Boo! | TravelResearchOnline

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Boo!

Happy Halloween! Tonight, all the goblins and ghouls will be out and about seeking treats. But there is no reason to be scared tonight. Haven’t we had enough to scare us over the past 18 months?  Tonight is the night to send those monsters packing.

Halloween is always a red flag for me. It is sort of a warning shot for what is to come in the next eight weeks! The stores all have their holiday decorations up, the television is buzzing with pre holiday sales, and stress begins to mount for everyone as three major holidays fall back to back. So, let’s take a look at these three holidays from an agency perspective.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I think it is wholly appropriate to professionally sit back and give thanks. We are still here. Nuff said? We survived yet another huge hurdle thrown in front of us. We are good at that—we’ve had practice and we survived another one.

But the Christmas holidays are coming up as well. While you personally may not celebrate Christmas, the time of year is one for joy, happiness, and family. Take time out and remember those who are dear to you and whose support you depend on each day—family, friends, employees, and colleagues alike. Reward them (it is the season of giving isn’t it?) with some quality time or a heart felt ‘thank you.’ And while you are at it, offer a toast to yourself for your tenacity.

Following Christmas is New Years. This is my favorite of the three and the best one for your agency. This is the time when we are all refreshed. Hopefully you have had some “me time” in the previous weeks, have taken time to be thankful for your survival, and are now looking forward to a NEW year!

Take advantage of 2010 to get your business caught up. I know my business is way behind 2008 and I am sure many other are. 2010 is supposed to be the year of the travel deal. Couple that with the improving economy, and the purse strings of the consumer are beginning to loosen up. Your job is to make sure that when they are ready to spend, (and don’t forget that their spending is likely to be a brand new “normal”) that you are there for them. Many agencies hunkered down and operated on a bare bones budget this year. Many agencies will have lost clients simply because they ignored them. E-mail is cheap, why not touch base with everyone who has ever done business with you just to say hello? No pitch. Just a quick reminder that you do exist, that you did survive, and that you do sell travel.

With incredible deals and new products coming from suppliers, make sure that in 2010, you have this information available for your prospects and clients. Put it on your website. Blog about it. Tweet it. Facebook it. Remember this is not 1999, this is 2010 and your clients are talking an entirely different language to you. If you aren’t up to speed on the social networks, take some time now and get up to speed. Do some searches for Facebook, Blogs, and Twitter and see what you learn.

The holiday season is upon us. Think of it as a NASA countdown for a launch. Here we are at Halloween—T-Minus 10. And when you open the doors or turn on the phones on January 2nd, it is indeed a Happy New Year!

No turn off the computer and go out trick or treating!

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