You’re a travel advisor and you want to be considered a success. What does success mean to you? You may be thinking success means the dollar amount that you earn selling travel to your clients. Being a leader for your business of perhaps you or you and a few ICs may not cross your mind as significant. If you are a part of a host, consortia or franchise, you may think you have leaders to take care of your business. Let’s look at three areas that help define you as the leader of your business, develop key relationships and take your level of success to new pinnacles.
Every successful business, no matter the size, considers the following to attain their goals.
Negotiation may be a word that makes you uneasy. You hear the phrase “the art of negotiation” which if you don’t feel you have that art, you may shy away from it thinking it’s all about conflict. Really negotiation is a skill that anyone can learn. If you are in the business of sales, it’s time to get a positive attitude towards negotiation.
I prefer to think of negotiation in terms of educating to influence. If you are in the travel industry, you have the knowledge and expertise to educate your clients on what their best vacation experience can be based on you qualifying what they are looking for. You may need to utilize some resources to polish or catch up on some destinations, styles or niches that your clients are requesting, but you have that at your fingertips if you are willing to work for them with an open mind. Sure, your clients are also negotiating with you to get the best price but with some education on your part, they may realize and reevaluate what that best price is. At the same time, this is a skill you need with your suppliers as well. You need to be able to communicate (educate) what your needs are to be successful, and understand your suppliers needs and capabilities as well.
A good negotiator makes sure that both sides are happy with the end result. It doesn’t always end up that way, but learn not to take it personally if it doesn’t. Don’t jump to being offended if it doesn’t work every time. Both sides are working toward the same goal, of getting the best deal. Develop the right mindset and get yourself in a good place mentally and you are well on your way to becoming a great negotiator.
Honestly, I truly think of so many people in this industry as my family and I love growing that family with each positive interaction I encounter. You may in business for yourself independently or as part of a host, consortia or franchise, but you still need to have the feeling of being a part of a family or team. This may not be the typical definition of what a team is traditionally but in effect you are a part of a team within this industry. You are not selling your own product. I truly believe that your team consists of you and the suppliers of the products you are selling your clients. What qualities establish a good relationship in this team from both sides?
Honestly, none of these concepts are earth shattering, but if anything helps us get out of ourselves and look at how others are engaging with us, it can be quite impactful. I was brought up with the concept of The Golden Rule: treat others as you wish to be treated, which has served me pretty well in life. I’m not here to argue or debunk this theory, but what if we shifted our thoughts slightly to: treat others as they wish to be treated? Putting others first, considering their needs or how they prefer to be treated is a skill, dare I say gift, that would serve the world well and perhaps catapult us all to new pinnacles.