This message is for all industry leaders who lead and engage advisors in the business of selling travel.
I'm excited to introduce a series of articles to equip Travel Agency Owners, Host Agencies, Consortia, and Suppliers to support travel advisors through the comeback and beyond!
From starting over to starting up, every advisor counts!
Enjoy the journey!
How to Engage Advisors During Uncertainty
Our brains are hard-wired for certainty. One of the reasons we are mentally exhausted and that zoom fatigue has become a thing, is that every interaction we are literally in a battle to make sense of it. Advisors are looking for a safe zone of certainty. In the absence of it, fear makes its way in and seals the exits.
When I was growing up, I took diving lessons. The teacher took us to the side of the pool, kneeled down, and demonstrated how to dive. “Put your hands above your head in prayer formation to cut into the water, lean over and fall in.”
I eagerly followed the instructions and beamed with pride at how easy this was to accomplish.
The next step she explained, was to repeat the actions, only this time, from a diving board 12 feet up in the air.
I felt a surge of panic as I cast my eyes on what looked like a skyscraper with a gangplank.
I watched as others climbed the ladder, walked the plank, and dove in. Nobody died. There were cheers and laughter. How bad could it be?
Yet when it was my turn, my guts were churning. I scaled the ladder, walked nervously to the end of the board. As I got to the end, I somehow managed to find the courage to look down into the pool of water below. That was my undoing.
I could hear the teacher, encouraging me, “you can do it, just like we practiced at the side of the pool.” Was she kidding? This was nothing like the side of the pool!!
I simply could not do it. I took the long walk of shame back across the board, and down the ladder. Ugh, utter failure.
Leading a team of people through uncertainty requires more than just showing them how it is done.
Contrary to popular belief, it is also not about a few superstars “showing you how it’s done.” In fact, our inner comparison monster can make it worse.
Dr. Amy Silver in her book, The Loudest Guest says this about how we project our fears.
“We externalize the reason we can’t do something
rather than imagining it is the fear within us that limits us.”
Leading a sales comeback requires leaders to create a zone of certainty to mitigate fears and build confidence at an individual level.
The Zone of Certainty
There are three ways to engage advisors during uncertainty.
1.Clarity: First, clarify the expectations of what success looks like in as much detail as possible. Take time to reiterate the benefits of full engagement. Look forward to a time and place that feels safe.
I like to start with three years from now as it skips past the rocky road of the moment where their imagination may be running wild. Then, describe in detail a bright and promising future so that individuals can picture themselves there.
2.Curiosity: Become intensely curious about where each individual person is at. Gain a deeper understanding of what their current state is for them, and for their families. What is holding them back or keeping them on the fence?
Whatever fears they are harboring will be reflected in their actions. If they feel judged for not being where everyone else is at, or lack confidence, no amount of rah-rah inspiration will engage them.
3.Confidence: Lastly, reassure each team member that they have what it takes to succeed. Describe specific gifts they have demonstrated that you value. I had a boss who used to say to me, “I learn from you every day”. It made me feel like my contribution to the team really mattered.
Remind advisors that they are vital to your mission, and to the team. Your belief in them provides the conviction they need to say, yes, I AM IN!
Finally, let them linger at the side of the pool getting their confidence back, with no sense of risk, before pushing them up the ladder and across the plank. In other words, come alongside them, find out where they are at, and respond with the tools and training they need to fully engage.
Upcoming Seminars, Tools, and Resources:
Register HERE for my Flying Colors Basecamp Webinar, Thursday, May 20th
- Three things be doing right NOW for a Bigger, Better, Bolder Travel Business
- For Travel Advisors and Owners
Register HERE for my Leaders Guide to Flying Colours, Thursday, May 27th
- Lead your team forward with confidence and conviction! I'll share best practices from my book Flying Colours, and from over 30 years of experience leading teams from the front line to the executive level.
- For Leaders and Owners
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Book a meeting: https://calendly.com/geraldineree/catch-up-call