to clients. You can use our OTA audit to review each of your listings. Could your messaging be strengthened by incorporating your hotel’s commitment to health and safety? What about photos, are they current? Are they representative of how your hotel looks today? Are you showcasing new and improved value added items? Are there any other opportunities that you notice? Use this audit to ensure that you are always showcasing the most relevant information based on your hotels offerings and your customer motivators. If you need help with the messaging itself, you can find some suggestions on our guest messaging samples.

April Eskelson :

All right, before we move on, here’s one last thought on evaluation. To make this point stick I have another example for you. Throughout quarantine, I have thoroughly embraced Netflix, and Hulu and Prime. All of the options, all of the series. What haven’t I binge-watched lately? Evaluating your hotel makes me think of a new series that I started watching about tattoo artists. These artists cover up or evolve old tattoos into something more desirable based on the client’s new expectations. So they had a butterfly, but now they want a waterfall, right? The artist has to take what they have to work with and turn it into something else. Even though your client, now at the hotel, has a different expectation and your canvas or the hotel is the same, you can create an entirely different and result.

April Eskelson :

This is where our chameleon comes into light. We need to change the look and feel of the hotel experience to appeal to the client based on their expectations. Now, we may have some COVID restrictions to keep in mind. This is where a serious brainstorming session is vital. Involve your entire team to create solutions that are cost-effective, highly appealing and easy to execute. Each teammate will be involved in one way or another. So, it is important that you involve your teammate from the start of the process.

April Eskelson :

Reset means we now have new expectations and these new expectations are based on revenue generation. Set new expectations for each teammate based on your earlier evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses, whether it’s the cleanliness of your guest rooms, a new high housekeeping process or a new amenity feature. It’s crucial to follow these three steps with each team member and their specific revenue generation role. So Task, set clearly defined responsibilities for each team member. Train, prepare and role-play the teammate so that they’re ready to perform. And Teach, assist each teammate to be successful.

April Eskelson :

All right, let’s go back to our example with the medical segment. Each member of your team can help in the process of finding business. A salesperson can’t be everywhere at all times or know everyone, but as a team, we can uncover a ton of information. Now, this isn’t hard and it doesn’t have to be intimidating.

April Eskelson :

It’s uncovering information that you can access easily and then sharing it with your team. Again, prospecting should be the number one focus for revenue generation. And prospecting has also changed. Your sales calls look differently now than they did previously. We’re connecting remotely with new market segments, we’re working with different bookers and we’re housing a new guest. The way that we find these travelers has also changed.

April Eskelson :

Here are some examples of how your team can help. If you’re the general manager, stay connected with the community. Pay attention to national and local news, keeping an eye out for any businesses that are partnering with government for distribution of the vaccination. Sales, you can perform internet searches, utilizing new sites, subscribing to industry specific email newsletter subscriptions like Industry

Dive. This one is one of my favorites. You can follow industries like med tech, healthcare and biopharma for the latest updates in these segments.

April Eskelson :

If you work at the front desk, make sure that you’re utilizing a front desk lead sheet to make certain that you’re making note of any important information that you uncover when talking to guests. Housekeepers, you can help with referrals from friends, family and other housekeepers you know that may work at hospitals, nursing homes or schools. You’re looking for information on what is happening at those facilities and uncovering any key contacts.

April Eskelson :

Maintenance, you can help with performing parking lot shops of your local competitors. And food and beverage, connecting with vendors is key for referrals. Remember that at a hotel you’re utilizing the same vendors that hospitals, nursing homes and schools are using. Again, prospecting is all about communication and uncovering information and then sharing it with your team. Prospecting can be easy when the entire team takes a proactive role.

April Eskelson :

Using the same example, let’s take a look at service expectations. Each member of your team can help in creating an excellent customer experience that not only meets the customer expectations, but wows them. Remember, every guest may have a different level of comfort in how they access your amenities. Being prepared for all types of expectations will take you far.

April Eskelson :

So, let’s assume that your fitness center is closed or you’re unable to meet the needs of your guests. Here are some examples of how your team can help. As a general manager, consider creating a specialized or premium room type that includes an exercise bike, a workout mirror or even free weights and a yoga mat. This not only meets the guests needs, but offers a contactless option.

April Eskelson :

Sales could create a local partnership with a gym or fitness center that has high reviews during this time for health and safety and social distancing practices. Take it a step further and have the gym refer patrons to your hotel. And you could create collateral and online messaging to offer as an additional option. The front desk can make sure to clearly explain these options at check-in and throughout the stay, whether it is an interim in-room option, booking the fitness center at special times or using a new partner facility. Communicating these details is key.

