Believe-able or Doubt-fail, which are you? | TravelResearchOnline


Believe-able or Doubt-fail, which are you?

I love a good pun and double-entendres always make me smile.  I’m especially fond of the ones that prove a point or make you think.  “Believe-able or Doubt-fail” is one of my favorites.

In a recent episode of The Mike and Nolan Show we discussed the importance of believing in your own value.  This is absolutely critical when it comes to success with fees! 

If you don’t believe you’re worth more than $25, how can expect your clients to believe it?  On the flip side, if you charge absolutely nothing for your amazing service what does that tell them?   After all, your clients will never believe you are worth more than you can believe you are worth.

On the show, I mentioned that I’ve been hearing from more and more agents who are succeeding with professional fees.  While most were in the $75 to $100 category, some were in the stratosphere.  One collects $500 for every consultation.  Another charges $750, and the top (so far) earns $1,000 for the same thing many struggling agents give away for free every day.

After the show hit the Internet, my email inbox began to fill with messages.  There were many wonderful success stories.  Unfortunately, most said they either didn’t believe me, or they doubted that any agent could succeed at charging such high fees.  One even said: “it’s impossible, and you should stop spreading your harmful lies.”  Fascinating.

I could publish email copies, photos or even videos of clients happily handing over $1,000 to prove that it’s all real, but it wouldn’t matter.  Doubt is rarely influenced by evidence.  Luckily, neither is belief.

The $1,000 agent doesn’t require the belief of doubters.  She need only believe in herself.  Believe-able or doubt-fail.  Which will you choose?

Nolan Burris is an author, former travel agent, failed musician and self-professed techno-geek. He’s also a popular international speaker both inside and outside of the travel industry.  He is the founder and chief Visioneer of Future Proof Travel Solutions ( based in Vancouver, Canada.  Nolan’s believes that if can change the way business works, you’ll change the world. His goal is to spread the message of integrity and ethics in a techno-driven world.

  5 thoughts on “Believe-able or Doubt-fail, which are you?

  1. Geoff Millar says:

    I feel that whether you charge fees and how much you charge needs to be based on what type of travel you sell. It is much harder to charge fees or higher fees for commodity type travel, packages, than FIT travel. I think agents selling FIT travel should charge fees for everything. I really think that distinction needs to be taken into consideration. Just my opinion.

  2. Nolan Burris says:

    Good point Geoff! My high-fee-charging agent friends would say that what your sell has no relevance to YOUR value. Your value is consistent regardless of what a supplier decides to charge for THEIR product.

    Still – I know it can be harder to get a client to justify a high fee for a low-price tour/cruise. Nonetheless, I know agents doing it every day. One agent says she easily charges $100 a person even on cheap 3-day cruises. Again – her fee is not for a cruise, it’s for HER and her support, expertise, guidance, training, experience, etc.

    Step ONE is believing in your value, but step TWO is understanding that YOUR service and YOUR fees are not connected to what a supplier charges for their product/service.

    I know it’s not easy, but it is important. One step at a time. Thanks for the comments!

  3. Chante' says:

    You make so many valid points within your article, but the most important factor is that you are only worth as much as YOU think you are worth. People have a hard time believing the type of money that others are able to secure (especially when they are in that same profession and unable to secure that same amount of money). In that, the person who makes $1,000 for her consultations need not prove anything to anybody. There will always be doubters, and that’s ok, because that person will STILL happily be collecting their $1,000 consultation fee! Great article, as usual.

  4. Tracy says:

    I am a believer but here is where I struggle. As a mere baby in the industry, still in the development stage, I have no idea what I am worth yet….

  5. Nolan Burris says:

    Good comment Tracy! At some time we were all babies in the industry. Just remember this very important point about being a consultant (that’s what you actually are): NOBODY can know everything. Being a consultant is NOT about simply KNOWING, but about digging down to your client’s needs and desires, then researching for the best fit for them.

    Far too many veteran specialists rely on their past experiences alone. While this is extremely valuable, things change. I’ve seen beautiful beaches become filthy disasters, and sketchy resorts remodel into fantastic getaways. The point is – things change so much in travel that even seasoned veterans need to research things.

    As a “baby” in the industry, it might take you longer, and you might have to dig a little deeper, but that does not decrease your value. They are not paying you to just HOPE that a particular beach or resort is still a nice place, they are paying to be SURE it’s still a nice place.

    So, there’s no doubt that an experienced pro with many years under their belt can probably command a higher fee. But even as a newcomer, you can do very well by remembering that your value is about more than a booking. It’s about spending the quality time needed to give your clients an amazing experience.

    How much is that worth? Apparently anywhere from $0 to $1,000! You can charge as much as you believe you can give them in value. In other words, whatever you charge just make sure they feel like they got more than their money’s worth.

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