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  • Writer's pictureNanci Sherman


Updated: Dec 13, 2022



For Supreme Profit and Market Share

Elevate the Ordinary

Your Competitive Edge

What they don’t teach in business schools.

Nanci Sherman


Achieve the #1 spot in your market and in the hearts of your guests and staff.

I do not believe anyone will remember me as the hotelier who led her team through 9/11 in New York City, the Northridge earthquake, LA race riots, or citywide blackouts. If my employers remember me at all, it would be for my ability to move the greater market share to any hotel they asked me to lead.

I never went to hotel school, so I had to be scrappier and more innovative than my colleagues. I created a muse I call the Hotel Oracle. She helped me and will help you achieve the top position in your competitive set.

I am a protegee of financier Bill Kimpton who brought the boutique hotel concept to the United States and helped usher in the experience economy we are operating in today. He pioneered the way for entrepreneurs who further revolutionized our industry: Chip Conley, Ian Schrager, Barry Sternlicht, and those that followed in their off-the-beaten-path footsteps.

Every hotel company in the world took notice of the results hotels operating in the experience economy were getting. No matter what hotel type they asked me to lead, I found I could apply the success principles of the experience economy to resorts, “big-box” brands, as well as bankrupt, luxury, and boutique hotels. At last count, I took 21 hotels to #1 in their competitive set. Conde Nast voted Windstar Cruises #1 the year after I consulted with them. I ran the first Hilton Garden Inn which now totals over 800 hotels and the first W New York which became the most in demand flag worldwide. I held the roles of director of reengineering and managing director of the Hotel Monaco brand. As general manager for Miraval, the resort took the #1 spot in North America, and I led Bardessono in the Napa Valley, the #2 hotel in the United States out of 50,000.

I love our industry, but I see a lot of untapped potential. Hospitality has a “birthright” to raise the standards of business relationships everywhere and bring more joy and competence into the world. I hope these tips catapult you into the metrics and market position you crave while you develop hospitality geniuses in your ranks.

Start with this quiz to determine for yourself if transformation from a “No” to a “Yes” would be the type of breakthrough you would like to see at your hotel. The following tip sheets will expand upon how to get to “Yes! That’s us!”

Quiz Analysis

1. Would your customers say your service and product are so unique they will only do business with you?

2. Are you consistently the market leader?

3. How inspiring is your mission statement? Could the proverbial fly on the wall see your mission statement in action every day?

4. Are your sales calls and presentations extraordinary, or could any other hotel group substitute their logo and it would look like everyone else?

5. Would you say you have leveraged the experience economy? Are you providing customers with reasons to give you five-star reviews?

6. Would you extend your current service standards to your most beloved person or celebrity that you currently offer, or would you need to level up your game for them?

7. Would you say your business plan gears more toward innovation or benchmarking?

8. Is there something that you know needs changing but you haven’t gotten to it yet?

9. Do you have “reasons” and obstacles that you insist stand in the way of greater success, such as location, renovation, or the right talent?

10. Would you describe your culture as uplifting, indescribable, or non-existent? Do you have a unique offering to potential employees that competitors do not offer?

“Customer acquisition and retention are the holy grail of business.”

— Musings from a Hotel Oracle

To greater things!

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