Friday, September 24, 2010

Words of Wisdom

Thursday evening..

I am quite frustrated that I am receiving a lot of business inquiries but nothing is materializing. So it made me think and analyze my work process, or to be blunt, my sales process. If I am not turning a piece of business lead into a real business, then there is something wrong in my work equation.

So frustrated and down, I approached the most senior sales person in our office. It was quite late already so nobody was around except us.

In misty eyes, I shared my frustrations in my new role and he generously shared his words of wisdom from years of working as sales person.

Please your clients, not your boss. Honestly, I am stunned with his first tip. Though it is the boss who supports us, it is the client’s business that will help us shine in our field of work. For sales, what matters most is the business we bring and we can only shine if we continuously bring business and meet our targets.

It is the end that justifies the means. Sad, but true.

Always answer your phone. Clients will call us for a reason. It means they need for something and most likely they will not call us again. In circumstance that we are engaged in the meeting, then we have to send an sms that we will return their call shortly.

Empowerment. He said that this comes with experience only. Until and unless I have solid experiences, I cannot feel the sense of empowerment.

Right now, I am about to have a lucrative employment package which I can feel the effect next month. I need this package as much as I abhor this job. I am thinking that with my new salary and allowances, I will expedite the payments of my mounting bills.

This is the reason that I am working hard to survive this job at least for a year. By then, I will pay off most of my financial debts.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Taste of the (Sales’ People) Miserable life in the field

I hit the road in full blast two weeks after my replacement joined. Unfortunately, summer was approaching that time.

I have been working for almost 8 years now in this country (UAE) and I never had a moment to hate UAE until I started working on the field.


I am aware of the summer season and how bad it can be but I never experienced the peak of summer heat until I do hard sales in the streets of Abu Dhabi. As sales, we need to evaporate in our office by 9am. Hence, I am outside from 9am to 2-3pm.

And life has never been pleasant during summer. The temperature can sometimes reach 47 or 48 degrees and humidity is so high. Worst part, I am wearing a business suit and have to walk blocks away because there is no available parking space nearby.

Oftentimes I forgot my bottled water in the car. Returning after an hour, it is very frustrating that I can’t drink the water because it is hot and sometimes the plastic bottle is deformed.

Summer in UAE is really hot and it is not a joke. This is the time that you will hate outdoor sales job.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cradle for Slavery

The average working hours in our office is 10-12 hours or more in a day. Among my colleagues I am always the first to leave and take note ;-) I am leaving the office like 7pm. They usually leave between 8-9pm.

So, it is quite a common joke for us to say that leaving the office at 6pm means a half day work only. ;-)

For this reason, I can’t help but whine about the long hours we spend in the office. I don’t know with my colleagues but for me I really find it quite long. If my pending works can wait until the next day, I make it to a point that I leave at 7pm but most of the time I have urgent matters to complete so I stay until 8pm.

This is our normal office routine and lately I felt like our office becomes a cradle for slavery. I reach the office at 8am and leaves between 7-8pm. Our weekly off is everyday Friday while Saturday off is on alternate basis.

I really hate to rant because there are many people without jobs there and here I am ranting about my job! Geeee… Just can’t help to rant about it!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Promotion means additional expenses..Arghhhh!

As what I shared in my very first post – I am broke – and this is the primary reason that I accepted the promotion as sales executive. You can read that post here.

Now, my promotion somehow becomes a financial burden too. You see, I have not to dress nicely, not necessarily expensive, but at least pleasant. You see I care less about my business suits for the past two years because anyway I am just a secretary. I was not meeting any clients.

But after my promotion, it is now a totally different scenario. Perception and image become an important factors specially when meeting new clients. It entails buying more business suits and car is a must too.

And just thinking of all these stuffs, it drains me.. I am broke and I cannot afford any additional expenses right now..

I am really sad thinking about this.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The 7 Rooms... Conclusion


While having my lunch today, the pilot called. If you remember I met him and sent our proposal yesterday.

He eventually replied to our proposal and as expected renegotiated the special package we extended to him. I reverted back to his e-mail and met his demands half way. To my surprise, he called in the afternoon and informed that they will be checking in the evening.

I am happy because it is another 6 rooms from them.

I stayed very late in the office but glad that before I left the day, he signed the special agreement.

Then he asked me to book again six rooms for Saturday night. Yeheey!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The 7 Rooms.. continuation

Hello there!

My 7 rooms checked in today and to my surprise, one of the guest wanted to see me. So I did.
I am really nervous when it comes to meeting new people because I am an introvert person. Unlike other people, they are bubbly and words simply flow naturally from their mouth.
I met this guy, the pilot. He is actually the decision maker and the owner of the company. Generally when sales people meet clients, there is one goal to achieve – to extract as much information as you can from the client.

And this comes very hard on my part because sometimes I am lost in between on what to ask next.. Worst, I just remember the missing information when I am back at the office.
Anyway, I managed to extract some information and the bottom line of our meeting was about developing long term business relationship. This company has really a potential and they will be booking regularly of course with one condition – cheap rate.

Well, with our hotel struggling for business, we can really drop room rates just to secure the business.

And the pilot wants to close the deal by end of the day as he is checking out tomorrow.
Since I am very new to this field, I ask our Assistant Director of Sales to help me conclude the business. Kind enough, she joined our next meeting in the afternoon. Honestly, she did the sales pitch and negotiation. I just observed how she did it.

I am impressed by her skill. Her questions are very structured.. it goes like this..
After exchange of business cards, she had chitchat about non-business related subject. Then I remembered from my training in the previous hotel, the best way to start this actually is from the business. Ask about the info in the business card just to start a conversation.

Then she asked about their needs and divides it into two parts – the negotiable and non-negotiable needs.

Next she enumerated how we could meet their business needs.

Then the negotiation about the rates started.

The meeting took around 45 minutes and before I left the office today, I sent our proposal.

Let’s see if I will get this piece of juicy business.. hopefully I will..

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The 7 Rooms

My promotion as sales executive took effect last January 2010 but until now I am still working as sales secretary because my replacement is not yet onboard.

So for the past two years I have been attending all the possible meetings related to sales to take minutes. In a week I attend a minimum of 4 meetings a week. I sort of hate and love it. I hate it because it consumes my time but I love all the knowledge I gain in the meetings.

Unfortunately after my promotion the task of attending (preparing & taking minutes) meeting becomes an additional workload because at the same time I am taking a portion of my workload too as sales executive.

This afternoon I received a lead (means potential client) inquiring for 7ooms and check in is tomorrow already. Honestly if I was not promoted I would care less for this inquiry but since I am already a sales executive, it means a lot to have these 7 rooms tomorrow.

Attending all these weekly meetings give me a better glimpse on how bad is the business in our hotel. I will say that it is really bad because there are many newly opened hotels with cheaper rates and better facilities, and the recent economic climate which somehow makes the corporate companies to be stricter in their budgets.

I know.. I know.. I joined the sales team in the worst period where business is down and confirming a business is really a struggle.

Anyway, back to the 7 room – as the check-in already tomorrow I called the sender of the e-mail who is based in Turkey. To make the story short, the business is confirmed. I am happy because somehow I contribute 2% for our occupancy tomorrow.

Occupancy is a hotel lingo which means the percentage of the booked hotel rooms.
I am hoping for more business to come through me.. really!