Soft skills in your hospitality role: Why they are important, and how you can improve them?

MJ VOE

Mandy Jennings, Managing Director of Paje Consultancy and Executive Director of Venues of Excellence shares insight into her top 3 soft skills that really make a difference in a hospitality sales environment.

You’ve worked hard studying exams to enable a pathway to your career, and you’ve busted out some long hours at work to climb the career ladder, but have you all the skills you need to really succeed?

Based on a recent study, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner states that ‘what employers want are soft skills, including oral communication, team-building and leadership skills’ after the findings showed training for soft skills is the top priority for talent development teams.

So what soft skills do you need for the hospitality sector?

It is perhaps no surprise that communication is high on the agenda and is an integral part of the role. An ability to communicate efficiently will help you during showrounds to connect with the client and explain why their needs will be met at your venue/hotel, and is, of course, an essential skill for networking.

We’ve listed three of the primary soft skills needed to really excel in communicating within your role in hospitality.

#1: Listening.

It is often said that the best communicators are the ones who listen. It can be a common mistake when trying to make a sale that you talk at your client, trying to give them all the information about how excellent your venue is. Instead, take time to listen. This will enable you to understand the needs of your clients, what their expectations are and get a feel for how they like to produce an event. Listening can be your most useful tool in closing a sale, as it helps you to identify the above and gives you time to prepare an appropriate response.

#2: Body language.

Smiling is contagious, so why not be a carrier!  People who smile are even deemed more trustworthy as they appear confident in themselves. When you are under the pressure of a showround with a significant potential client, it can be nerve-wracking, to say the least. If you smile, it will not only release chemicals in your own body that will help you be less anxious and thus able to focus more, but it will also put the client at ease and start to build a rapport with you.

3#: Be concise.

When it comes to communicating, less is sometimes more. Try to stay focussed to the needs of your audience and the objectives of the meeting.  You could even try writing the 3 main objectives down and memorising them before the meeting. Then take time to check your answer is relevant to these before you reply. If you need more time and information before giving a response, don’t be afraid to ask questions and listen! Knowledge is power. The more information you can get from your potential lead, the easier it will be to communicate to them only the information that they are really wanting to hear!

If you’re looking to develop in your role, don’t forget that Venues of Excellence works in partnership with Paje Learning and Development Academy to provide dedicated training courses, delivered by industry experts.