I cannot begin to count how many times I have blogged or published articles about being different and unique, and “standing out from the crowd” when it comes to hotel sales. Oftentimes I will send out info on “different” holidays, events, or activities that are not stereotypically used by professional sales people in the hotel sales arena. Call me quirky, call me weird, call me unique…. just call me, right? Given all that, what have you done this year to make YOU stand out in the hotel sales person sea of sameness? Did you take any of my ideas and build upon them for your hotel? Did it work?
As I am going through my end of the year clean up and task lists, and preparing my files and tools for 2016, I typically set up my next year’s calendar. While I use a digital calendar for daily events and my schedule, I use an old-fashioned paper calendar and list when it comes to planning social media posts, future activities, and fun celebrations. My favorite website is www.holidayinsights.com and their yearly “Bizarre, Wacky & Unique Holidays” list. (If you want me to send you a copy of the list just email me.)
Once I have gone through this list, I highlight dates that I think might inspire a creative post, blog, tweet, or email. Then, I trace back a month earlier (or longer if I think what I want to do is BIG) to remind myself to create a promotion, flyer or gift that can be used in celebration of that event. Some of the “typical” events are recognized holidays like Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Halloween, etc. But a caution here…. EVERYONE celebrates those holidays and you are going to need to be pretty darn creative to stand out. How many promotions, cards, flyers, or posts do you see for Hot Tea Month, the Festival Of Sleep Day, Take A Walk In The Park Day or Teddy Bear Day? Wouldn’t it be fun to send out National Pie Day cards?
My unique approach to sales includes celebrating things with which our customers are not familiar…. the unexpected! Go back and read old blogs about “Wowing” your customers and you’ll see what I mean. Being unique is part of your personal brand. Integrating your uniqueness into your brand’s culture and weaving all of your written word, sales activities, promotions, gifts, etc. together presents a united and recognizable front to your customers.
My parents taught me a valuable lesson as a child. “Be a leader, not a follower.” I have applied that advice many times, and to many parts of my life, but none more often than to my profession. Don’t be a carbon copy of the sales person at the hotel down the street. Your customers will get bored. Being unique and garnering their attention opens the door for you to show your product and demonstrate why you deserve their business.