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Fasten Your Seat Belts, Here Comes Another Year

Here we are looking down the barrel of yet another year. In wanting to maintain my relationship with Travel Research Online, and in particular with Richard Earls, I didn’t think I had another year’s worth of articles in me. I wasn’t sure what avenue I was going to take, and then an old project of mine popped into my head.

Once upon a time, I was going to write a book titled UNDERLINES.

I’m not sure when my reading habits kicked into full speed, but years ago I found myself being defined as a voracious sales and marketing reader. I couldn’t learn or read enough about the subject. And thanks to my slower-than-fast reading habits, I found myself underlining certain passages in the books that I read in order to internalize the message. Page after page I underlined, circled, and furiously scribbled notations in the margins. Read the rest of this entry »

The New Year Is Here!

I am not going to bore you with an article highlighting the importance of making meaningful goals for the New Year. Nor am I going to highlight the folly most individuals experience who spend an inordinate amount of time making such superfluous goals.

You know what time it is, and you know you have a full 12 months ahead to do whatever it is you are going to do. As Gloria Estefan once reminded us in song, “You determine your fate by the choices you make.”

Before entering the New Year after sharing over 225 messages with you during the past twelve months, I want to remind you of one simple meaningful fact. I happen to know that the following advice is true: I learned it and confirmed it more than once during my training days leading up to competing in an Ironman Triathlon in 1998. (For those of you who may not know, The Ironman is an endurance race covering 142 miles for individuals who are borderline on being mentally imbalanced — just kidding.) Read the rest of this entry »

The Delta Way

As we approach another New Year, I wanted to share this true life experience with you. It happened when I was traveling to Europe on business. I was taking a river cruise, which I hesitate to call “work”, but that is exactly what it was.

It wasn’t until I was packing to return home that I realized that I was missing my Kindle reader. I had over 75 business books loaded on this device, so this more than a slight inconvenience. In fact, I was very disappointed in myself for letting this treasured device slip away from me.

After calling myself every name that I could think of, I realized that most of my readings were backed up on the “cloud”. This softened the blow, but I was still very disappointed in myself. Read the rest of this entry »

5. Thinking social media is your answer. Social media is in no way, shape or form today’s flavor of the month marketing strategy. It is “real” and it is here to stay. My warning is not to solely rely on this strategy in hope that it will lead you to the Promised Land. It won’t. It is merely another cog in the wheel to help you let others know that you are alive and that you may have something of value to offer.

Read the rest of this entry »

One of my most often reminders requoted by those attending my live training sessions is: “There are only two types of people you will ever encounter. Those who you can help and the other kind.”

No truer words have ever been spoken.

I plan to touch on nine reasons why most salespeople are not more successful at arriving at deciding the candidates for each category.

Today we will discuss the first four. Read the rest of this entry »

Can You Handle The Truth?

Never known to mince words or to endorse the practice of political correctness, I have some bad news for many of my readers working the travel industry. If not “bad news,” it certainly falls under the category of “less-than-motivating facts.”

The truth is… the undisputable truth is… the undeniable truth is… many of you in the travel business DO NOT want to become successful. That’s the truth. Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s Keep Things Simple

I do not see what all the fuss is all about. Who said that building a business had to be difficult? Certainly not me. Like everything worth pursuing, it is the fundamentals that will get you to where you are trying to go.

In an attempt to simplify your journey, I’ve outlined five steps that will have you feeling like a pro in very short order. The work stems from the concept of “consistency,” and not from tedious and laborious “work.” Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Your Business, Do Something About It

There is a thin line between “customer service” and being a doormat. Remember–you can’t be all things to all people.

If there is one common refrain I hear (and if I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a hundred times) it is:

Potential clients contact me to milk me for as much information as they can before they head out to book their own vacation on the internet. Read the rest of this entry »

72 Shots – Three Goals

Like hockey or not, today’s message serves as a great reminder for all of us.

Last season the Washington Capitols and The NY Rangers faced off for game seven in the semi-finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It was all on the line. The winner moved onto the finals, while the loser went home to catch up on some TV reruns. Read the rest of this entry »

Lifetime Value

A mistake that many sales professionals make is that they are shortsighted when it comes to evaluating their customers.

With the blame pointing toward a tough economy, too many sales people try to rush the sale to fatten their wallets… prematurely, I might add.

Try becoming the exception by seeing new customers as the potential annuity they truly represent. Read the rest of this entry »

Persistence Pays Dividends

Although there may not be any “do-overs” or “mulligans” in business these days, there is certainly time and rationale for “Do-Agains.”

Let me explain:

I recently sent out a blast email promoting one of my books. In this case, I was featuring my 52-Week Sales Planner. What better time to start planning for a brighter future than right now? I wrote a sales letter and hit the button which sent my words out to internet land. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s The Difference?

