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Everyone is in Sales: A Strategic Perspective on How to Succeed

Dan Young, Nina Kressler and Loretta Briard

Published on March 27, 2019

If I was asked to give an extremely brief presentation to motivate the team at Shaw Centre, it would consist of just one sentence: “Everyone is in sales.”

The best part? Everyone would know exactly what I mean. From the moment when they make their first impression based on appearance to when a guest first hears them speak and sees how they conduct themselves, everything our Shaw Centre employees do sets the tone for what customers will expect and also what they will experience. Our people participate in thousands of ‘make or break’ sales moments, every single day.

Nina Kressler outdoor headshot

Photo: Brittany Gawley

As President and CEO, I rely on every member of our team to be an ambassador for Shaw Centre. I work hard to communicate to them that each person makes vital contributions daily to our organization’s success. Where they might be situated in the organizational hierarchy is not of consequence. In fact, I would say that ‘selling’ Shaw Centre to our clients happens outside the suite of offices just as much as it does inside it.

Facing challenges head-on is a daily occurrence in our business and “not my job” is a mentality that we do not tolerate at Shaw Centre. When a client or guest has a request, we want whomever they speak with to take steps to guarantee that request is fulfilled. Those moments of truth – when clients interact with staff – are the only things that matter. Since everyone is in sales, we need to collectively ensure that we make those moments count and provide the most positive experience possible for our guests.

While the initial point of contact when process of booking an event is initiated is typically an Account Manager or an Event Services Manager, clients will interact with many other people at Shaw Centre during their events. Our Event Services Coordinators are the ones who will happily take the calls and handle any requests – from adjusting lighting or temperature to scheduling issues and more. But these are not the only people our clients will have contact with, either directly or indirectly. It takes a veritable army to make each event run smoothly and achieve the client’s objectives. We rely on everyone in our organization to offer an optimal customer experience, including audio-visual services, communications, engineering, housekeeping, stewarding, bartenders, banquet serving, cashiers, housemen and our kitchen brigade.

People celebrating with wine at event

We would not be able to welcome the tens of thousands of guests that enjoy gathering in our beautiful building each year without the combined talents of everyone on our team, each of whom shift into a sales role the minute they step through our doors and begin their workday. But this client-focused, or ‘everyone is in sales’ approach doesn’t happen by accident. In fact, it has taken consistent attention to creating and enhancing corporate culture for the Centre to establish and maintain an environment where colleagues in every facet of the organization feel valued and valuable.

Like many businesses, customer service is a fundamental part of our brand. As I like to say, here at Shaw Centre, we are only as good as our people. Being in sales every moment of every day is a hard job, but one that’s executed well thanks to our team of knowledgeable, friendly individuals who share a dedication to ensuring customers’ needs are both anticipated and met. We look forward to welcoming you at Canada’s Meeting Place.