During a session at this summer’s Host and Player Development Conference, we were talking about all the things a host must focus on to be successful. The question was asked, “How am I supposed to do everything for my guest and focus on this as well?” My original response was to stop doing everything for your guest. Which is true but – let me explain.
Player development is relationship selling. It isn’t hardcore sales and arm twisting. It is about learning everything you can about your prospect or player to create an experience based on that knowledge, enticing the guest to make a “buy” decision. In other words, relationship selling is NOT to get the prospect or player to like YOU. But rather, getting the prospect or player to want YOU to like him or her!
When a host focuses all their attention on doing everything for the guest, they are making a huge mistake. There are only so many hours in a day and hosts need to manage their time effectively to hit their goals! Are we productive? Or just busy?
Let’s look at three key areas to address for achieving Host success.
1. Build relationships with other Team Members
Even before you deal with your prospects or players, you MUST develop relationships with fellow teammates. No one ever said you must do this alone, and, in all honesty, you can’t – so stop it! You will never achieve anything but being frustrated and exhausted.
Your fellow teammates (both in PD and in other departments) are the secret weapon for successful hosts! By developing relationships with them will help a host is several ways:
Bird dogs –This is in reference to hunting dogs who point to the location or flush out the birds for the hunter to harvest. When you make solid connections with your fellow teammates (in all departments), they will help you find good prospects. You can’t be everywhere at once, so develop those relationships with the other departments. Remember, healthy relationships are a two-way street. You help them, they will help you.
Additional contacts for your guests – Introduce your guests to those teammates! You can’t be expected to handle every situation that may happen on the floor. By introducing your players to your favorite slot supervisor/manager, table games floor, hotel manager, waiter, or server, etc. Let them begin to develop relationships. Then, when a situation arises, they have a direct contact!
“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” ~ H.E. Luccock
2. Be Proactive
The biggest mistake most people make is they only pay attention to promotions, events, issues etc., that are right in front of them. This is a very narrow view and leads to missed opportunities! A successful host MUST look with a much wider lens to meet their goals. They must be organized and properly manage their time, efforts and, because they have to develop great relationships internally, they must properly leverage their teammates. Here are a few items to consider:
Find your focus – There are many people who fail to appropriately plan their work. When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Period! So much time is wasted when you don’t plan. Effective salespeople plan their week, month, quarter, year. Are you required to make 50 calls a week? Then, divide 50 by 5 and make AT LEAST 10 calls a day. Time is finite so you must prepare. The minute you know of an upcoming promotion, event or even when planning your time away from property, begin putting your plan in place. Stop waiting for the last minute.
Prioritize – Do the urgent and most important things first, not the easy things. Make a plan/list or set reminders that will help you stay on task. These should be directly correlated with your monthly and quarterly goals. Efficiency and effectiveness are NOT the same.
Hold yourself accountable – As a host, you are your own manager. So, stop making excuses and do the work! Focus on what YOU can control. There is so much that you can’t control, so focus on what you can. If you only do the minimum, you aren’t preparing for issues in the future. Know when to move on and continually adjust, adapt, and evolve. Called an inactive guest three times and got no answer? Move on! There are plenty of other prospects you can work on.
3. Develop a Communication Strategy
Whether it is internal (communication with other hosts, departments, etc.) or external (guests), clear concise communication is vital. We so often fail to communicate altogether or, if we do, it is often inconsistent and unclear.
For hosts, communication is a huge part of everything they do. Internally, we often hear “we don’t know what hosts do.” That is a failure in communication. So many walls have been created internally because of poor communication or lack thereof.
Communication isn’t all talk. The most important part is listening. Help your fellow teammates understand what your role is and how it affects them. Hosts are trying to get the right heads in the right beds, the right butts in the right seats (with operations and with F&B). The better players the hosts have the opportunity to bring in, the more revenue (and tips) the property makes!
“The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are other used interchangeably, but they are quite different. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.” ~ Sydney J. Harris
Raving has helped hundreds of casinos, of every size, build and modernize their player development programs. Want more information? Contact Kristine Woods email@example.com to find out more about our host programs today.