I was sitting on the couch on a Saturday morning when my wife shared a video of the young golf phenomenon Jordan Speith with me. The President’s Cup was being played in Korea and the young Mr. Spieth was hitting out of a greenside bunker.

When his club scooped the sand with a “thunk,” sand began to fly everywhere while the ball was slowly plopping softly onto the green and began meandering toward the hole. “Ka-plunk.” The ball disappeared into the cup. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Ever Count Yourself Out

You all know how much I enjoy the Olympics; they are truly special times of year. I was once watching an event that resembled cross-country skiing. And as it is only fair, when you take a group of international, world-class athletes, you put the bumper crop of superior athletes in the front, so the second tier of world-class athletes do not screw things up.

I have no problem with stacking the deck by putting the fastest guys up front. That is okay. The gun sounds and like it is often the case when you have a group of world-class athletes trying to accomplish their life-long dream, somebody errs, and then more err until you have one giant err. Read the rest of this entry »

A Lesson Worth Learning

If you are an honest, hard-working business professional who has more than a modicum of interest in helping others get through this whacked-out world we live in, then I say it is your obligation to let us know you exist and are here to help us.

The secret is, (and keep this to yourself as it seems very few people know this) you have to do something. Read the rest of this entry »

Mike’s “4x4x10” Sales Strategy

You have everyone in your company/organization to do this each and every day for the next 3 months.

  • Send 4 letters to somebody… anybody. Your letters can go to clients, prospects, or leads from your morning newspaper. Without excuse or exception, get into the habit of sending four letters each and every day.
  • These can be to clients to say thank-you. These can be to prospects to ask for an appointment, or these could be to suspects to simply inquire or ask for a current mailing address.
  • This assignment must be completed by 10 a.m. every morning, no excuses, no exceptions, by each person in your organization.

Read the rest of this entry »

Has The World Lost Its Touch?

Technology makes it easy to speed through (and around) sincerity.

Be warned, I can tell when I am just number 345 on your database even though you begin your email with my first name: “Hi Mike!”

Please do not get me wrong. I have all the toys, and I love playing with them. I am the first one to check my emails while exiting an airplane and sending the latest gizmo whammy by FTP up to my website. But, after reading this article again, I also think that I am going to sit right down and write somebody a letter, with a pen… on paper, and stick it in an envelope… and write from my heart… and lick the stamp myself. Read the rest of this entry »

A Journey Of 100 Miles Begins With A Single Step

Since I read the book titled Kaizen, I find myself eyeballing a zillion items that yesterday would have gone unnoticed and, worse, untouched. I figured if I was not in position to complete the task in one sitting, I would wait until I could find the time to do so. This has proven over time to be a wasteful decision. (Kaizen goes against the popular teaching to finish what you start. With Kaizen, you eventually do complete the task, but not instantaneously.)

Kaizen comes into play in virtually every aspect of our life. It also works when it comes to eating healthy. Let’s use French Fry Potatoes as an example of how Kaizen works. You do not have to give up French fries cold turkey once you endorse the Kaizen philosophy. Not all at once. Your brain will fight you, and you will lose every time. Read the rest of this entry »

Some People Just Don’t Get It

Today’s whack in the head comes via Annapolis, Maryland — the home of the United States Naval Academy. Annapolis is one pretty town, especially on a bright, clear Saturday morning. Weather-wise, my wife and I hit a homerun as we sauntered in and out of the cute little shops.

We eventually wandered into a Christmas Shop down near the docks and began browsing. We both overheard a woman with an accent (Russian) ask the young lady behind the counter if they could take a picture of this lovely shop as they had never seen anything quite so beautiful? Read the rest of this entry »

What Do “Looks” Have To Do With Anything?

When it comes to first impressions, I suppose the way you look does have an impact on what comes next. Image does play a part, I agree.

My message today involves a reminder thanks to an experience I had in Oneonta, NY.  This little town is “upstate,” and perfectly positioned between cow pastures.

My wife and I were visiting a plumbing supply store in search of a few important water-related items when we entered a company that was advertised to fit the bill. Read the rest of this entry »

#8: Why Should I Do Business With You?

That is a very good question. If not verbally asked, your prospect will undoubtedly be thinking it.

Most agents reply by telling the prospect what they think of themselves. They provide a data dump of superfluid information, which is of no interest to their prospects. They flatter themselves hoping that others share the same interest in them and their history. Ladies and gentlemen, this isn’t the way it works. Read the rest of this entry »

#7: Better Ask Questions

Somewhere along the way, some not-so-smart guy or gal suggested that in order to excel in sales, one must exhibit the “gift of gab.” Nothing (spelled NOTHING) could be further from the truth.

The warden in the movie Cool Hand Luke also had it wrong when he reminded Paul Newman that “what we have here is a failure to communicate.” Nope! Wrong again. Read the rest of this entry »