Janet Denning (Jan Denning)
An experienced and accomplished Business Development and Sales professional, who embraces challenges and change with the ability to communicate effectively at all levels to achieve results. Jan has excellent customer service and relationship management skills combined with a strong commercial acumen resulting in successful sales revenues and yield. A confident, warm and engaging personality combined with a determination and ability to set clear objectives to achieve results.
Personality traits and management skills promote trust to quickly gain affinity as a team player or to work autonomously to develop existing and new business partnerships.
Strong and passionate about customer service, combined with relationship management, sales development skills, determination and working to set objectives to achieve tangible profitable results quickly.
Skilled in recognizing opportunities and key partnerships with a natural ‘Hunter’ sales instinct.
With over 30 years’ experience in the commercial sales & business development roles, predominantly within the travel, hotel, conference, meeting & events and hospitality industry, Jan has demonstrable expertise in developing business through her ability to source out new avenues of business and build on existing business relationships. Highlights include:
• Unijet Flights & Holidays – Regional Sales Manager
• Canadian Airlines/Air Canada – UK & Ireland Sales & Marketing Manager
American Airlines – Corporate Sales Manager
• British Airways – Project Manager, Alliance & Code-share
• First Choice PLC (Now Tui Group – Head of Schedule Air Development
• The Spaghetti Factory Restaurant & Bar – Founder and Managing Director
• Ramada Hotel Sutton Coldfield – Director of Sales and General Manager
• Wolverhampton Racecourse & Holiday Inn – Commercial Sales Director
Following success and strong relationships in Wolverhampton and The Black Country, in September 2017 Jan launched ‘JD Enterprises’, a business offering freelance Business Development, Sales Support, Promotion and Destination Marketing.
Marketing ‘JD Enterprises’ by personal expertise, relationships and experience, with a focus on business value growth, through sales & business development, project, staff management and representation.
Jan began her career within the travel industry as a retail travel sales consultant with an independent retailer in the Midlands. Moving to an independent multiple group, an early management position followed.
Having gained a great deal of knowledge and taken the agency to a profitable and successful position, Jan pursued further challenges and moved to work for a major Tour Operator specialising in Europe and North America flights and holidays.
Always on the quest for learning and challenges, Jan’s drive and energy, together with her natural people and relationship management skills were apparent in her expanding network group and she joined National scheduled carrier Canadian Airlines/American Airlines.
Initially responsible for both Leisure and Corporate Sales development, Jan was tasked with developing the underperforming leisure sales business and would go on to successfully create and develop a dedicated leisure sales division managing 200 leisure distribution partners across the UK and Ireland. This was achieved through the delivery of a well-structured and executed development plan which included, market responsive pricing, partner negotiations, training and active relationship management across all distribution channels.
Jan was also made responsible for the partnership and code share agreement with British Airways. A challenge, sharing knowledge on relationships and Canadian routes with British Airways, yield increased for both carriers by 12% and loads, on a yearly average flew 94% full.
Canadian Airlines leisure sales would rise from less than £20m to over £50m pos UK under Jan’s direction, accounting for almost £40m of this total annual revenue. Her direction, achievement and energy to overcome barriers to business development were highly regarded within the airline and across the agent, tour operator, tourism, hotel partners and airline community.
Because of her industry profile and success with Canadian Airlines, Jan was approached with proposition to build scheduled airline sales within the retail division of First Choice PLC (Now Tui Group). Drawing on her expertise and knowledge of the airline industry, Jan began the task of growing scheduled airline sales in what was effectively a start-up business unit with this major UK operator and agent. To build this division Jan had to go ‘back to basics’ to develop over 300 retail outlets, starting with airline training and booking procedures, sales and negotiation skills to ensure the best revenue was secured for the group.
With a growing desire for a more entrepreneurial challenge and a belief she was able to deliver a much better service experience, Jan would channel her skills of planning, negotiation, man management and customer service into a different direction and opened her own Italian Restaurant and bar.
Probably Jan’s biggest challenge so far, Jan had to prove that the transition from the travel sector to restaurant and hospitality was achievable. Having raised capital, Jan attended licensee training, food and beverage training and took on the task of employing and training her own staff. Winning recognition from HSBC for best start up business awards and business plan, the restaurant was also finalists in a Midland Restaurant awards event.
Her business and commercial skills attained an overall gross profit of 67% on wet and 79% on average for food sales, with a turnover of £350k plus. Often used as an example in the licensed sector, Janet became a respected figure in the hospitality industry.
A change in personal circumstance and a subsequent relocation made it impracticable to continue and a return to a more structured working pattern was to follow.
Jan returned to employment working as Director of Sales, then General Manager at a large Hotel, until 2015 taking up the position as Commercial Sales Director at Wolverhampton Racecourse, more learning and experience under her belt!
Bespoke to client requirements, Jan can personally deliver a range of hands on senior management sales, business development and representation services as well as developing, mentoring and coaching new, existing or geographically dispersed teams.