Last week, a travel professional e-mailed me with a simple, yet profound, request. She wanted THE SECRET. You know, the magic trick that transforms ordinary marketing to extraordinary. The secret that will drive more business through your door than you can handle.
So, I told her. She was the secret. So are you.
I’m pretty sure she didn’t like the answer. She wanted a trick. She preferred illusion over reality. Early on in our travel practice, we are convinced that there is a bag of tactics we can use to generate business. All we have to do is learn what the tricks are and we will be successful.
Here’s the problem.
You have heard of the 80/20 rule? If you hope to rise above the norm of the 80%, you cannot do what everyone else is doing. THE SECRET to marketing, sales and customer service is not a tactic. It is not a trick. It is not a recipe. It’s you. It’s a matter of getting up every day and patiently, consistently, authentically integrating the best practices in sales and marketing.
10 travel agents go to a seminar. All 10 take notes. 8 of them put the notes in their briefcases, go home and keep doing business the way they have always done business. 2 of the agents remember what they have heard and actualize it in their travel practice. Those 2 agents know the secret.
Chances are you already intuitively know what you hear at most training sessions. Almost never do you hear a recommendation that runs against the grain of common sense. The trainer is actually only reminding you of things you already know, but which you don’t put into practice.
Use what you learn.
Too often, rather than implementing a recommendation, we simply go about our business without changing our way of doing business. Or we begin to create excuses why the suggestions might work for others, but won’t work for us.
Welcome to the 80%.
Look, let’s try an experiment. I’m going to bet your bottom dollar it works.
Take the time to attend a sales and marketing training in the near future. Then, choose just 1“nugget” of information that resonates with you from the advice you hear. Just 1. Integrate it into your practice for 6 weeks by keeping a journal and dedicating yourself to that 1 piece of advice. Each and every day, journal how you have implemented the advice.
That’s all. I can guarantee you will have improved your business as a result.
You are the secret. Simply putting best practices into place, operating your business more coherently, more intelligently, more professionally than the other 80% will separate your travel practice from the rest.
Shhh. It’s a secret.
Richard Earls is the Publisher of Travel Research Online, an online travel industry resource dedicated to enhancing the professional lives of travel agents.