Don’t let your sales team come last

It’s often the last thought on a club or bar owners mind: who is selling their venue? Most rely on the hype of being the newest and hottest venue to drive the most business. Then they layer on print marketing, public relations updates, and a few major events to increase awareness. If you asked every club owner in the country what their sales and marketing efforts are, most answers would contain those basic elements. I will argue, however, that they’re missing the key component of an internal sales team.


Too many owners shy from building an internal sales team because of labor costs or lack of personal knowledge. This is even more evident in smaller markets. But in reality, building an internal sales team is a strategic move that will increase your venue’s results month after month. Call them promoters, VIP servers, or VIP hosts – it doesn’t make a difference. In smaller venues, you can even layer this responsibility in your operations staff. At the end of the day, it’s all about their job function. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Take time to learn what makes up a good team, and put the right people in place.
  2. Get advice from others. If needed, hire an advisor or consultant.
  3. Build a sales process that will be in place for staff.
  4. Provide tools to succeed and monitor production.
  5. Give staff time to hit tangible goals and incentivize them when they do.

Building your team and processes are an ongoing process, so be patient. With a strong internal sales team, you own the relationships with your guests and directly influence how people receive your message. And above all, the sales team will be able to directly produce revenue by continuously bringing more people into your venue.


John Wickes is an advisor for BookBottles.

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