Dear Travel Coach,
I ruined my New Year’s weekend by reading two newspapers. This is what they said
The Daily Telegraph “Just one in seven Britons now uses a travel agent”. The Times quoted a similar view “Internet competition could push hundreds of high street travel agents out of business over the next few years”…
How can I ensure next weekend is better?
Miss Hermione Grafter / homeworker
Travel Coach says…
First of all I suggest that you don’t believe all you read in the papers. Although we know how much the industry has changed, but what you do as a travel agent will certainly continue to change, but as a profession you won’t just fade over night. Remember that.
Secondly let’s acknowledge the world of travel is a tough place right now but remind ourselves of why we are here in the first place.
Back to basics – look in the dictionary. The concise Oxford dictionary defines an agent as
“one who…exerts power or produces effect”
It’s very well for the press to write us off as in effective, but let’s live up the dictionary and exert some power and produce an effect.
When a client contacts you this action alone is a potential buying signal. Of course there are some who just want to sap information before going to your rivals, but there are many who are psychologically open to doing business with you. Just think, the only time you generally sit down with an expert is at the doctor.
Using this comparison, see the client as a patient, you’re the expert and the transaction is a consultation. Seeing yourself in this role will help you realise you are important and the client will get the vibes that they don’t need to look any further. This is the place and you are the expert.
- The client will benefit because you are guiding them through what is often a difficult and complex set of decisions. Where to go, what’s good value, how’s the weather are but a few.
- Suppliers benefit because you are selling on their behalf. You are producing a positive effect on their sales figures and are also in a good position to feedback to them whether their products are right for your clients.
- You benefit because once you have made a sale you have achieved your aim of matching customer with supplier. You used your power and provided a great service.
It’s not always easy to make all three happy, but once you’ve done it take a couple of seconds to enjoy the success. Try celebrating even the smallest booking with a colleague or even here on TRAVEL GOSSIP.
We all like a pat on the back but working from home often means supplying it ourselves!
Take a deep breath and get on with the next one!