Before joining Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan, you worked in a travel agency. How do you think working in the tourism industry helped you to succeed in the closely related hotel industry?
It’s all about connections and mentality. Working in one of the leading travel agencies, which is specialized in incoming, MICE and VIP tourism gives you priceless opportunity to explore all the hidden corners of your country, to get in touch with different (not always easygoing) people and fall in love with Armenia. Thereafter the decision was made – all my career path needs to be related to the development of my homeland or highest level of representation of Armenia abroad. With this mindset 3 years ago I started my career with Marriott International as a Sales Executive in Armenia Marriott and now I am here in Courtyard Pushkin Saint Petersburg as a Senior Sales Manager.
As you already mentioned were recently promoted to Senior Sales Manager at Courtyard by Marriott at St. Petersburg. Please share with us your experience working for two countries: what are the differences and similarities of working in Armenian versus Russian markets.
I am thankful to my company for the opportunity I’ve been granted, as these two markets are so different from a Sales perspective. Saint Petersburg is the 4th biggest city in Europe with a population of 5.5 million people after Istanbul, Moscow, and London. This means that the potential is huge here and industries we are working with are so different – Oil & Gas, Retail, Logistics, etc. Sanctions against Russia over Ukraine crisis, of course, reflected on some segments as Embassies and Consulates, but overall if in Yerevan I have built a nice friendship with all the main players of Armenian business & travel industry, hereafter 3 months I hardly know even 10-15% of the market.
We know that working in a sales department for a hotel can be very interesting yet, sometimes, can be also very challenging. Please describe a day in a salespersons’ life in a hotel.
My morning starts with something sweet to keep the balance of endorphins in stressful situations. Then comes participation in morning briefing and checking of arrival lists, site inspections and meetings in and out of the hotel, endless emails and calls. Needless to say, Salespersons are available 24/7 and this is a good chance for me to express my gratitude to my friends and family for their understanding and support.
How did you choose to work in the tourism and hospitality sector at the beginning? Tell us more about how you decided to enter this field?
I was 3 y.o. when my Mom and Grandpa showed me the huge world map on the kitchen’s wall and after a few months, I’ve memorized all the capitals of the World. I guess it was a starting point for endless exploration, travel addiction, 2 professional degrees in tourism and hospitality from different universities and 5 years of experience in hotel industry. I am so lucky that my profession chose me.
Speaking about the sales department in a hotel, what are the main personality traits that one should have to succeed as a salesperson in the hospitality field?
Being able to communicate effectively is one of the most important life skills to learn if you want to succeed in Sales. To meet the client’s expectations, you need to hear not only listen, need to empathize not only understand. It’s a lifelong process of learning and scrutinizing the psychological aspects of human relations. I am also working on shifting from a managerial to coaching mindset in my team, as for me it’s the most effective one, and learning what makes people tick can help them to succeed.
Sales sometimes can be very stressful, so stress management is the last point I want to highlight here. Taking charge of your emotions, your schedule and your environment will bring you and your team to perfect work/life balance.