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Hotels offer a variety of services beyond inns and suites, such as meeting rooms and party halls. These services must be marketed towards consumers through hotel sales teams. Part of these sales teams are sales assistants, who are sometimes more like administrators and are responsible for much of the sales carried out by the team.
Hotel sales assistants work with sales managers and fulfill a variety of clerical and administrative duties, according to Hilton Hotels. Clerical duties include sending faxes, copying, answering the telephone, scheduling appointments and making travel arrangements. Many sales assistants also participate in the sales of a company. For instance, at Hyatt Hotels, the sales assistant is responsible for marketing and selling guestrooms, meeting places and other services offered by the hotel. Customers who have questions or concerns often correspond with the sales assistant.
According to Clarion Inn and Suites, sales assistants need a high school diploma and experience with sales administration or hotels. Other hotels prefer a college degree in marketing, sales or advertising. They must be detail-oriented, have organizational skills and an ability to work independently. Verbal and written communication skills are essential, because some sales assistants are actually involved in the selling services and most sales assistants have to keep written records of sales and other activities. Sales assistants must be proficient with computers, with the ability to use word processors, send emails, file and engage in data entry.
Sales assistants mostly spend time in office environments where they perform clerical duties. However, some sales assistants travel in order to meet with clients or to market services offered by the hotel where they work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In general, sales representatives work 40 hours a week. However, some might work 50 hours or more during busy periods. Stress can be high for sales assistants who are pressured to keep accurate documentation and who are responsible for making sales.
Between 2008 and 2018, the need for sales representatives is expected to grow by 7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The sales industry is growing at the average of most businesses in the economy. Growth in hotel sales is slowed whenever the economy slows down because of the reduction in disposable income. Many sales assistants have the potential to move into management positions after demonstrating leadership and problem-solving skills.
In 2008, the median earnings for sales representatives was $70,200, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics data taking into consideration commissions earned by representatives. The highest 10 percent earned more than $133,040, and the lowest 10 percent earned less than $34,980.