About The Skill Shop
The Skill Shop offers tailor-made sales and service workshops to businesses that strive to refine the sales skills of their teams, to win more business and offer consistently high levels of customer service along the way. The Skill Shop applies proven hospitality concepts to a wide variety of businesses.
Starting with a review of your team’s current expertise and your business goals, The Skill Shop creates hands-on skill training for your team. Directed at sales professionals and all employees in a customer-facing role, these workshops equip your team with the confidence and knowledge needed to win sales inquiries and engage with your guests successfully.
The Skill Shop promotes a culture where operations and sales teams work hand-in-hand and understand they share responsibility in sales. We believe in consultative selling, creating site "experiences" rather than site "inspections" and connecting with your guest emotionally rather than through selling features.
Katharina Darisse has been in hospitality for more than 15 years. Encouraged by neighbours, friends and family, she started The Skill Shop after years of work in her role as Business Development Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto. The Ritz-Carlton is where she experienced first-hand how a positive and well articulated corporate culture can have a positive impact on your daily work environment. There, she was able to live her passion for customer service and integrate it into her sales efforts to grow the hotel's business.
Prior to working with Marriott International, she led the corporate and retail sales efforts of The Hazelton Hotel, Toronto's first five-star luxury hotel and a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. Being a Boutique Hotel, this property relied on individual's creativity and multi-tasking skills, giving Katharina greater insight into running a smaller and independently managed operation.
Katharina also draws on her experience from managing the Diplomatic Market for the Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Centre, where she welcomed Head-of-State delegations regularly. She was tasked with coordinating the planning and construction of the German Olympic House at the Kempinski Hotel in 2008. She then started a Regional Sales operation for Kempinski Hotels in Shanghai in 2009-10 and returned to the Kempinski Hotel Beijing as Director of Sales. Her time in China also resulted in a travel book, published in German in 2008.
As a Certified Meeting Professional, Katharina understands the crucial information a meeting and event planner requires when sourcing the right venue and team to work with. She holds a Hotel Business Management Degree from Washington State University and a Higher Diploma in Hotel Management from the International College of Hospitality Administration, Cesar Ritz, in Brig, Switzerland. She is a member at The Institute for Performance and Learning and stays in touch with the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International and Hong Kong Hotel Association.
Hong Kong has become home to the German born and chances are that you'll bump into her, husband Julian and three boys around Hong Kong’s beaches on any given Sunday morning.
“Since starting The Skill Shop, it's been incredibly fun to create workshops around winning customer service and sales concepts. I spend a lot of my time reading about customer service techniques and am fascinated by how impactful it is on a company’s bottom line, as well as company culture (and employee retention!). My work is split between research, writing workshop material and thinking about how I can be the best possible facilitator to ensure a fun and effective learning process.”
For a detailed overview of Katharina’s work experience, please see her LinkedIn Profile.