Jonathan started his career out in hospitality, at 15 years old working part time as a waiter and then later barman in a 4* hotel opposite his house. This taught led him to learn about interpersonal skills and how to engage with people in general, one of the most important skills any good sales person needs to learn.
After a few mixed jobs before Uni and after, his first real job saw him working for the Hilton Hotel in Kensington, as Conference and Banqueting Sales Co-ordinator. Here he was put on various sales training courses, learning the ropes, how to do show rounds of the hotel, what to say and what not to say and this became the foundation of his career.
From here he went to open up a brand new Marriott Hotel at Heathrow Airport. Working in a team of 6 to fill the 400-bedroomed hotel and all the banqueting rooms, there was a huge task ahead. Introductions to all the local businesses and trying to steal the businesses from the already established good quality hotels down the strip.
This become a very successful opening, becoming the most successful Marriott Hotel at the time within the UKI collection and winning various accolades to include the best sales team in the UK as dictated by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, beating IBM, British Gas and Yellow Pages sales teams (no other hotel even got in!).
From here he was poached to work for The Savoy Group – a collection of the finest luxury hotels in London, including The Savoy, Claridge’s, The Berkeley, The Connaught and The Lygon Arms.
Since the team was established and were responsible for existing accounts, Jonathan was brought on to look into new markets, and drive “new” sales through effective marketing, sales and negotiations to a new audience.
Establishing the route planner of what was needed, through the writing of an effective sales and marketing plan, he drove £4m in the second year working there through new business. Cold calling, introductions, meetings face to face – all old school sales technique. No fancy technologies!
Jonathan was then poached back to work for Marriott where initially he worked at the London Marriott Hotel Regents Park for just short of a year to help write, deliver & implement a Sales and Marketing Plan to help the hotel improve its financial position and to reach budget. This was successfully implemented and we won various new contracts, particularly outstanding was 3 new airline crew contracts where the business was moved from already existing contracted hotels whose location was superior to what we offered.
Following this, Jonathan was asked to go to the London Marriott Hotel County Hall where the business had been performing very poorly. Being the flagship Marriott in London at the time the business was then the worst performing Marriott in the UKIEMA and had seen year on year revenues simply decline.
Jonathan’s role was to understand, write and deliver an effective plan to turn the business around. We did a full business re-positioning on the hotel, re-wrote all the business, sales and marketing plans and implemented them.. These plans moved the business around from a £12m turnover to a £19.4m turnover business in just under 3 years during the recession that ended Dec 09. The Marriott County Hall also finished in Dec 2009 with the highest RevPar for every Marriott in the UK and Ireland. Thus the hotel was transformed from the worst performing Marriott in the UK to the best performing Marriott during a recession.
All of this was pure old school sales techniques, 1000s of cold calls, 1000s of meetings and pitches, which all lead to great successes.