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Bridges & Holman Worldwide Travel – finding great salespeople

I am writing this before the end of January (trying to get ahead of the game), but it’s looking like, perhaps, the highest grossing January ever. It certainly is for my fairly new business. But it looks to be for me personally, as well. So, that’s exciting.

Even nicer, is that the cash flow is, well kind of starting to actually flow. The whole Christmas to February period is, as most business owners know, a time of year when you start by paying all your annual dues and fees to everyone, and then segue in to getting out 1099s to contractors, and prepping for the taxman. Not always fun period. Unfortunately, we aren’t paid when the product is sold. Heck, I have bookings out as far as March of 2017. Which is not helping cover my expenses today. Sadly, in my market, not many actually travel in January.

Now that my rant is over, I did want to say what a joy it is to see the lights come on with new agents.   I got to deal with some of that this month, too.

In my years of working with salespeople, I have found there are three basic types. Some hit the ground running and never look back. Some hit the ground and just lay there, forever. And some hit the ground, stumble, lurch left, lurch right, and just when you think you’ve lost them, BAM! They actually sell something! And then they get excited and start selling more stuff, because they realize they can.

Obviously, I’d prefer everyone be the first type–they’re easy; even when they are difficult.   I’ve long quit fretting over the second type. I just let them fade away. But there really is something exciting with the third type. When someone comes to me, all enthusiastic and full of stupid questions, and diving in to the training; it keeps me excited about my job, as I patiently answer and advise. And then they start to bore you with stories of near misses.   So you break out your speeches about not going negative and all that motivational rah-rah.   After a month or two, they fade away and you think you have the second type. Just when you’ve about given up, you check your email one day and they have a booking confirmation. So you reach out and congratulate them, and hope it wasn’t a fluke. A couple of days later, you see another one. Now they are asking you intelligent questions. Now they’re as excited as they were the first month. And you realize you might have someone worth hanging on to.

This last month, I had not one, but two of these. No one can predict what the future will bring, but it’s a pretty good bet I have two more actual, producing agents. Which is a nice feeling, as I write checks to cover memberships, and contemplate income tax returns.

As the Counting Crows put it, there’s reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last.

I will close with that, because, honestly, it’s a Friday night, I am stuck at home after a long and mostly good week and these 1099’s aren’t going to complete themselves.

Dave Holman is a Partner at Bridges & Holman Worldwide Travel, based out of Southern California, with 9 years experience in the travel industry.  He will draw on his past experience as a serial entrepreneur, as well as his time as a hosted agent at Coral Sands Travel and Expedia Cruise Ship Centers/OVC, as he builds and manages his (relatively) new Host Agency.  You can contact Dave via his website at www.holmantravel.com, or better yet, through his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DaveHolmanTravel.

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