|Vice President—Content/Editorial Director, Ruthanne Terrero|
The New York State Lottery has an advertising campaign called “Any Minute Now” that’s all about being ready should you win the lottery. The TV and print ads show people on a city bus, the subway, in the office and on the streets of Manhattan all dressed up in vacation wear (think of a woman clad in a bikini amidst a crowd in corporate garb), because they might win the lottery and so should be ready in an instant to depart for their dream vacation. The TV commercial also has a song with very sophisticated lyrics that go, “Are you ready, get set, are you ready, get set, are you ready, get set, are you ready?” It doesn’t leave your mind once you’ve heard it, trust me.
If you think about it, travel agents live in a similar way; at least, in their mind-set. As successful travel professionals, you never know when you’re going to be able to be part of a fabulous fam and fly off to an exotic locale or try out a new cruise ship. As a result, you need to always be mentally prepared to quickly transport yourself to the airport, passport in hand and BlackBerry enabled to receive e-mails from remote areas so you can keep servicing your clients 24/7.
Sometimes, such a mentality works its wonders in other ways. I went out the other day to pick up a pair of eyeglasses and ended up buying a pullover that would be perfect if anyone ever invited me out for a day on their boat or if I went on a Mediterranean cruise. It doesn’t work for day to day, believe me. I tried it on one morning for work and I looked like a Venetian gondolier. But nevertheless, I’m ready should I get an opportunity for an international voyage.
It’s kind of marvelous, though, to know that your chosen profession can deliver you to far-off lands at any time. Why not instill that mentality in your clients? In this issue of Travel Agent, Valerie Wilson speaks of planning her clients’ travel as a lifestyle. She’s not interested in plotting out just one trip on their wish list; she wants to know their desires for traveling through their lifetime so she can plan for them as opportunities come up to get to their “bucket list” destinations.
Why not do the same for your clients? Interview them to determine those places they dream of visiting or wish to return to. Then contact them as you find interesting or money-saving opportunities for them to get to these places. Don’t wait until that time of year when they typically travel, but give them a call to delight and surprise them when Bora Bora has a two-for-one sale or that luscious Mexican resort where they honeymooned has a “buy three, get one night free” deal. If they say they can’t get away just now, remind them that there should always be time for a getaway with loved ones or to relax long enough to regenerate some of those brain cells they’ve burned getting through the corporate rat race.
In other words, tell them they should always be prepared to spring into action mode to take that next adventure. That means having their wardrobe, their travel documents and their minds in the right place at all times.