PHASE ONE: Personal and Professional Strategy

Step # 1: Professional Management

Topic 2: Overview of the Hospitality Industry

Input (7/28/99)



Doctor Mac here.

Welcome to another session of Hospitality Sales Management

This is

PHASE ONE: Personal and Professional Strategy

Step # 1: Professional Management

Topic 2: Overview of the Hospitality Industry


In the last topic, you learned how professional salespeople conduct business. The Consultative Selling Model provides you a map. You see that salespeople follow a need filling process similar to a doctor or a consultant. Professional salespeople adopt a "win/win" attitude and they try to solve customer problems. And, to ensure long-term relationships with their customers, salespeople must continuously develop themselves personally and professionally.

In this topic you will learn the size, dimensions, and nature of the hospitality industry and how it relates to sales. You will learn about: (a) how large it is, (b) who are the primary buyers—meeting planners, and (c) the many sub-industries that sell to these meeting planners.

On the supply side, the Hospitality industry is composed of many sub-industries. For example, some of you are thinking about going into hotels, resorts, or "floating-resorts—cruise industry. Others might want to be in Food and Beverage—either owning your own or working for a restaurant corporation. Others might want to work for a Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and sell the destination (the city or state). Still others may want to become involved in specialized areas like Special Event Planning or Destination Management Companies (DMC), golf club management or travel distribution such as tour operators or travel agents, or meeting planners. All of these sub-industries and more have salespeople who seek revenue.

On the demand side, buyers are generally meeting planners working for corporations, associations and/or other organizations. They purchase from the various suppliers mentioned above. They spend large amounts of money and they purchase complex products/services—major group meetings. Meeting planners are identifiable—they are found on lists and belong to various meeting planning associations.

Hospitality Sales people contact these meeting planners and attempt to establish long-term relationships with them. The salesperson’s job is to help these meeting planners fulfill their needs—to find and purchase hospitality products/services that will help them have successful and productive meetings.

The purpose of this topic is to give you an overview of and to familiarize you with the various players that you will encounter in selling in the hospitality industry. It will also inform you of the many careers available in the hospitality industry.

When you have completed this topic, you should be:

  1. familiar with size and other dimensions of the industry
  2. Know the players: both supply and demand
  3. Understand that hospitality sales are complex and therefore need consultative salespeople as opposed to simple sales that only require "transactional" selling skills.
  4. Know that hospitality salespeople are involved in Business-to-Business Selling as opposed to Consumer Selling.


Management of your professional development dictates that you have intimate knowledge and understanding of your industry. This topic has started you on your journey.

The next topic, The Marketing Concept and Sales, continues Step # 1, Professional Management. You will build upon your full understanding the nature of the hospitality industry and selling complex products. You will relate the broad area of "Marketing" to the specific area of "Sales." You will learn that selling today has become more sophisticated and adopted the concepts of Marketing. Today’s salespeople are NOW, "micro-marketers." Keep this term in mind!

So, let’s get to work!

This is Dr. Mac saying, "Persevere and be of good cheer!"

Reading time: Approximately 4 minutes.