There may be trouble ahead... or not.

Michael Lee, Kew Green Hotel's recently appointed Head of National Sales, talks to us about what 2019's hospitality sales industry looks like.

With 2019 well underway and the future uncertain due to macro-economic factors, the focus in hospitality sales would seem to be more defensive than ever before.

38,000 hotel rooms set to open in 2019, clients facing potential travel cuts and, in some instances, moves outside of the UK… how do we continue to capitalise on what has been a fantastic two years in hotels?

“For me, this is where building relationships, understanding our client needs, brand & scale will play a vital role in maintaining and growing our market share.”

The buying patterns of our clients has moved digital, and the power to make decisions sits squarely in the laps of the traveler. With the growth in online booking tools and travel apps, the days of influencing stays by hosting a quarterly lunch and dropping off Easter eggs are in the past. That said, holding key relationships with procurement and travel managers is crucial if we are to stay ahead of the competition and ensure we are making the most of the opportunities as they are. There is always room for relationship and nurturing those should not be lost. Too many of us are quick to send an email rather than pick up the phone, and believe it or not people still want to talk!

With budgets under scrutiny, understanding our clients needs and being able to fulfill those is pivotal. Being able to tick all their boxes from transient/group, meeting, location and restaurant perspective makes everyone’s jobs easier…Which is why my teams and I are getting get back to basics and having the conversations. It’s great to have the digital and creative platforms, but we often try and over complicate the process. Ask yourself: Do you really understand your clients’ needs? Their key locations? The influencers and decision makers? The must-haves and nice-to-haves? If you are not ticking these basics as a minimum, and I know many don’t, then 2019 could be a tough year.

At KGH we understand the basics, we move quickly and really deliver in the key areas, which gives myself and the teams a real sense of optimism for 2019. We should not be afraid to be different in sales. New ways of working and challenging the stereotypes should always be encouraged, but understanding the basics and implementing them at the right time should not be lost.

Interested in joining Kew Green Hotels award-winning sales team? Get in touch with our Talent Resourcing Manager – Natasha Nagra at