What is the definition of a SMERFE sales manager?
To understand what a SMERFE sales manager is, we must first know what the letters stand for.
S = Social
M = Military
E = Education
R = Religious
F = Fraternal
E = Entertainment
Some basic examples of SMERFE Clientele that I would categorize are:
Social – Family reunions, wedding groups, traveling sports teams, funerals
Military – Reunions, programs, FEMA, government
Education – Events, congresses, non-profit work, seminars, student tours and travel
Religious – Conventions, meetings, prayer groups
Fraternal – schools, colleges, universities, fraternities
Entertainment – Entertainment groups, tour & travel
SMERFE’s sales managers need personality.
A SMERFE sales manager must be friendly, caring and dramatic. They are creative, fun and get along with everyone. They must be very patient and more forgiving than any other position. They are very different from a Corporate Transient or Corporate Group Sales Manager.
To be a good SMERFE sales manager, you need to develop a relationship with your customers. Get to know them and find out what their needs are now and in the future. Always make them your first priority. Make them feel at home in your hotel.
Book appointments with other group sales managers, ask to meet them and ask them to refer you to their inquiries and customers. It does not always work, but if you do not ask, you will never know.
Always introduce yourself as a Group Sales Manager. Ask if it would be beneficial for both of you to start a referral program. Who should say no? Your titles are the same, which means you are equal in status, and all the referrals you end up receiving can only mean more business for your hotel.
Knowing what it means to be a SMERFE sales manager is your first step in getting your hotel to stand out from the rest.