Rethink Your Selling Process: Solving Hospitality Industry Problems for Restaurants and Hotels

Written by Brad Gamble

Chief Executive Officer at The Selling Factory, he has a wealth of experience in sales development. Following his 8 years as VP of Sales and Marketing and part of the executive team of a $500m company, he launched The Selling Factory as a selling-focused destination in the heart of Gainesville’s thriving business and university district.

As the country “reopens”, restaurants and hotels, as well as resorts, are experiencing a surge in customer demand. People want a return to normalcy. They want a great meal, a comfortable hotel stay, or a memorable resort experience with their families. While customers dream for leisure and relaxation, the hospitality industry has rallied to meet their needs and expectations.

But the hospitality industry now has a new set of frightening challenges in front of them.  A lack of employees in the workplace, soaring wages, rising costs of goods and services, and government-imposed restrictions, all weighing on owner-operators trying to maintain a profitable business and delight their customers.

Having sold products and services into the hospitality industry on the vendor side for two decades, we had to adapt to the motivations and priorities of owner-operators at restaurants and hotels.

Now more than ever suppliers to the hospitality industry need to be cognizant of the extreme stress the hospitality industry is under right now.  And, suppliers to the hospitality industry need to tailor their sales processes steps and tactics to accommodate businesses in the hospitality industry.

Do your homework before you connect.  

With abundant resources online and in-person, it’s our duty to go into a sales situation knowing more about a business than just its name, address, and phone number.  Have you checked their online reviews to see if there are any themes? What government legislation has passed that could adversely affect their restaurants and hotels? What supply chain issues are directly affecting resorts, restaurants and hotels?  A little bit of research before your first connection will do wonders to get your prospect’s attention.  

Get to the point…..Quickly.  

If you connect with an owner-operator, assume you have five minutes at the most.  There’s no time to go over the history of your company or a buffet line of product or service offerings that puts the burden of choice on your prospect.  You need to come in with a solution that solves a problem they have right now and articulate that solution as soon as possible. 

Simplify the selling process steps.  

Take a hard look at your company’s sales process, the selling process steps, and the requirements needed to onboard a new customer.  Can a customer buy your goods and services via mobile?  Do you offer easy payment solutions with fair terms?  How much of the onboarding process can you take care of, as the salesperson, to lighten the load for the customer?  Map out your prospect’s journey from first connection to an onboarded customer, and look for ways to shave off friction points in that journey.  

Remember your current customers.  

Signing new customers is awesome, but you have to keep the customer you have. In times of stress, it would be prudent to check in with your current customers to see how they are doing.  Are there additional services you can provide to help them? Have customers reached out to you about extended payment terms?  Anything you can do to solidify the relationship with your current customers will reduce customer churn.  You have to assume that your competitors are trying to sell their solutions in these times of uncertainty.  

While the ideas presented seem straightforward and should be emphasized during normal times as well as during, now more than ever you have the opportunity to rethink the selling process steps for new customers as well as revisit your processes to ensure current customer satisfaction. 

Happy Selling!  

Victoria Zamitalo

Campaign Manager

Victoria received a BA in History and Economics from the University of Florida in May 2023. She is a driven sales professional with over 5 years combined experience in customer service, consumer relations and outbound sales, and is deeply passionate about fostering close relationships between consumers and sellers. She aims to train the next generation of sales professionals in not only the tricks of the trade, but also interpersonal skills that make sales the exciting and ever-changing industry that it is.

Mia Semel

Campaign Manager

Before graduating with a B.A. in Sustainability Studies, Mia took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, recruiting, and leading campaigns. She is an active listener and effective communicator, specializing in fostering genuine connections and finding common ground among differing perspectives. She aims to find practical, creative solutions regarding sustainable development, biodiversity and the climate crisis.

Kira Grieve

Senior Campaign Manager

Kira graduated from the University of Florida and received her Master of Science in Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about helping businesses grow and connecting with new people. Some of her hobbies include traveling and hiking. She hopes to visit all of the National Parks one day!

Jared Glosser

Vice President

After graduating from UF in 2014 with a B.A. in history, Jared started his professional career Fundraising for a non-partisan political lobby in South Florida. In 2016, Jared moved back to Gainesville to work for a non-profit, recruit students for international travel opportunities, and pursue his MBA at UF. Jared has been with The Selling Factory since 2019 focusing on operations, client onboarding, and client success.

Ian Massenburg

Chief Operating Officer

A graduate of University of Florida (B.A. 2001), Ian Massenburg brings over 18 years of sales executive and sales management experience to The Selling Factory. Before coming on-board, Ian worked alongside Brad at Infinite Energy, and then spent his next 3 years as VP of Partnerships selling SaaS products B2B. Ian brings his vast knowledge and experience to the team and to our partner companies served.

Damien Paulk

Campaign Manager

Damien is a University of Florida graduate that recently joined the team full time after working as a Sales Development Intern for one year. As a Campaign Manager, Damien looks forward to contributing to the growth and success of The Selling Factory. When Damien is not at work he enjoys exploring Gainesville with his girlfriend and dog or watching the Gators dominate college football.

Brendan Viehman

Campaign Manager

Brendan graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Project Management. For the past 5 years, he has enjoyed working with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency development. In his free time, he surfs and makes personal finance videos for his YouTube channel.

Savannah Howard

Campaign Manager

A graduate from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, Savannah obtained her Bachelor of Science in public relations with a concentration in French. After almost two years as a sales development intern for The Selling Factory, she joined the leadership team in 2021 taking on the role of Campaign Manager. In her free time, Savannah enjoys going to concerts and festivals and cooking for her friends and family.

Zack Kampf

Campaign Manager

Zack is a creative technologist with experience in advertising, event planning, and game design. He started as an SDR in 2018 and has been with TSF ever since. Upon graduating UF in 2019 he became a campaign manager and is currently seeking a master's degree from NYU. In his spare time, you can find him at the intersection of Art & Technology!

Josiah Blakemore

Growth Manager

Josiah has over 10 years of sales experience, worked with Brad and Ian at Infinite Energy, and also spent time selling SaaS as Director of Partnerships at SharpSpring. He’s always been very competitive and has a love for sports and games. He enjoys solving problems and coaching team members to do the same!

Sue-Ming Frauenhofer

Marketing Manager

Sue-Ming received both her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Management from The University of Florida. As a student, she took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, marketing, and recruiting, eventually leading to her current role as Marketing Manager. She enjoys refining her taste in music and visual art, engaging in mindfulness and meditative practices, and frolicking outside with her sidekick pup.

Adam Grossman

Chief Development Officer

Adam is an ordained rabbi, who has founded multiple ventures focused on workforce development. Hired as CEO by a failing non-profit, in over 5 years, his ingenuity saved the organization, which led to recognize it as one of North America’s most innovative Jewish non-profits. His expertise to identify, cultivate, and on-board talent ensures our student teams meet our partners’ needs.

Brad Gamble

Chief Executive Officer

After graduating from UF in 1999 with a B.S.B.A, Brad Gamble has dedicated himself to sales management, branding, coaching, and building companies. He served as the VP of Sales & Marketing for Infinite Energy until 2014, when he founded The Selling Factory. He has dedicated himself to teaching critical skills to tomorrow’s leaders, and helping companies achieve sales success and revenue growth.