When I think about passion, I usually think of enthusiasm. Enthusiasm means excitement, being vivacious, being truly alive. Passion goes a step further. When we speak of a passionate person, we often think in terms of romance, but the expression can also be applied to your work.
When I am passionate about something, the experience transcends the obstacles around me. It sometimes even goes beyond time and space. I can forget time and forget where I am and get lost in the activity. Have you ever worked on an exciting project and when you look at the clock, you can’t believe how time has flown by? You’ve become fully engaged in the project and time ceases to have meaning.
When we are passionate about something, we can get totally immersed. Whenever I think of passion, I think about a story of handing out my business cards.
While swimming off the coast of Kannapali Beach in Hawaii, I found myself out enjoying the ocean with a woman out for her morning exercise. At one point we stopped to catch our breath and treaded water for a few moments, and I probably started the conversation (I tend to do that). After a few minutes of a passionate conversation, the woman said, “You’re interesting. When we get back to the beach. I’d like to exchange business cards with you.” She probably wanted to say, “You are a little bizarre, but interesting!”
“Okay, I can do that right now,” I said, reaching down into the pocket of my bathing suit and pulling out one of my laminated business cards and handed it to her. This woman was thrown off guard and she will never forget the guy who gave her his business card in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Talk about branding.
The reason I tell this story is that I am passionate about handing out business cards. I am passionate about making contacts. You can also use a QR code to pass on your business information. Either way, I am passionate about making connections with people. You never know when a casual contact will turn into something far more important.
I also remember arriving one day early for a conference in Cancun, Mexico with my wife Martha. We decided to enjoy the beach of our resort hotel so we swam out to one of the pontoons that was floating in the bay to get a little sun and enjoy the crystal clear water. Within a few minutes another couple swam out and joined us on the pontoon.
As we talked, I found myself ‘profiling them’, that is, having a ‘directed’ conversation. I learned they had never been on a cruise vacation, yet they were avid travelers. I began talking passionately about the cruise experience and said I felt they should try it in the course of their travel adventures. She said she’d love a business card when we got back to the beach. I said, “I can take care of that right now” and pulled out one of my laminated business cards and floated it across the water to her. I believe if that woman had had a laminated checkbook on her, she would have pulled it out and written a check for a cruise deposit right then!
From a selling standpoint, please note what I lacked;
- A waterproof smart phone to share electronic information
- Knowledge about availability
- A price to quote
But all of that was unimportant. What I did have was passion for the cruise product, passion for the services that are provided with it. Just by talking I was able to paint a picture of the cruise experience in her mind. The moral of the anecdote is that passion sells and just as a follow up, this woman ending up contacting me by phone for a cruise referral.
Passion excites. Passion creates interest. Passion energizes you and everyone around you. Agents who have attended my seminars and heard these signature business card stories have told me that they were up to the challenge ~ to see if it really works. To their great surprise, it worked! They gained some lucrative travel clients using passion and always having a business card (laminated). Where is your passion meter? High, medium or low. It might be time to spice up your sales with the essence of enthusiasm – the power of passion in your business.
Keith Powell is a renowned travel industry speaker and author with 35 years of experience in the business. He’s crisscrossed the globe from Bangkok to Cannes, from Rio de Janeiro to Vancouver presenting programs both domestically and internationally. Known as “The Business Revivalist,” Keith has presented to client groups ranging from associations and airlines to cruise lines and Fortune 500 companies. His book “The Transforming Power of Achievement” is available at www.keithpowellspeaker.com. Be sure to visit his facebook page Coffee with Keith, for a dose of business caffeine.