I don’t sell; I get to know people instead: Dionne K. Watson
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At the TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR event in New York’s Marriott Marquis on November 13th, TOPHOTELNEWS caught up with industry leader Dionne K. Watson, International Project Business Manager at Villeroy & Boch, who told us about what she has learned throughout her career, and what advice she would give to young people starting out.
About Dionne K. Watson
Dionne K. Watson has always had a passion for interior design, and through the course of her career in hospitality has been able to marry this with her natural sales ability. Initially she thought that a position in sales for the hospitality industry would be a stop-gap, but it ended up being exactly the right fit for her. Her eye for the perfect specification has led her through various positions, from design consultant to showroom manager to International Project Business Manager for renowned ceramics company Villeroy & Boch.
Biggest career mistake
When talking about her biggest career mistake, Watson goes back to the very beginning, when she was perhaps too enthusiastic about her products, and thought that her wares would be perfect for every prospective client.
However, in time she learned that she didn’t need to be selling from the get go, and that a far more effective approach, and one that came more naturally to her, was to speak to the person as opposed to a potential client.
Instead of imposing herself, her brands and her products on people, she found that it was much better to feel people out and get to know them and their needs, so she could be better positioned to provide what they were looking for herself, or to refer them to someone who could provide a more ideal service for them.
She says that the hospitality is great for contacts and connections, and that one of the best things about the industry is the ability to share information and contacts, so in the end everybody is happy.
This is something that is learned with experience and maturity, and so it has been one of the biggest learning curves for Watson over the course of her career.
Watson says that taking the time to get to know the people around you, whether they are colleagues or clients, is the best way to do business.
Personal connections go a long way in her experience, and being able to know a bit about someone’s background will create longer lasting and more meaningful business relationships, so that you don’t even need to try and sell anymore, that people will just naturally want to do business with you.
She also says that finding confidence in yourself and in your position is key, and that not every role will be right for you, and making the move to something else can often be a positive thing. She plays to her strengths, and uses them as a jumping off point in her professional life.
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