Ivy Arndt of Hyatt Place Cleveland/Westlake/Crocker Park was recently named Director of Sales of the Year for Hyatt Place properties. Here's what she has to say about her job, the industry and receiving such an honorable award:
1. How long have you been working in sales/why were you initially drawn to this industry?
I have been in the hotel industry for 30 years. I started as a housekeeper at a motel near where I lived as a summer job. I was bitten by the hospitality bug way back then and still love working in the hospitality industry. I have been in sales for more than 20 years, starting as a sales coordinator and working up to director of sales. Hotels are open 24/7/365, so there is always something going on! I think that is what I was drawn to--meeting new people every day, new experiences and creating lasting relationships.
2. What does a typical day of work look like for you?
I’m not sure there is such a thing as a typical day in hotel sales! No two days are the same. Typically, I arrive at the hotel, check messages, run reports, check hotel availability, see if we need to adjust rates, check on the groups that are arriving, check on the meetings that are in that day, check in with the hotel team and talk with guests at breakfast. Prospecting, site tours, outside appointments/sales calls, conference calls and networking meetings take up most of my day. I jump in and help with operations if we are short staffed, but that doesn’t happen too often. We all work as a team, so we help each other out!
3. How did you feel when you were named Director of Sales of the Year?
There were so many great nominees, I was honored to be listed among such an outstanding group of sales leaders. Honestly, I was stunned to hear my name announced. Being named Director of Sales of the Year is a success and celebration for our entire team--everyone at the hotel sells! We have such an amazing team, and I am honored and blessed to work with such a wonderful group of people who truly care!
4. What advice do you have for people pursuing a similar position or another role in this industry?
Learn something new every day; never stop learning. Work as a team and everyone wins. You have to be a people person to work in the hospitality industry, and you also have to have patience. Listen to people, you have no idea what is going on in their life. Sometimes people just need to talk. Lead by example; you earn the trust and respect of those you work with if you are willing to jump in and do what they do. Always have a plan…if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Have fun, we often forget that work can and should be fun! Take time to make someone laugh or smile, it makes everyone’s day better.
5. What is your favorite part of what you do?
The favorite part of what I do is meeting new people and learning about them, understanding who they are and what is important to them, creating lasting relationships and becoming a trusted advisor to our customers. I want to provide the highest level of service possible to our guests and customers; even if our hotel is not the right fit, I want to provide options and suggestions to help them find what they need. My father always told us to treat others as you want to be treated. I try to live this every day.