Travel insights from Jennifer Dugan, chief family officer for Dugan’s Travels

Is Fear Holding You Back in 2020?

We all have fears that hold us back: The fear of charging a service fee to a customer. Or the fear of going after new clients. Often, we look at other agents – like the one that makes the most bookings at our agency – and think they have it all figured out. Does the other agent ever doubt him or herself? My simple answer is yes. I am sure even top agents question themselves sooner or later. After all, it is human nature to worry if we are good enough.

What we need to do is accept the fear and move past it.

When I started my travel agency 20 years ago, I never imagined I would one day be helping others become agents. At the agencies I had worked before, I was always the youngest. My managers appointed me to run and get coffee or to perform menial list tasks. I felt like I did not fit in. As unfulfilling as it was, this experience taught me a valuable lesson: How not to treat someone, no matter their experience, age or status.

The same applies to our customers. They have doubts about their ability to pick their own vacation and rely on us to help them. As travel agents, the best thing we can do is to push back our own fears and to listen to our customers’ needs. If we listen closely, we will perceive that people do not feel worthy enough to take the vacation they have always dreamed of. They may be afraid of not fitting into the nice hotel or resort or cruise ship.

Do you remember when cruise lines were all about the fancy nights? More and more lines are now going casual. Rightfully so. To deserve a vacation, you don’t need to wear a tuxedo if you don’t want to. We have learned over time that the most successful people are comfortable being who they are. That means if they want to go to dinner in polo shirts and slacks instead of a three-piece suit, they should be allowed to do so. Everyone should have the right to be who they are – especially on vacation.

We all need to push back our fear. We need to feel worthy of that new customer. We need to be confident and ask for what we are worth by charging service fees. And we need to give our clients the confidence that they are worthy of that vacation they always dreamed of.

I hope 2020 means less fear and more acceptance in our industry. I hope customers are being treated the way we all want to be treated. And as our industry grows, I hope the new people who will be joining us will be accepted with open arms.

About the Author

Jennifer Dugan

Jennifer Dugan founded Dugan’s Travels in 1997 with the goal to have a career while being at home with her growing family. Since that time, Jennifer and her team have created a family-friendly host agency where hundreds of agents work to realize the dream of owning a successful home-based travel business. Dugan’s Travels, now a recognized top host agency in the United States, offers comprehensive education and development programs to help agents gain knowledge, establish industry relationships, and build the confidence needed to succeed. When not working tirelessly to put her agents first, Jennifer enjoys spending time in the mountains with her husband and seven children.

You May Also Like

BDM Beth Celebrates Dugan’s 20th!

I was fortunate to be able to help Dugan’s celebrate their 20th birthday in Anaheim, CA in February. The most agents in my history with Dugan’s gathered ready to engage for this conference! This was my 4th Anaheim conference with them, and once again, though I’m right across the street from Disneyl

Are You Working for Peanuts?

When developing a new agent, the hardest thing to teach is the concept of what the income is on each customer. At first, agents are so eager to take whatever they can get. An airline ticket? Great! Go ahead and charge a $15 fee. If you just entered it into a website and booked it quickly, then a qui

The 2018 Summit Underscored the Importance of Agent Education

The Mark Travel Corporation’s 2018 Summit event was one for the books. It was my first experience there and even though I’ve heard plenty of coworkers’ and agents’ past experiences, actually being there and seeing what it’s all about really made a big impression on me. I finally got it, and I loved

How STEP Can Save a Vacation

Ideally the most unfortunate event to unfold during vacation is something minor, like spilling your drink on a new pair of pants, getting blisters on your feet after hours spent exploring a new city or maybe acquiring mild sunburn due to a lack of SPF. But this isn’t always the case, and sometimes b


1000 characters remaining
Comment as:

Rosalind T | 02/17/20 - 06:02 AM

3   | reply

show less