The last 2 weeks of July I have been learning all about Sales. We have covered topics such as, Inside and Outside Sales, LNRs/KNRs, Meetings, Importance of Merlin, Revenue Management, and Reports. I’ve learned so much through out this internship about the inner workings of how a hotel operates and what management rolls do to keep everything up and running. I’ve had little to no management experience before this internship and now I feel I have a good understanding of how much of an undertaking their jobs are. My favorite aspect out of the past two weeks that we discussed would have to be the LNRs and KNRs (Local Negotiated Rate, Key Negotiated Rate.) We contact local companies that we notice stay at our location through out the week and discuss a fix rate for their employees so we can guarantee their business. I enjoyed reaching out to these company’s and learning more of what they do and how we can accommodate their needs. After time you build relationships with these business owners and can talk more on a personal level. It really gives me the opportunity to put my communications education into play. Reaching out to larger businesses such as UPS or Marathon Petroleum are considered Key accounts, which makes discussing the rate changes a little different. To make any changes to those types of accounts we have to go through IHG Corporate Sales who oversees the National accounts. Its not as easy as LNRs but still equally as engaging. I have has the opportunity to meet our Corporate Salesman to discuss lowering negotiated rates. I also really enjoyed going over meetings. People use our meeting room for a plethora of events such as business meetings, bridal showers, baby showers, birthdays, reception hall and more. It’s always fun discussing and planning the events with people, we go over things like food and beverages they want served, how they would like the tables arranged, whether they need linens on the tables, how many people we are accommodating and what date and times they would like the space for. I really enjoy the customer interaction and I experienced that a lot throughout this internship. At the end of my internship I was offered the Director of Sales Position at The Holiday Inn – Hilliard but I was not able to accept because I have a full school schedule and would not be able to work business hours need to fulfill the position. Although I had to deny the position, I thought it was awesome to be offered and upper management salary job. All and all I enjoyed this internship, my trainer had a lot of helpful information to share and was extremely helpful during the whole process. I am excited to take the knowledge I’ve learned and implement it into my work style.
After a busy 2 week, I am finally back with Holiday Inn, learning more about the management side of running a hotel. I took a week off for vacation and we took a week off with my intern training due to high occupancy and demand for management. This week we are back at it, discussing internal systems. What I’ve learned so far this week is our new system Carceto which is a new and improved version of our old system Holidex. This new system allows management to change everything such as daily rates to managing national accounts. Because of this switch over it’s been a learning process for everyone involved. Having access to a program that allows you to have total control of the building is exemplary. It can be accessed at home as well if an issue were to arise while management was at home or out of town. I’ve learned things such as managing inventory for the week, the difference between rate codes and rate category which deals with local and national accounts. Large corporations have different rates than local businesses which both differ from walk in and call in rates. This week has been a lot of information and we are expecting to continue training on internal systems next week as well, so there will be more to come. So far I find management extremely interesting. I don’t think many realize how much time and effort management puts in to keep a business running. They spend a lot of time negotiating with other businesses and meeting with different salesman to improve the financial well being of our hotel. I find this extra behind the scenes business to be much more of what I would like to do in the future so having the opportunity to learn hands on how to deal with business matters is really giving me a leg up for managing later in life.
This past week I was in charge of planning Celebrate Service Week for our hotel. Celebrate Service is a way for management to show their appreciation for all parts of the hotel, and to let them know we could not operate without the hard work they put in each and every day of the year. This year for celebrate service I have planned for each department to have a lunch in with our management team. This is on company time, while they are getting paid and having management serve their food to them. For the Food and Beverage staff this is going to its be a change of pace for them, and I have instructed them to be as “needy” to the management as guests are with them. While management serving their food pertains to food and beverage, it does not specifically pertain to housekeeping. So for housekeeping I instructed the housekeepers to each bring in a load of laundry for management to wash, dry, fold, and press because after a long day of cleaning the last thing you want to do when you get home is do your own house cleaning and laundry. This will be comical for the housekeeping staff. For the front desk staff, while get to participate in the lunch in there is very little management can offer the front desk more than they already do, so instead each front desk employee will receive a movie gift certificate to enjoy on their time off. Last but not least our maintenance man who is an all around handy man will get a $50 bonus because the hotel would not be able to operate without him. He is not just maintenance but the shuttle driver, the kitchen cook, a housekeeper from time to time, the landscaper, and the all around problem solver. The management team and I agreed that Al our maintenance man deserves a little extra. By giving me the reins to plan this event gave me the opportunity to sit down and really think of all that work that goes on, it also gave me the opportunity to work on my planning and communication skills. I had to communicate with all departments and management to determine what would make everybody happy. I had a lot of fun discussing possible activities for the staff to participate in. This was a great learning experience for me.
Last week we discussed reviews and social media and how they can affect a business. In the hotel industry reviews are everything. They can make or break the amount of business we receive. This day in age everybody looks at reviews. I know that I personally look at the reviews before I buy anything so of course it would be the same when searching for vacation destinations or a business trip. I was able to see behind the scenes on the management side of reviews, how to reply to different scenarios and the importance of a timely response. I learned that it is extremely necessary to respond to every review, good or bad because it shows that management is following up with their guests. It’s even more important to follow with an apology and a solution as to how we will improve the stay for their next visit. Reviews allow the hotel industry to notice what where we need improvement or what suggestions guests have. Reviews also make up the majority of the numbers for our monthly and yearly reports, and keeps us in check as to where we are in the IHG standards. I also had the opportunity to see the reports for our hotel. I was informed that if we fall below an 80% on any of our reports that we had the potential to be shut down, and the way we obtain those numbers are buy our reviews.
Later in the week, we discussed social media. I am now the coordinator of Holiday Inn Columbus Hilliard Facebook page and HolidayInncmhbi Instagram page. I am in charge of keeping up with our social media accounts. I will supply a link to each. I am having a blast being in charge of both social media accounts but I’m finding it difficult thinking of different things to post about. I am excited to see what I come up with to promote our hotel.
My first week as a Sales Intern for Holiday Inn has been an interesting experience, I have been shadowing upper management and learning the inner workings of being part management. This week we are focusing on the importance of training and relationship building. Throughout the week we’ve touched on topics such as learning types, positive and negative reinforcement, team involvement and how to build successful relationships with employees and clients. I was informed of the different learning types, visual, auditory, kinetics, and reading and writing. I find that its extremely helpful if you can evaluate someones learning style and be able to train to their specific learning type. I also learned the importance of repetition, it may seem mundane to repeat yourself but it’s how most people retain information. When we touched on positive and negative reinforcement we focused a lot on the positive, and recognizing employees and giving credit where credit is due. Holiday Inn has a GroupMe with their staff and when someone goes above and beyond whether it be the front desk staff, the restaurant staff, or housekeeping they always mention each other and acknowledge how appreciative each other are of one another. Everyone likes to be praised, especially publicly. When discussing negatives or things where one could improve I was taught to always do such things in private one on one conversations so nobody feels singled out, or feels attacked. Which all relates into relationship building, It’s important to build strong relationships with your employees/co workers so they feel comfortable enough to talk with you about issues they are having but keeping that professional boundary. Its also important to maintain trust within employees/coworkers because without trust people will lack that necessary comfortably. By maintaining those two things, your employees will most likely be more motivated to preform. I also learned about the service profit chain. I’ve attached a link, which I find extremely helpful for understanding the “whys” behind management. This week I was assigned to research with 5 relationship building activities for the employees to do at the next meeting. I will attach a link of the exercises I found that I think would be fun and helpful for the team.