Job Title: Executive Director Of Regional Sales
Education: Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Communications, University of New Orleans
Previous Experience: I worked in operations at a hotel in New Orleans. Promoted to sales and worked in several cities which led me to D.C. and hotel national sales.
Job Tasks: The company I work for is a worldwide hotel chain. They own, manage, franchise hotels and resorts around the world.
I am responsible for prospecting for new business, maintaining client relationships and building new ones, finding business and maintaining existing customers, providing customer service, attending trade shows, making sales calls and presentations.
A typical day on my job includes calling, e-mailing existing and new clients asking for business, finding out about their meeting profiles and forging relationships. It includes sending request for proposals to the hotels and sending out detailed proposals. I work with internal clients, hotel salespeople to follow-up and confirm that the client has everything he/she needs to make a decision.
When you work in this business, in this territory (D.C./Mid Atlantic territory), you must know acronyms. PCMA, MPI, SGMP, AMPS, TIA, HSMAI, NBTA, ASTA, etc. These are the industry organizations we work with and belong to - they are so very important to our business.
All the associations are known by acronyms, too. It is imperative to know these acronyms while learning the business.
There is no typical day in this business. We plan trade shows, client events, negotiate contracts and deals and proposals, deal with client issues, and many of us handle our own administrative work. We attend industry related events and conventions. We entertain clients. We plan and schedule sales calls and events for out-of-town sales people who handle our territory for visiting hotels. We are responsible for a budget. We handle client issues and questions pertaining to the hotels and their incoming and outgoing groups. We do presentations to clients.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I love meeting new people and learning about their very interesting jobs and careers. It is extremely unique to know so much about the different associations and non-profit industries, Fortune 500 companies, travel management companies and what they do in the field. Also, the variety keeps it interesting. It is never boring. I also get to travel to wonderful places. That is the best.
The worst part is the stress. You are responsible for a production goal which is sometimes beyond your control. Clients cancel, choose other hotels, etc. due to no fault of your own.
1. Be prepared to be stressed. A production goal looming over your head is major stress.
2. Be open. It is a career where you will be open to many cultures and personalities and will open your eyes to so much.
3. Learn as many languages as possible. Fluency in languages is key in this industry. You will be much more marketable.
Additional Thoughts: It is a very rewarding career at first. The travel opens your eyes to new cultures and people. However, be prepared for not much life balance. The stress of a production goal is huge.
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