In the throes of developing the Sales and Marketing plan for 2010 – it's time to do a gut check!
What is the mindset of the people involved in the plan development – are they in a hunkered down in survival mode or in an optimistic recovery state? After a brutal year in 2009, it is easy to fall into survival mode.
"If you operate in emergency mode, you tend to lose sight of long-term plans. If you're in triage all the time, God help you," says Umesh Ramakrishnan, vice chairman at CTPartners, a global executive-search firm in daily contact with CEOs. (USAToday, 8/10/09)
Those unarticulated attitudes, or as Anthony Robbins would say ‘self limiting beliefs', reinforced by past and present data can lead you to develop a ‘survival' based plan that is oblivious to innovation and blind to the opportunities that present themselves moving forward. Being oblivious to potential opportunities in 2010 may be worse than dealing with the economy of 2009.
Seth Godin sees it this way "…In a booming economy, mistakes can be covered up because there's so much money going around. During tougher financial times, a higher premium is placed on people who "get it" – those who've got all their bases covered and can focus real energy on their business plan. There's nothing like a recession for focusing the business mindset. Many will give up, leaving the field clearer." (American Express Open Forum, 8/10/09)
Take a ‘gut check' of your team:
- Ask your team a series of questions at the next meeting. What excites you about this plan and our opportunities for 2010? If you could develop and execute one innovative creative strategy what would it be? What would you do in your department in 2010 if you thought you could not fail?
- Go on a field trip. Take the entire team to visit an innovative successful company in your area. Let them feed on the excitement and enthusiasm of a team that is ‘jazzed' about the company, their opportunities and the possibilities in 2010.
- Protect them from negative influences. If the owner or the management company is calling every week to complain about the numbers – let the GM take the heat. If the team gets hammered by this negativity, how can they formulate an action oriented proactive plan?
- Forget the negative words, overcoming, challenging, etc. Of course there will be challenges next year but you can change their heads by changing the words to more positive metaphors. Overcoming (fill in the blanks) sounds like ‘pushing a rope up a hill'. Overcoming as a tactic can be a good thing – overcoming as a state of mind is not! How about ‘there will be opportunities next year and we need to be ready to take full advantage of them ‘head on'.
- Distribute positive business articles. People love success stories – feed their heads with success stories of individuals and companies that are doing well and how they are doing it. Every time an article appears with a positive economic trend – challenge them (oops – there's that word) to find the opportunity in that positive trend to drive business to the hotel.
Pump up your team and make sure that they ‘get it'. And, oh yeah, hope your competition doesn't read this! Have you signed up for FREE Shots of Hotel Sales and Revenue Management Caffeine? These are short blurbs of tips and motivation that arrive in your Inbox every Monday morning. Shoot off a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included on the distribution list – your information will not be used for any other purpose. Carol Verret and Associates Consulting and Training offers training services and consulting in the areas of sales, revenue management and customer service primarily but not exclusively to the hospitality industry. To find out more about the company click on www.carolverret.net. To contact Carol send her an email at email@example.com or she can be reached by cell phone (303) 618-4065. Visit www.hotelsalesblog.com