As our success depends upon the client-travel advisor relationship, I have been paying particular attention to the initial “pitch” when potential new clients call. Sometimes they are eager to launch into the specifics of the trip or start their line of questions to get advice. Of course the initial call must go extremely well to obtain their business and make a prospect an actual client. So it’s of relevance to know how that actually happens, and while this is not a scientific or foolproof method – I think most would agree that success is found in the connection we make with the client or prospect. The critical element in success to our business is our ability to connect with our clients!
At first glance, everything and everybody appears so connected. Peel back the layers of our “busy”ness and you can certainly see and feel the tremendous void that exists. Our phones, social media, 24/7 availability, and emails have actually caused a decline in real communication and one-on-one connections. It is clear with Google and so many travel websites that travelers are bombarded with too much information, too many choices, and too little guidance. People seeking your services, expertise, and skills are truly seeking a connection.
Most often, you can feel this connection if you hang up smiling! Did you enjoy the conversation? Is this a person that will fit your profile for a new client? The actual connection happens on a variety of levels, but if you dig deep enough you are sure to find a common ground that will seal the deal. You never know what you can discover to create an instant rapport and secure an ongoing relationship. This should involve asking friendly questions while divulging a bit of information about yourself; it’s such a pleasant surprise to find out what you have in common with a new client. Perhaps you share a hobby, went to the same college, have kids at the same school, or are involved in the same charity. Once that clicks, it’s smooth sailing!
Imagine the impact of doing business and planning travel with an actual person with whom you share common ground with, rather than a computer screen or unknown person. Remember everyone wants to connect, that is why he or she has called you; and once you find a connecting point you have the key to an enjoyable, mutually beneficial and prosperous relationship.
Marti Litwin is an independent Virtuoso travel advisor with En Route Travel in Southern California. She has a Master’s degree from the University of Southern California. Marti shares her value of sharing unforgettable family experiences with her clients. In addition to travel, she enjoys yoga, health and wellness, her 2 children, and an adorable rescued Golden Retriever, Cookie.