Live From Virtuoso: How to Get and Keep Client Trust

virtuoso president matthew upchurch

Virtuoso wants you to get naked. 

You read that correctly. As part of the 26th annual Virtuoso Travel Week, president Matthew Upchurch is urging members to get naked. Let’s backtrack..

The event  officially kicked off August 10 in Las Vegas with speaker Pat Lencioni of The Table Group, and author of the book Getting Naked, which delves deep into the relationship of vulnerability between service providers and their clients. Essentially the relationship between travel advisor and traveler. 

In a dynamic opening session, Lencioni took the 4,420 attendees down an uncomfortable path of vulnerability that was designed to lead them toward success with their clients. According to Lencioni, there are three fears that prevent advisors from providing true “naked” service, which Lencioni believes is the key to unlocking the minds (and wallets) of the affluent American consumer.

RELATED: Record Attendance at Virtuoso Travel Week

The first fear is the FEAR OF LOSING THE BUSINESS. “Show your clients that you are not in it to maximize earning potential,” he says. “Show them that you are in it to maximize the client experience, and you will be rewarded. Consults instead of sell.” 

The second fear is the FEAR OF BEING EMBARRASSED. “You won’t make that great suggestion without making the ones you aren’t sure of,” Lencioni says. Travel advisors must have confidence in the pitch of their sale before they know they have even made it. This brings in the trust of the traveler...especially the first time traveler.

The final fear is the FEAR OF FEELING INFERIOR. “Do the dirty work,” says Lencioni. “Make everything exist about your client.”

While these suggestions may seem obvious, how many of you are actually practicing them? How many of you are bold enough to make a suggestion event though it may come off as “dumb”? How many of you kowtow to your clients on price points without recognizing your own worth? Don’t be afraid to charge what you are owed. These are simple guidelines,  but sometimes we need to go back to the basics of business.

This year’s Virtuoso Travel Week is all about earning the trust of clients and proving worth as a travel advisor, versus just your average travel agent. 

Stay tuned to for more updates on how you can make that distinction and set yourself apart in the luxury marketplace.