You have heard of the Pareto Principle, but you probably call it something else. 80% of all of your business comes from 20% of your marketing efforts. Roughly 20% of your time management is highly efficient and from that activity comes 80% of your productivity. 80% of the money made by travel agents is made by 20% of the travel agents. You probably know the Pareto Principle as the 80/20 Rule. It seems like everyone has encountered bully Pareto somewhere and is convinced of the immutable nature of its power. What bothers me about the Pareto principle is the way that travel agents accept it as applying to them, and assume that their practice must therefore fit the Pareto principle’s boundaries which encompasses an enormous range of mediocrity.
In reality, however, the Pareto Principle does not apply to every situation, especially those engineered to work otherwise. The Pareto principle is not an immutable law of nature, it’s all about averages. You didn’t get into the business of being a travel professional to be average. You want to be insanely great at what you do. Your travel practice can rise above the 80% mark nationwide. Your clients can all be more productive for you. You can be more efficient. You can take your travel practice to ever higher levels. You are not limited by some artificial notion of “the average.”
Let’s do some engineering.
- Focus on the marketing that has historically paid off for you. Do what you do best in your local community and then resolve to add a new technique that has a high probability of return. The time you are spending in other, less productive marketing efforts? Re-invest it in the types of marketing that demonstrates a return.
- Drop the clients who don’t add to your business and who are constantly eating at your time with hopeless research requests. Re-invest the time you recover into your productive clients and your marketing techniques.
- Work your remaining clients. Educate them, be in touch with them, train them. Become their life-long partner in achieving travel ambitions.
- Examine all of your points of contact, every one of them. Take all of them to the next level, begin to sharpen your image and never stop.
- Stop with the busywork that basically adds very little to your day – the surfing, the non-productive email reading, the shuffling of papers. During the most productive parts of your day, work your best game and leave everything else behind. Reinvest the time you recover in quality time with the people around you. Make sure to remember that you are one of the people around you.
It’s one thing to work hard. Some of the hardest working people I have ever known have very difficult lives and don’t enjoy themselves very much. Instead, take a few moments to set your priorities and resolve to work smart. Get the trends moving in your direction. Form relationships that work for you.
And if you can’t break the Pareto Principle, perhaps you can bend it just a little in your favor. That may be all you need to have a bit more fun with your chosen profession.