This week we are examining five common myths that many travel agents believe. This next one is so widely held and fervently believed that it remains one of the most difficult to dislodge. Yet, dismissing it from your mind requires only a slight psycholgical shift.
Myth #3 – The Sales Process Is Difficult
Why do we think this? Is it because we begin with poorly trained clients and then compete with each other, suppliers and the internet to sell them a product? Yikes! You’re right. The sales process IS difficult. That is not how I want to spend my days. Let me suggest an alternative.
Quit Selling Travel.
Instead of focusing on selling, focus on buying. Don’t try to sell your clients anything, ever. Instead, assist clients in making a purchasing decision. Your clients already want to buy travel, but they don’t want to be sold anything. This is not just semantics. The focus here is on a real psychological and transactional positioning of the agent vis-a-vis the client and the travel product. Don’t get between the client and the travel product. Instead, move over to your client’s side of the table and look at all of the options with the client. Give the client the insight and the expertise you have as a travel consultant. Show them how to achieve value. Explain the different products to them: how Carnival is different from Princess; how an FIT is different from an escorted tour; why traveling to Ireland in the fall might be a great idea. Help clients make a solid buying decision and your advice will be welcome and appreciated. Try to sell them something and watch their defensive mechanisms shift into gear.
To adopt the mindset of a true consultant is not easy. It takes much practice and forethought, a willingness to give up old habits. But honestly evaluate whether the paragraph above resonates with you. Isn’t that they way you would want to be treated as a client?
Clients want to buy, so quit trying to sell!