Corporate Sales Executive Comien Grobler joined Spier in July this year. An avowed people’s person, she loves showing prospective clients what the Spier estate has to offer delegates.
How did you get into your line of work?
I studied hospitality management at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and did my internship at NH The Lord Charles Hotel for three years. My first job was Meetings and Events Coordinator at The Radisson Blu Hotel in the Waterfront where I was later promoted to Senior Meeting and Events Coordinator. I then moved to The Kove Collection, a group of luxury hotels and restaurants in Cape Town, where I was Group Sales Manager for almost three years before moving to Spier in July 2018.
What’s the best thing about Spier?
To do a site inspection of the property is very rewarding. Clients simply cannot leave without loving what we offer, what we stand for and what we do for the community.
What makes conferences at Spier different?
We are definitely not just another conference venue. There are so many activities to offer that can be combined with a conference to make it different. I love selling our “unconference conference shopping list” which is a list of activities we can offer to make a conference different. Included in this list is the variety of onsite dinner options we have to offer, our beautiful outdoor meeting spaces, the mosaic artists who can sit in the conference foyer making a company logo (inviting delegates to paste a tesserae in the mosaic themselves!), as well as the option to exchange your conference lunch for a picnic lunch. We offer various ways to make a conference different, and that definitely makes us unique!
What do you love most about your job?
I have always loved working with people. To meet a complete stranger, hosting them for a site inspection and lunch while you tell them more about Spier, as well as getting to know them better and building a relationship, and later seeing that resulting in confirmed business, is the best feeling ever!
What is your greatest strength?
I would say my attention to detail and perfectionism.
What’s the most valuable advice you’ve ever received?
My mom always said that if you do something, you should do it properly, or not at all. These words have always stuck with me and have prevented me numerous times from doing something half-heartedly or not to the utmost best of my ability.
Who inspires you?
I have worked with some of the most amazing people in the industry whom I will always see as role models and I still contact them if ever I need advice on anything, but I would say what inspires me most is the support structure I have through my family and close friends. They are always very supportive when I want to make a career move and is always very proud when I achieve something, which motivates me to work even harder.
What do you get up to when you’re not at work?
I really wish I can say running or going to the gym, but that would be a lie. To spend a whole day on a wine farm with friends, to have dinner with family, or to spend a no-make-up-in-pajamas-day at home with my husband, is my definition of happiness.
Where is your favourite part of the farm, and why is it your favourite?
The Manor House is my favourite conference venue we have. I love the historic look and feel. I also love the river – especially the bridge going over it and the lawn space in front of the riverside rooms where you can hear the water flowing.
What’s the key to being happy in life?
I recently read a blog post from The Frugal Cottage and I think Nicola, the author, summed it up when she said: “I really believe that being content is the key to happiness. Yes, there will always be people who are going to have more, earn more, own more and do more than you, but being happy with what life is currently like and learning how to be content with your lot, is also important. We need to appreciate the good things in life and realise that we are all lucky, no matter what stage of life we are in.”
What advice do you have for someone trying to get into your line of work?
Hospitality is a great industry due to it having so many different divisions, and people should not be scared to move around and experience the different areas. If you are not happy with the position you are currently in, make it your mission to move around from department to department until you find something you love. I never thought I would love working in sales, until I tried it!