Today, Sales is Everyone’s Job

Neil Fraser – Group Sales Director of Tsogo Sun – on what makes sales such a success in today’s market.


Vital stats

  • Neil Fraser: Group Sales Director, Tsogo Sun
  • Sales team size and distribution: A team of around 80 sales people spread throughout South Africa, the rest of Africa, the Middle East and the Seychelles sell the facilities and services of the group’s more than 90 hotels and 14 casino and entertainment complexes.
  • Career Summary: Fraser has many years of experience in marketing leisure destinations. He qualified as a teacher and taught at Krugersdorp High School in Gauteng before joining Holiday Inn as the sports manager. That was the start of a 34-year career in the hotel industry. He went on to become the national sports manager for Holiday Inn, and was later appointed national sales manager. After the takeover of Holiday Inn by Southern Sun Hotels, he worked in various roles including director of sales and marketing. In 2011 he became Group Sales Director at Tsogo Sun.

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What makes your team so successful?

We have a very diverse team of people from different backgrounds. As a hospitality and leisure group, our talent must reflect the communities we serve and with whom we do business. Some have decades of experience and others are new to the industry.

Together they constitute a formidable team able to deal with our varied client base, no matter the personality or need.

They understand their competition and know how to sell our services to often very exact needs of their prospects and customers. This, and the fact that we have a fantastic range of brands and entertainment facilities, makes us hard to beat.

What is the best advice you have ever received about sales management?

To pursue an effective and integrated key/partner account management strategy. Key accounts are critical to the success of a business like ours and have been proven to enable high growth.

By assigning to sales people the stewardship of the relationship between Tsogo Sun and highly valued clients who can be expected to generate repeat business, we are proving the value of developing strong relationships.

Describe your sales leadership style?

I believe very much in empowering people and letting them get on with it. Once you have selected the right team with the right skills and personality traits, it’s more about giving guidance and support than anything else.

What’s your greatest sales learning?

Sales is not a sales team activity. Engaging customers today requires commitment from the entire company. It’s a culture that needs to be adopted throughout the business, and a process that needs the support of the entire business. In an era of deep customer engagement, everyone is in sales.

What’s the worst sales mistake you have ever made?

Rushing into the selection of a key staff member. I lived with that mistake for a long time. You need to take the time to find a candidate with the right skill set, experience level and values.

What best business lessons/advice have you learnt from colleagues and mentors?

The importance of planning. Go in unprepared and you will probably nose dive. I ascribe to the idea that “failing to plan is planning to fail”.

Favourite business quote

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” Zig Ziglar

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What motivates you every day about your business?

I’m blessed to work in an amazing industry where I interact daily with the most amazing people. We sell great memories. It’s hard to beat that.