The first quarter of 2012 is coming to a close and now is the time to see if we’re on track to achieve our goals. Since I’ve committed to write for TRO Travel Agent Diaries, I’ll be sharing my success and challenges with you. Let’s take a quick look back to see where we started. (I hope you will get your list out too.)
The list of 7 things that had me feeling a bit exposed and out of my comfort zone.
- I’ve moved back to an IC business model
- I’ve begun hosting, mentoring and motivating other like minded agents
- Europe has been one of my long-time loves, but now I’m formally specializing
- I’m turning away clients that aren’t right for my business model. (Referring them to other agents, or giving the, “this is what I’d do” speech if I wouldn’t give it to a good friend to work on.
- I’m diving head first into social media. I’m living in a blogger, tweeter, posting world!
- I’m writing this article.
- I’m working within the travel industry in an agent advisory and educator role
I’m happy to say that just like beginning a new exercise program, I’m getting into the swing of things. I’m already seeing changes! As with any program, just taking the first step is most often the hardest part; for me the first step began when I chose to become an IC again. The second step is consistency; just doing it.
Stretching outside my comfort zone has paid off. I have a more flexible schedule, which is important to me since my husband is off during the week and I was off on the weekends. Now I schedule around him. I also get to be the boss again, which as most of us know is a double-edged sword. I can decide what I do; but the bottom line is that this is a job and I must choose to show up for work!
Showing up for work means keeping up with not only client requests, but also knowing my numbers. As a travel professional it’s my responsibility to make sure that payments get applied, documents get delivered and that I’ve received commissions. I have to do all of these things and strive to be profitable. Having a system of checks and balances is a critical step to making sure nothing falls between the cracks. Find a system that works for you, and use it!
Showing up for work also means that I’ve had to re-train friends and family in a firm, but loving way. If I receive an invitation during a time that I’ll be working, I see if my schedule will allow it. Just like when offered a dessert, sometimes I can have it, sometimes it better for me if I choose to pass. The choice is always mine to make.
I now realize that, although I’m running my sales through a host agency, I’m ultimately responsible for my own marketing. Finding the ideal client is up to me—no one else.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I can (and will) talk to anyone, anywhere, about most anything in an attempt to find some common connection. I’m gregarious and love being in the company of others. Because that’s my personality, I’ve harnessed it by joining my local Kiwanis International chapter. It commits me to getting out of the house once a week and puts me in front of people I otherwise wouldn’t meet. I get to volunteer in my community with people who didn’t know I existed until now. This may not lead to instant sales, but it does establish relationships, which might lead to future referrals and business.
So how are you doing with your goals? Please leave a comment and share what you’re doing to be deliberate in your business.
Have a great month!
Trish Gastineau, CTC is the owner of Simply Europe Travel who is passionate about her craft; especially Europe and River Cruises! She was recognized as the #1 Selling River Cruise Specialist for 2011 with Avalon Waterways as well as participating in several of their training webinars. She has been in the Travel Industry since 1993 and hails most recently from Montgomery, Alabama. Learn more about Trish at: www.simplyeuropetravel.com or contact her by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.