I’ve spent a considerable part of my working life training people to sell. The reason for this is simple: the best way to learn something, is to try and teach it to others. This forces you to analyze and breakdown things you may do instinctively. It makes you organize your thoughts and maybe do a little research. It also forces you to keep up on the subject matter, since obviously you cannot transmit something you don’t understand.
This is one of the reasons I write these little articles. It’s why I love owning a host agency. The need to constantly teach and motivate new travel agents is, at this point, more fun than actually selling travel. It is also the reason why I jumped on the opportunity to conduct a training session at CruiseWorld. I have been to many trade shows, and sat through many trainings. Some good, some not so good. But even the less than stellar presentations always give me at least one little nugget of information that helps me. I strongly encourage everyone in this business to attend shows, conferences and seminars every chance you get. You’re not only learning something, you are helping the presenters!
And those of you who have a few years and a little experience under your belt…TEACH! MENTOR! WRITE! You’ll be amazed at how much you learn.
As an industry, we need the veterans to step up and grow the next generation of travel agents. As an industry, we are leaving several billion dollars on the table every year. Travel dollars that aren’t being spent with traditional agents and agencies. So, don’t fear that creating a new generation of hotshot agents is going to cut in to your profits. It’s going to grow the pie, and we’ll all profit.
The next time a new agent asks for your help, give it. And follow up with them, and become their mentor. If they have one question, they have ten. The next time someone asks you to write an article, do it. Better yet, don’t wait to be asked. Write something. Unleash your knowledge on some aspect of the business in 1000 words or so, and submit it to all the publications you read. If you ever have an opportunity to speak to a group of eager, motivated agents looking to better themselves, take it! The industry needs you, and you need the practice. it really is a win win.
David Holman is a Partner at Bridges & Holman Worldwide Travel, The Mobile Agent Host. He has been in the travel business since 2005, and the author of “Live From…Cruise Ship Reviews” and “Top 8 Cities in America”, both available on Amazon. www.holmantravel.com