I spend a lot of time in airports. Today at Vancouver International I decided to conduct an experiment. I wanted to compile some data… on you!
As in most airports, you can buy newspapers from almost every major city. I grabbed one for all the North American major markets including Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, and a few more.
I was on a mission to find a reason to use a travel agent. My source? You!
Actually I was looking at the ads travel agencies had placed in the papers. I was not disappointed in the volume; there were plenty of them. But, my quest to find a reason to use a travel agent was completely unfulfilled. Let me explain.
Every ad followed a pattern that existed even back in the dark ages when I was a front line agent. They promoted destinations, hotels, resorts, cruises, prices and just about every supplier name you can imagine. I studied over three hundred ads in all.
How many do you think printed a single sentence about why I should use a travel agency – even their own? Zero. I’m sure there are exceptions out there, but not in the papers I bought.
They did a great job of promoting their supplier partners’ brands and products, which you absolutely must do sometimes! However, other than an agency logo in the corner and an occasional slogan, there was nothing to give anyone a reason (other than a price) to use the agency placing the ad. NOTHING!
Not one used that precious space to tell the world about their skills, knowledge, experience, consulting, advice, support, supplier connections and all the other things that make them truly valuable.
Instead, they perpetuated the very things agents complain about in almost every course I teach: people calling asking for deals, bargains, and beating cheap Internet promos.
Everything I saw advertised is available from an infinite number of sources. The one thing not available elsewhere was relegated to a tiny logo or slogan.
Stop shooting yourself in the foot. Start telling the world just how valuable you really are. A cheap price? That doesn’t even come close.
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 (futureprooftravel.com) 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.