I just stepped off a ship as part of the Cruise Holidays store-front convention this past week. When I last wrote, I was taking part in the Cruise Holidays convention for home-based agents. Two conventions? Back to back? Why go to another convention so soon?
The home based owner’s convention had a theme of becoming a Mediterranean expert. For what we were able to accomplish in such a short time, we drastically increased our knowledge of this profitable cruise destination. However, because we were trying to pack so much learning into this convention (imagine participating in “The Amazing Race”), I felt we failed to fully network with our fellow owners. For me personally, this is one of the biggest advantages to attending convention.
I made the decision to go to the Cruise Holidays store front owner’s convention when I learned my mentor would be attending. While the rate for an inside guarantee with a single supplement, taxes and gratuities was pretty high, it was also another expense for which there was no line item in the budget. My wife and I felt we couldn’t afford not to go and that this would be a very important investment in the future of our business. When I spoke to my sales coach, fellow TRO columnist Mike Marchev, he told me he felt this was a splendid idea, but he challenged me to come up with specific reasons for going other than just meeting our new partners.
Here is what I came up with:
1. To be able to network and learn from people who have more skills and experience at qualifying and closing prospects than I do.
2. To learn and digest the announcements that were made on the Mediterranean cruise that may have been missed because we were so exhausted after a day of explorations.
3. To take advantage of a live “Website Tips And Tricks” session at the hotel not available as part of the home based convention.
4. To experience another destination to add to my area of knowledge
5. CLIA requires a less than 6 day cruise to complete ACC certification. Why not combine a business trip with this cruise to meet one of those accreditation requirements?
Though it seems that the payoff will become evident in the future, I am not always sure I have the discipline or the patience to wait it out. We are very fortunate in that we have been able to pay cash for all our efforts in building this business. It is never easy going back to my CFO wife and asking for another loan from the shareholders. Did I make the right decision? Only time will tell. So far I feel I have made more right decisions than wrong ones.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I came home fully energized after this convention. I feel I not only accomplished my initial goals but accomplished many more I had neither planned for nor intended. I definitely feel I made a solid return on my investment of time and money.
Chuck Flagg is an independent owner/operator with Cruise Holidays in Canton, GA. For information contact Chuck at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 770-355-9569.
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