Hospitality & Social Selling

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak at the 2010 Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International  Resort Business Summit this week in W. Palm Beach, Florida.  It was an Association event filled with an extraordinary amount of community and camaraderie, evidence of a leadership commitment in an industry that is defined by customer service and quality relationships.

Although I was brought in as a Subject Matter Expert to present Sales 2.0 & Social Media Strategy I am quite certain I learned as much as I shared about networking and connections.

In speaking about Social Selling I am quick to point out several key considerations:

-Define your objective and determine the right strategy

-The trend is more important than the tool

-Social Media is not a replacement for relationships but rather an acceleration and expansion platform that can aid in sharing your unique story with your audience (you need to have a story….and an audience).

The Social Secret is that it’s still all about the quality of the relationship.  That hasn’t changed.  And that is something that HSMAI and its membership get straight away.

I was welcomed by a group of open sharers who have fostered strong relationships built around a common interest in identifying best practices and earning more business through delivering an experience consistent with expectations.   That builds trust and loyalty.  And drives Word of Mouth that can accelerate and advance growth in spite of revenue pressure that is surely a sign of the times.  This week would serve as an excellent case study in how to run a best practices forum for other industries.

I was also able to enjoy an invaluable research/trends report by industry linchpin Cindy Estis Green and an exhilarating keynote from Futurist Micheal Tchong.  Bravo!  I suppose the notion that I am authoring this post 40,000 feet above the ground on a Delta flight with WiFi is consistent with the trend of accelerated innovation and change that was such a theme this week.

I always embrace the opportunity to make new and meaningful professional connections.  I hope my contribution this week offered as much value as I received.

Having an abundance of awesome options to consider for my next R&R get away is never a bad thing either!

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