Monte Carlo reward for Fairmont’s shining young ‘natural seller’
For a person still relatively new in her job, Kim Wilson is a big achiever.
The Fairmont Southampton group sales manager has been named a Fairmont Master.
It’s a title Fairmont Hotels and Resorts presents to its ‘overachievers’ persons who meet or surpass sales goals in any given year.
Ms Wilson was one of 68 persons, selected from 61 Fairmont’s properties around the world, to achieve the distinction in 2011.
There are over 350 sales managers in the Fairmont Group.
Ms Wilson and her overachieving colleagues have been rewarded with an all-expenses paid, five-night trip to Monte Carlo next month.
Fairmont Southampton’s regional director of Sales and Marketing, Shelly Meszoly praised Ms Wilson’s efforts during what has been a difficult year for tourism here.
“Kim’s efforts to bring more guests to the Fairmont Southampton have been tireless and been rewarded by exceeding our quota requirements for social, military, education, religious or fraternal group sales by 132 percent,” said Ms Meszoly.
“Kim is a natural seller and she has done a great job. She is pretty new and has only been a sales manager for a little over a year, so this is really an outstanding accomplishment for her. Her market is a little bit different, she is not dealing with corporations, she is going after more social groups and part of what she does, because she has a very creative background, is she actually helps her groups market their events. Corporate groups are significantly down but she is focused on the social groups the family reunions and the different events we do.”
Ms Wilson, 28, said she was “excited” but also a bit “shocked” by her achievement.
“At the beginning of the year I did not think I was going to be able to make my goal, so to exceed it was even more amazing.
“I firmly believe in treating all my clients as if they were my baby. You want to protect them, pay attention to them and care for them throughout the entire sales phase of their programme. Despite any challenges or troubles that the economy is in it is important that you work something out for that programme. Every group is different. I work closely with local clients and overseas clients.”
Ms Wilson was born and raised in California. Her father, Lowell Wilson, is Bermudian.
She has a bachelor of science degree in business administration with an emphasis on marketing from University of California at Riverside. She might have taken another career path had things been different.
“I pursued acting for a little while, while in college. I did auditions and some modelling,” she said. “That was my part-time job, but I never took it too seriously. When you’re in Los Angeles stuff like that is easier to do. Something like that is normal.”
She was anxious to come to Bermuda to learn about her father’s birthplace when an opportunity to join Fairmont Southampton as a sales coordinator opened in July 2010. So quick was her progress that she was promoted to sales manager in December of that year.
She was able to fill 50 rooms at the hotel for the Brian McKnight concert in February.
“Exceeding my goal would not have been possible without having a great sales team here to work with,” she admits.
“You have to be flexible. My job is to basically sell the hotel to the group. The best part of my job is just being able to see the reaction of people who are enjoying their first time in Bermuda.”
Ms Wilson is learning about the Island’s culture and how to sell it and the hotel to groups.
“I’m still meeting new cousins and getting to know the Island and falling in love with it more and more each day,” she said. “When I speak to people who are living here the value of the beauty of the Island is sometimes forgotten. To me it is like living in paradise.”
She added: “I’ve never been in the hotel industry before. Achieving [Fairmont Master status] would not have been possible without the help, support and guidance of Shelly Meszoly. Sales and marketing has always been my passion, but tourism is new for me.”
The reward under her belt, Ms Wilson has raised the bar for this year. “My goal has been increased, so it makes it even more challenging. As a sales person, and how competitive I am, I love that.”
l The Fairmont Master sales designation was first introduced by the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts in 2005 as a method of recognising efforts of those who exceed group sales quota by at least 125 percent. As a Fairmont Master Ms Wilson will also receive five extra vacation days in addition to the trip to Monte Carlo.
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