I recently read a great post called “19 Hard Things You Need To Do To Be Successful.”  It was one of those posts that really struck a chord.  So much so that I both emailed it to my team and printed it out for each of them to post at their desks and my own desk.  You know it’s something special when I waste paper to print it out!

I encourage you to read it.  It’s just so simple, and real, and hard!  It applies to everything in life.  It made me reflect on the hospitality industry, and what holds a lot of hotel sales professionals back from reaching that next level of success. So, here is my list taken from some experiences working with hotels around the country in all kinds of situations.

1.  You have to work with a sense of urgency & purpose.  You were hired to bring in revenue.  You can’t do that by waiting for business to come to you.

2.  You have to put the time in upfront.  Investigate, research, fact-find when it may be easier to make assumptions and base strategy off of those.

3.  You have to be creative to get the business when it may be easier to just use the template proposals or emails that everyone else uses.

4.  You have to plan your year/month/week/day.  Take the time to do this and don’t become a Bass that chases the next shiny thing floating downstream.

5.  You have to ask yourself and others how you can improve.  Whether you’ve been in the industry for 30 years or 30 days there is always something more to learn.

6.  You have to deal with the details upfront.  Don’t leave them to your operations team to figure out.

7.  You have to hold yourself accountable and don’t make excuses.

8.  You have to stop selling & listen closely to your customers, your co-workers and your leadership.  Truly work to understand where everyone is coming from and what they need so you can deliver successfully.

9.  You have to take the heat from the client when things go wrong & give the glory to your operations team when things go right

10. You have to do the administrative work you hate.  Enter your activity into your CRM and keep good records.

11. You have to meet even the smallest deadlines that you promise.

12. You have to be flexible and agile when change seems unreasonable

13. You have to admit when you don’t know enough about your target and current accounts and move quickly to find the answers

14. You have to be resourceful and take initiative rather than wait for someone to point you in the right direction

15. You have to be disciplined with prospecting consistently even when it seems like you have enough business coming in the door

16. You have to deal with rejection. You don’t have to like it, but you can deal with it.

17. You have to follow-up consistently with business opportunities even when you think they aren’t worth the effort.

18. You have to rise above the hurdles and disappointments of the day.

19.  Focus on the quality of your work vs. the time you put in at the office.  Life is not a contest to see who works the most.

20. You have to deliver results and prove you are worth the company’s investment.

What other hard things do we have to do as hotel sales professionals?  What did I miss?  I know my list could go on further, and probably in more detail.  As I was writing, it was fun to think of those sales professionals that epitomize doing these hard things, and to see how far they’ve come in their careers.

Commit to yourself that you will do hard things this year, and see the opportunities blossom!