Contrary to popular belief, there are stupid questions. And no, they’re generally not from clients, but from people calling themselves travel ‘professionals.’
I love attending webinars and in-person presentations to learn more about a product, vendor, or destination. But I cringe when it opens up for travel agent questions because, invariably, the stupid questions erupt.
- “How much does this product cost?” usually asked within 30 seconds of the presenter orally stating the price and putting up a slide with the cost.
- “Can I customize with my own comments?” immediately follows the presenter saying, ‘And the beauty is that you can customize with your own comments’.
- “Do you market to consumers, too?” within five minutes of the presenter extolling how they only work with travel agencies.
What is going on here? Are these alleged professionals incapable of listening and taking notes? Are they this (in)attentive to their travel clients? If something is so urgent that it distracts you from paying attention to the presenter, leave the class and deal with it. Then rejoin and give the presenter your full attention.
If you’re twenty minutes late to a thirty-minute presentation, assume that you’ve missed a lot. Don’t ask the presenter to recap, even though you might have a valid reason for your tardiness. Email the presenter later with your questions or listen to the full recording if the webinar is being taped.
If you’re not muted by the webinar organizer, then please mute your phone. Other attendees don’t want to hear your kids calling you or the dogs barking; they don’t want to hear your office jokes or recipes; they don’t want to hear about your client’s air problem or the music in your office. In short, they want to hear the presenter, not you. And if it’s an in-person presentation, then please mute your cell phone and go outside the room to take calls.
If we call ourselves professional, then can we act professionally? It’s all about common courtesy and respect.
Anne Rose is President of Cameron Park, CA-based Celebrate-Travel, Inc, a boutique travel agency specializing in custom-designed leisure travel. She is passionate about travel and loves helping consumers experience the joys of travel. Anne also was elected to the Travel Consumer Restitution Corporation under the aegis of the CA Seller of Travel whose function is to adjudicate CA consumer claims against CA travel agents.