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Team Work is the Most Important Thing

 

Talk with Tracy Zou

DOSM, Shangri-La Hotel, Tianjin

 

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Talking with Tracy is a real pleasure. She is one of the most experienced leaders in sales of Tianjin hospitality industry. It is fascinating to use Tracy鈥檚 stories, anecdotes and adventures to attract customers and organize successful events and treat them as valuable learning episodes.
 
Jeffrey Gitomer told me once, there's no lotion or potion that will make sales faster and easier for you - unless your potion is hard work.  This sentence comes to my mind during our conversation with Tracy.
 
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Give us an introduction about yourself. How did you prepare yourself to reach this position?
 
I have nearly 15 years of working experience behind me, working in sales at five-star hotels. Team work is the most important thing in my formula. With the support of all my colleagues, I was nominated as Shangri-La鈥檚 best seller in 2008 and was also awarded Excellent Sales Manager when I was at Raffles Swiss Hotel, 2003. I put my knowledge and advantages into practice and make good relationships with customers.  Till date, I have more than five-years鈥 of experience as Director of Sales and Marketing (DOSM) and with my complete knowledge of the Tianjin market I am able to maintain business relationships with customers and the media.  Over the past five years as DOSM, I have led the sales team to achieve excellent results. In the market, we are in a leading position and are ranked as the top hotel across many marketing indices. 
 
I have handled many city-wide MICE events, such as China Mining and the Tianjin Climate Change Conference. I successfully managed the outside catering and in-house events, including accommodation of VIP groups of the 2010 and 2014 World Economic Forum. Good relationship with the local government helps to make this hotel a government-designated property.
 
This highly competitive market requires an enthusiasm for social and charity events, such as Chambers for activity networking. We organise PR and media safari events to maintain a stable relationship with our partners and increase and enhance the hotel鈥檚 image in the market.
 
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Shangri-La Hotel, Tianjin, has been bestowed with numerous awards such as TripAdvisor鈥檚 鈥淐ertificate of Excellence鈥 and Ctrip鈥檚 鈥淏est Luxury Hotel鈥.  Is there any secret behind this stellar performance?
 
In addition to having complete facilities, the key lies in Shangri-La鈥檚 ability to provide guests with home-away-from-home services - a kind of personalised service which is unforgettable for our guests. This service from the heart also serves as our hotel name card that is impressed upon all our guests.
 
What are your marketing principles to keep Shangri-La Hotel, Tianjin the top choice in the market?
 
The hotel鈥檚 convenient location, excellent Haihe River View, top notch facilities, personalised five-star service and competitive pricing helps us to capture the attention of our target customers, develop our relationship and turn visitors into loyal guests and friends of the hotel. If a hotel wants to stand out, it not only needs to enhance its brand value but also needs to pay close attention to the individual demands of its consumers and then use high-quality products and services to grasp the consumer emotionally.  
 
Shangri-La Hotel, Tianjin has a full range of top quality facilities that are very well maintained. Could you introduce them?
 
The 304-room and 79-apartment Shangri-La Hotel, Tianjin sit on the bank of the Haihe River in the new Hedong District, overlooking Tianjin鈥檚 signature architecture dating back to the 19th century. It is a 25-minute drive from Tianjin Binhai International Airport, five minutes from Tianjin Railway Station and five minutes from the city鈥檚 central business district which lies just over Baoding Bridge.
 
Shangri-La Hotel, Tianjin is located within Tianjin Kerry Centre and is connected to a shopping mall with dining and entertainment options, including a 1,700 square metre Kids鈥 Adventure Zone and an ice-skating rink.
 
For conferences of up to 1,800 people, Shangri-La Hotel, Tianjin鈥檚 1965 square-metre pillar-less Grand Ballroom is the newest and largest meeting destination in the city.  The Grand Ballroom is papered with hand-painted floral wallpaper to create the feeling of being in a garden pavilion. A range of indoor and outdoor venues are also available for smaller meetings or intimate social gatherings.
 
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The hotel has 304 spacious rooms ranging from one of the largest deluxe rooms in the city, the 48-square-metre Deluxe River View Room, to the 240-square-metre Shangri-La Suite featuring contemporary yet elegant decor complemented by shades of gold, green and sea blue. In addition to its guestrooms, the hotel offers 79 serviced apartments. All guestrooms enjoy a view of the picturesque Haihe River.  The executive Horizon Club Lounge on Level 32 offers panoramic views of the city.  Shangri-La鈥檚 complimentary Wi-Fi service is available throughout the hotel. On weekends, the city鈥檚 historic architecture, winding river and enticing food scene draws families and leisure travellers seeking a relaxing getaway.
 
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What type of rooms does Shangri-La Hotel, Tianjin offer to guests?
 
We offer our guests six types of rooms. Whether you choose the Deluxe River View Room or Panoramic River View Room, you can appreciate the spectacular Haihe River. You can also choose from the Horizon River View Room, Executive Suite, Speciality Suite and Shangri-La Suite and experience bespoke service and our acclaimed Horizon Club Lounge.
 
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What are the qualities and abilities you value the most in your team members?
 
Since I joined Shangri-La Hotel, Tianjin, I have led a team of around 30 people in sales and marketing, achieving a great deal together. I manage my team by trusting the people around me and I try to make sure that they are not stressed. We also focus on their achievements. I value and promote my colleagues ideas and ensure credit is given where deserved. I also pay attention to my team鈥檚 development needs and through Shangri-La鈥檚 renowned focus on training and development, ensure training opportunities are granted so that they can have more space to learn and grow. I am very demanding with details; these small things make a great hotel.
 
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Competiveness in the hospitality industry is very high.  What are the challenges you have had to face in Tianjin market?
 
Indeed, not only in Tianjin but all of China, each city has more and more high-end hotels now. Competition is great, however it is competition that drives our success and in ways also brings in more business to the city. Merely surviving is not the problem; it鈥檚 not enough. In addition to offering our facilities and services, my team and I will be able to come up with new ideas to attract more guests and increase our market share and revenue.
 
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What are the other special events and activities that Shangri-La Hotel, Tianjin, has planned?
 
Shangri-La Hotel, Tianjin, has numerous activities to attract guests. This August we will celebrate our 3rd anniversary and there will be lots of promotions. In addition to the upcoming wedding show, baby shower鈥檚 also present guests with varied and excellent options to celebrate. In October, we will hold a CSR activity - Tianjin Corporate Fun Run, with our local business invited to contribute to our society. And I believe these events can attract more and more guests towards us.
 
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What is your vision for Shangri-La Hotel, Tianjin, in future?
 
I am glad to see Tianjin developing at a fast pace and moving into the future. Shangri La Hotel, Tianjin, was a signal of the arrival of a new generation of hotels in the city, setting high luxury standards. In future, more properties will follow, showing the real economic health of our province.
 
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