VA Voice - July 10, 2017 Print

Featured News

Annual Conference Speaker Feature: Howard Feiertag, CHA, CMP, CHSE

Regardless of the size of a property, it is salesmanship, probably more than product that determines the success in building business for the property. So, what is this thing called “salesmanship”? Is it only something only salespeople are supposed to have? This term encompasses a variety of things, but the most important ingredient is enthusiasm. 

Ideally, an enthusiastic attitude starts with the first person with whom a guest makes contact, whether it is by phone, van driver, bell person, front desk, food service server, etc. It is reflected in the attitude of the entire staff, throughout each department. How guests are received, as well as how employees treat other makes a big difference of a guest’s perception of a property. No question about it, guests are positively influenced by staff members’ enthusiasm---and negatively influenced of it lacking.

Generally, in the business of selling, prospects feel more confident when they deal with salespeople who show enthusiasm for what they are selling. The way someone answers the phone in any department is a key to salesmanship. An enthusiastic greeting with a “telephone smile” gets half the sales job accomplished right at the start.

Salesmanship is also knowledge of the product: confidence in the facility and its staff; warmth, empathy, courage, conviction, sharing information, asking the right questions, it all adds to credibility, and helps in making a sale. No one ever really buys anything, especially a business meeting, or conference location, without confidence in the product. There is hardly any chance in making a sale if confidence is not displayed by the staff. Confidence is by far the most important key to displaying confidence; and it is important to be sincere about it. Phonies are easily detected.

Since everyone sells, everyone on the staff needs to be enthusiastic about the property and its makeup, as well as its management their jobs. Of course, all this starts with the General Manager and the management team. Here is a little test for department heads to initiate: count the number of employees in the department you find displaying enthusiasm during the course of a given day. Check on how the phones are being answered; watch various staff members doing their jobs, particularly with guest contact at the front desk, dining room, and housekeeping; observe how guests are being greeted. How do the employees rate on the enthusiastic scale?

Without sales, we cannot exist, and without enthusiasm selling is hard to do. Remember that salesmanship is the key to success, and everyone on the staff is a salesperson.

Catch Howard at MPI Virginia's 2017 Annual Conference on August 16-18th!

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Upcoming Events

MPI Virginia CMP July 2017 Bootcamp
July 17 - 18, 2017
Virginia Tech Richmond Center - Richmond, VA

MPI Virginia Annual Education Conference & Awards Dinner
August 16 - 18, 2017 (*Book your room by July 17th*)
Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront - Virginia Beach, VA

MPI Virginia September Education
September 21, 2017
Quirk Hotel - Richmond, VA

MPI Virginia CMP November 2017 Bootcamp
November 20 - 21, 2017
Virginia Tech Richmond Center - Richmond, VA

CMP Conclave
November 13 - 15, 2017
MGM National Harbor - National Harbor

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MPI – VA Chapter Member Profile - Cheryl Morales

Cheryl Morales
Organization: Newport News Tourism Development Office
Title:  Marketing Manager

Best thing about job:  I am always doing something different. One day I’m working with a meeting planner, the next creating a Beer, Wine and Shine Trail and the next taping a show for NNTV. I just love the diversity of projects that our office works on!       

Volunteer positions: I coordinate a program through my church, Warwick Memorial United Methodist Church, called Hands Across the City. Annually we provide free minor exterior home repairs and yard work to the Denbigh area of Newport News. Back on June 3rd we had 42 volunteers that came out to offer their hands to make 10 home sites warmer, safer, drier and more.

Event horror story: There have been what I like to call “event hiccups” experienced over the last 15 years working for NNTDO, and when they happen, we just fix the problem and move on. So, I’m sorry to say I don’t have one story in mind.

Hobbies: I have photo albums from when I was just a baby to the present. Although it is a process these days to create the albums because of digital media, I love having the memories in a book and looking through them on rainy or snowy afternoons. It’s like having a diary, but in photos.

Husband/Wife/Kids/Pets: I have a son, David, who is 17 years old and this fall he will be a senior at Tabb High School. This past March he joined the Army National Guard and is currently at Fort Benning, GA completing basic training. I also have a nine-year-old Yorkiepoo, Sassy, who I like to call my “Velcro dog,” as she never leaves my side!

Pet Peeve: Just because you are going the speed limit, doesn’t mean you have the right to stay in the passing lane, especially when everyone else is passing you in the slower lane!

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MPI Moment

New Ways to Pay & Save with Membership Renewals beginning July 1-31, 2017

Installment Plans
We will be launching new functionality on our website that will allow new members to join MPI on a monthly installment plan. The memberships will still be annual memberships; however this will allow new members to pay on a monthly basis so they do not have to come out of pocket the full membership investment all at one time.

Auto Renewal
Beginning in July, we will also be launching an auto renewal option. New and existing members will have the opportunity to select the auto renewal option either during the join process or during renewal. This will allow members to have their credit cards charged automatically when their next membership invoice is due. All members on installment plans will automatically be enrolled in this program.

New Member?
Summertime Savings! Enjoy the summer months with your fellow meeting and event professionals at your local chapter gatherings. Join MPI at and use code MPISMJULY before July 31st to receive 10% off your new membership.

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