April Eskelson :

Housekeeping, make sure that everything is sanitized often and you’re following all of the new cleanliness protocols. Maintenance, confirm daily that all equipment is in working condition. And food and beverage, here’s a way to take it a step further and really add a wow factor, offer a value add like pre-packaged and contactless delivery for pre-workout and post-workout shakes, snacks and bottled waters. These are just a few ways to work together to create solutions for all of your guests.

April Eskelson :

We encourage you to role-play to become comfortable in the communication with your guests. You may now be asked a new set of questions and if you don’t prepare your team, they may not be able to provide the information. If you need help with training, our Accelerate role-playing front and back flashcards will also assist you. Use these cards to role-play real life situations involving guests expectations and your hotel solutions.

April Eskelson :

This tool will help your team in the execution of not only new services, but amenities and available products. In this example, the focus is on training the entire team to understand the different fitness options based on the client’s comfort level with social distancing and how to relay the information with the guests.

April Eskelson :

Our last agenda point for today is guiding your team. It’s incredibly important that you lead by example. Focus on revenue generating activities, engage in prospecting every single day, communicate challenges and successes. With the new market segments that are traveling, you and your team may need to learn more about working with a particular segment. This might be the first time that you’re communicating with and marketing to these travelers.

April Eskelson :

There’s time that needs to be dedicated to research and understanding of the segments. Communicate and work together as a team, mistakes and missteps may occur as we work through new ideas and creative solutions. If something isn’t working, change it. Try new things. Be open to new ideas and the execution of creative solutions. Partner with your community businesses if they offer a service that, for the time being, you might not be able to offer. This not only helps you build local connections and be a great community partner, but it also solves the guests need, creating loyalty and future room nights for you. Evaluate your efforts to accelerate your success. Build and nurture those relationships and connections with your travelers that are in-house and encourage feedback to uncover even more solutions.

April Eskelson :

As you lead your team, make sure that you’re painting a clear picture for each person. All right, so another example, but if you’ve ever taken a painting class, this might be something new that you’ve taken up during this time. You’re trying to recreate an image, right? With little to no experience based on your guides direction. You see what the final painting looks like, and then follow your guide step-by-step to recreate the same end product. The way you lead your team should be similar. Show them what the end results should look like, the steps to execute and tasks to perform and explain how each step is important to the final product. When guiding, remember to uncover tasks that provide impact or generate revenue. You’re looking to create that roadmap for each teammate and explain how their role impacts revenue. And, communicate successes and challenges, from each teammate in each department. New responsibilities in a new work environment, sometimes in a whole new department, can be challenging and overwhelming for hoteliers. We understand that you may need a little bit of help in training your team and how to best work with these new essential market segments or even leading your team in this new era.

April Eskelson :

With Accelerate, again, we have you covered not only will we continue this webinar series to provide you with new ideas, tools and tips, but with our monthly sales and operations training. Everything we offer focuses on how to assist you in revenue generating efforts. And this isn’t just sales training, this impacts every aspect of revenue generation. Each lesson covers a different topic from new market segments, to prospecting, finance, strategy, whatever you need, whenever you need it.

April Eskelson :

To conclude part one of our webinar today, we leave you with three key actions. Evaluate your team, your travelers and your hotel with a new perspective. Think like a tattoo artist, what do you want the end result to be? Then Reset, utilize your team’s strengths and set new expectations. Be like a chameleon and change the hotel experiences’ look and feel to appeal to your client based on their new expectations. Evolve your sales and service culture to focus on revenue generation. Be a clear and steady Guide for your team. We are all in this together and when you work together, focusing on the most important aspects, your culture will be stronger now and into the future.

April Eskelson :

Thank you for attending part one of our webinars series. We hope you enjoyed the webinar and keep an eye on your email as we will be sending you a recording of today’s information along with access to a free resource that you can start using today and you’ll also be able to register for part two of the series. Again, if you have questions that weren’t answered in today’s webinar, please feel free to email us at accelerateresults@jacaruso.com. Thank you again and have a great day. We will see you on February 10th at 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Previous Post
Best Practices You May Know – But Need to Follow in your Next Online Meeting
Next Post
Revenue Recovery During & After the Pandemic: Three Things You Need to Know

Want to stay connected?

Subscribe to get the latest delivered – right to your inbox.
Want to stay connected?

Subscribe to get the latest delivered right to your inbox.

Menu