With the new year upon us, we’re bringing back some popular how-to tips to help you sell better and enhance your clients’ experience.
Earlier this year I wrote about eight travel advisor goals for 2016, which ranged from hosting wine events in your neighborhood to visiting Paris to networking with people you’re not used to networking with. Now that we’re mid-year, let’s take a look at some opportunities to expand the infrastructure of your business well into 2017.
|Ruthanne Terrero, CTC Vice President–Content/Editorial Director|
Reignite a Passion: Is there something you were once really good at but left behind because life got too busy? Maybe it was figure drawing, swing dancing, carpentry or singing. Whatever it was, bring out your old equipment and start dabbling again. Feel once again the energy that you get from doing something you love and determine a way to incorporate this hobby into new business opportunities. Can you form a travel group composed of those who are currently involved in these activities? If you were once an artist, how about a cultural trip through Europe to visit under-the-radar museums? Go to meet-ups where you can enjoy your rediscovered pastime with others and get the conversation started on how you can all travel together to explore your interests.
Learn a New Technical Skill: This can be a tough one, but it can also change your life. We all have that one thing we can’t do, that we have to stop and hand over to an expert before we can proceed with our business. Perhaps it’s Excel or Adobe Photoshop or writing marketing copy. You’ve been smart to delegate such things in the past, as it’s great to surround yourself with those who can fill in the gaps where your skills fall short. But what if you figured out Photoshop and could finally tool around with your own marketing creative? If you finally deciphered all of the capabilities of Excel, where would that take you? Learning a new technology can be frustrating and frightening, but once you do it, you’ll feel incredibly liberated. Take a class online or ask a relative for assistance. It’ll be a nice payback for all that free travel advice you’ve given them over the years.
Tackle a New Niche: It’s wise to specialize, but not to work in a vacuum, where you don’t read about or relate to travel opportunities outside of your area of expertise. These may not speak to your passions, but you don’t want to shrug and say you don’t know about them if a client asks. Take a class or attend a trade show where you can meet suppliers selling this niche. You might even discover an activity that appeals to you personally.
What else can you do to fortify your business? Understand your financials; don’t leave that to someone else. Reassess the worth of your consortia. Are they happy you’re a part of their family? Re-evaluate your top suppliers. Are they bored when you call them with new business? And lastly...enjoy! You picked this career because there’s something about it you love, whether it’s travel, creating dream vacations or working through the complex logistics of getting people from point A to point B in style. You should still feel joy in doing this. If you don’t, take a day to see what’s bringing you down and begin moving past your obstacles to happiness.