A call came in from one of my favorite clients wanting a package to Maui – again! They have been to the island countless times and have consistently stayed at the same two resorts. Taking my roll as an “advisor” seriously, I mention perhaps exploring a different island in Hawaii or a new tropical destination. It would be quite easy to fulfill her request and have a nice easy booking, but I really feel like there is more out there for this lovely couple to see!
After some discussion about how much they love returning to the same place year after year and that is comfortable because they know what to expect, I realize it’s really more about a common psychological barrier – the comfort zone! Like a security blanket, it’s so hard to detach and venture out to new things. There are so many unknowns and fears about travel — the flying, the food, the diseases, etc. For many people with a small zone of comfort, this can all be very daunting.
Since it’s our job to offer the world and create these unforgettable adventures for our travelers, I am determined to get people out of their comfort zones. Kiss that “blankie” goodbye and say hello to the world! It’s truly exciting to motivate clients and plan these memorable trips of a lifetime. It actually worked with this couple. After a bit of discussion and finding the right fit for a similar property, they decided on an adventure with a little more, well, adventure than in the past.
Needless to say, I closed this booking feeling quite satisfied and was telling this story to my teenager. Not sure if it was the teenage sass that hit me or perhaps a bit of truth when he chuckled and said, “Yeah, because your comfort zone is so big!” Ouch, that hurt! It did get me thinking: I motivate others to expand their experiences and leave their fears and apprehension behind, but how am I emulating that idea? It is a tough realization, but as agents we also must get out of our cozy place. This can be a tough business and if your scope of knowledge, business practices, and clients is very narrow, you are limiting your ability to achieve greater success. Everyday, we have opportunities to let go of fear and step out of our comfort zone, just as we ask and expect our clients to do. For example, charging fees, embracing social media, learning new technology, networking, and customizing FIT’s for certain destinations might make some advisors apprehensive; but it’s all in a days work and must be done. Lead the way for your peers and your clients and step out of your own personal comfort zone. I’m sure more business and a better quality of life will follow!
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.