Tools of the trade | TravelResearchOnline


Tools of the trade

Imagine this:  you’re sitting in the dentist’s chair preparing for an expensive, lengthy root canal.  Then, the dentist says, “you know, I’m not really good at these drill thingies, now open wide!”  How confident and comfortable would that make you feel?  Would you just laugh and say, “That’s OK, I can’t use one either, drill away.”?  No.

Now imagine this:  a travel agent is sitting in front a computer preparing to create an expensive and lengthy luxury cruise for a client.  Then the travel agent says, “You know, I’m not really good at these computer thingies…”  How do you think THEY would feel?

The first scene isn’t very likely, but the second one happens every day.  Of course, the computer isn’t your only tool, no more than a drill is the only tool a dentist uses.  Both however are where wonderful things can happen or terrible pain can develop.

You have to know the tools of your trade if you want your customers to trust you.  I’m always amazed, and perplexed that so many haven’t taken the time to really learn their tools!  A dentist might go an entire day without picking up a drill.  But a travel agent is tapping away on the keys all day every day.

When I speak about social media (a marketing tool,) the first and most common reason I hear for not using it is this– “well, I’m really not very good at using the computer.”  Luckily, only the most basic skills are needed to do very well with Facebook and Twitter.

Of course, nothing is more important than your consulting skills, product knowledge and your ever-growing experience.  However, a dentist that can tell you everything about your teeth, but doesn’t know how to use a drill, is still a very scary thing.  I imagine that some folks feel the same about their vacation or business trip dollars.

Take the time to learn your tools of the trade.  You owe it to those who trust you to prevent the pain and create something beautiful.

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.

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