A 3 Step Framework for Your Comeback and Beyond
You have heard it said, “the comeback is bigger than the setback”. I firmly believe that we will see a surge in travel, unlike anything we have ever seen before. It will be faster, steeper, and more intense. However, sustaining it beyond the peak depends on the steps you take now to prepare. You have made it this far into the pandemic landscape. You no longer have the patience to be overloaded with “busy” work. After becoming numb to so many changes this past year, you are ready for a bigger, better, and more resilient travel business. This comeback framework will build stability into your comeback in three areas: To GROW, to SELL, and to SERVICE.
To grow your business, you need to grow yourself. Move beyond what you like, or even what you are passionate about. Consider your purpose. What is unique about the way you do the travel business? That is your WHY.
“People don’t care what you do, they care why you do it.” Simon Sinek.
Immerse yourself in the travel you desire to sell. Know everything about it, as well as the ideal customers you are going after. Now is the perfect time to do a deep dive into luxury, river, or expedition travel. Perhaps you want to focus on affluent empty nesters, wine cruises, or small group travel. Do all you can to improve your ability to service this customer from product knowledge, to where you find these customers, to how you will serve them, and everything in between.
If you want to shift upmarket, you need to have the confidence and conviction that you can deliver. The goal is to move from finding the right people, to the right people finding you! To SELL
Focus on knowing the travel mindset of your A-List clients. You do not have to know when the time is right for every client. You do, on the other hand, need to know the travel mindset of your inner circle of past customers and influencers in the market you plan to serve.
Ask, “Where do they want to go and when do they want to go?” This will help you predict the stability of your future customer flow. Block out the noise of what "everyone is saying". Know what YOUR customers are saying.
Keep score. Are they: a) Ready to book b) Wait and see or c) Not ready?
Your job is not to convince people to travel. It is to stand in your conviction that when the time is right, you are ready to serve them. If you do not check-in, you may miss your customer's “perfect timing.” Tip: If they are ready, be ready!
“To be successful, you don’t have to be the best one. You need to be the one who is ready to grab the opportunity when it appears.”
The one who knows the score, by knowing the travel mindset, is the one who wins the long game. To Service
1. Know your value. It starts by getting everything you do into a service promise.
What is your unique ability as a travel advisor?
What values guide your delivery?
What does every client get when they work with you, and how does it stand out in the market? Capture testimonials and sprinkle them everywhere.
What is your expertise and how does it come into play?
What is the essence of you that you pour into every booking?
2. To fee or not to fee? While I believe that fees allow you to deliver the kind of service clients appreciate, either way, before you get to work, you need a commitment from the client.
3. "Stay in the WHY before they BUY”.
This simple phrase I learned from the founder of Thought Leader’s Business School, Matt Church. I love to help more than I love to sell. Often, I’m in full-fledged helping mode, doing what I love, without having the commitment from the client. Remaining in the curious mode will save you from your exuberance to show how much you know. Instead, show them how much you care by asking discovery questions.
Why travel? What is the purpose of their trip?
Why now? Is there a milestone, or date window they are restricted or motivated by?
Why book with you? What has led them to you, and are there any other horses in this race? Don’t start pitching the product if they haven’t bought into you.
The moment you find the client digging into what, where, and how if it, acknowledge how excited you are to do the research. Ask for the commitment to get started! Make the most out of every precious day spending time preparing for your own success. You've got this! Geraldine PS If you enjoyed this article, please share it with someone who may find it helpful. More to come in my new book March 31st, 2021 Flying Colors: A Guide to a Successful Travel Business!
Pre-register for my Flying Colors Webinar on April 1st, Join me here