I’m not really surprised that you might be a little discouraged following all the issues that have impacted you over the past few years. In fact, I can almost empathize with those of you that are fed up and are seriously considering getting out of the industry. No one would really blame you, no one likes to work even harder than you used to, only to see your income go down.
But, as I mentioned in a previous article, some of you have chosen to not get discouraged. You are staying busy making sure your clients are taking great vacations and finding new clients with all the great deals that suppliers are offering. You see the glass as half full and I’m sure that as things turn around, you will be making more money than ever before. But, for those of you that have pretty much given up and don’t like what’s going on…PLEASE leave now and stop complaining. Your negative attitude is affecting your colleagues as well as your client’s attitude about using a travel agent. Harsh words? Perhaps. But read on!
I just hate to hear agents complain about the industry which has fed them for years–an industry which has struggled along with you, an industry which has worked with you by not increasing your sales quotas to earn a override, an industry which continues to offer great training and marketing assistance, and especially the cruise lines which continue to invest billions of dollars to build beautiful ships with all kinds of new innovations for your clients!
The cruise industry knows that by building wonderful new ships and utilizing attractive pricing to fill them, that the number of new cruisers will continue to grow. And, when prices begin the get back to the rates that we all yearn for, there will be a larger pool of clients looking forward to a cruise vacation. And, if you play your cards right, these clients will be telling their friends about their great travel agent that keeps them excited about finding great new vacations, even when things aren’t going so well.
Did you catch that important word? Did you miss it? The critical word was EXCITED! Are you excited about the opportunity to offer these great deals for your clients? Are you excited about all the new ships that have been coming out? Are you excited about the 24 new ships coming out over the next 24 months? Or are you one of those agents that spend most of your time complaining to anyone that will listen, that business is terrible and how you are not making any money?
I don’t think that complaining and being negative has ever helped a salesman in any industry sell. In fact it can affect you in more ways than we realize and none of them are good. I believe you can wake up with a positive attitude or you can wake up with “stinking thinking,”– the choice is yours.
Please don’t bite the hand that feeds you!
Now that my rant is over, let me give you the back-story. Back in November, I had the privilege of being invited to experience Royal Caribbean’s, Oasis of the Seas. While there were a lot of folks focusing on its enormous size, I was excited about the brand new innovations that it brought to our industry. I was amused to hear so many agents comment that it was “just too big” for their clients. Do they know? Hey, sure you would have to qualify them for this ship; but being bigger, means much more for clients to do onboard as well.
But, what really bothered me more than anything was when I overheard an agent telling her table mates that she would never sell the Oasis of the Seas to any of her clients. Her lists of ‘complaints’ were non-issues for me. I saw so many things that old and new cruisers will love. I wondered why she even came aboard–her mind was already made up. I think she might just be one of the agents I mentioned in the first paragraph—the ones who just seem to see the negative things in our industry and would rather bite the hand that is feeding us. Is it time for her to leave?
Larry Norman, CTC, MCC is an icon in the industry. He has been a consultant to over 5,000 Home Based Travel Agents and trained an estimated 22,000 travel agents over his career. He was Travel Trade’s 1996 Travel Educator of the Year. Larry owned a four state network of 17 agencies, with annual sales of $28 million. Larry is known as “The Outside Sales Agent Expert” for his presentations on outside sales at Travel Trade Cruise-A-Thons, ASTA, ARTA and NACOA travel agent conferences among others. You can share your views with Larry at LNormanCTC@aol.com