Words matter. It is hard to overstate the power of words in shaping our perceptions of reality. Consider the amazing impact language has on our psyche. Our innate understanding of the influence of language is built into our minds in creative ways: why do we call magic a “spell” and our attempt to re-shape another’s beliefs as “dis-spelling?” What type of spell do you cast when you speak to your clients? How do you shape their understanding of the reality you seek to share?
Because language has such a powerful influence over perception, it is important to be precise in our use of words. This is especially true when we consider the buying process in which we as travel planners are so intimately involved with our clients. This week we are going to consider a few language choices and determine how we might enhance our client’s opportunities to travel well by altering our word choices.
How often do you say something like the following:
- Let me see if I can get you a good deal?
- I think I can find you something really cheap!
- I will never be undersold!
When as travel professionals we speak this way we re-enforce our client’s vision of us as a retailer of travel product. Language focusing on price cements us to an outdated and painfully skewed model.
Instead,focus on value.
- Let’s figure out what you want and then find the best value for you.
Value is a much more comprehensive concept than mere price. The cost of a trip is only a small component of value. Your clients might miss this subtle point, but you, the professional, should not. In fact, I would go so far as to say if the value is high enough, cost does not matter! When we focus on value, we sound like professional consultants. When we focus on cost we sound like sales people and invite shopping and price comparisons.
Your choice of words matter. Like a wizard, you shape reality with your words. Let’s begin choosing more carefully.
Tomorrow: Should and Want