I have been fired. Have you? If so, you know that beyond the immediate shock and pain comes a certain amount of relief. You get to start over. In a new environment you can start over, put on your best face and work at a new level of competence and energy. Have you ever fired anyone? It’s not easy. Firing a person does damage. But typically, firing an employee causes everyone to re-evaluate their position, the levels of performance required and the need to demand the best of every employee and position.
There are times when it pays to think…differently. It is too easy to be lulled into engineering your travel practice into a clone that looks like every other travel agency. Just because your were taught that travel consulting is done a certain way, or just because one travel ad looks like another, doesn’t mean that is the way things have to be.
Because you have done things in a set way for the last three years, or twenty, does not mean it is still a good idea. In fact, there are plenty of times it pays to buck tradition. Right now is a good time to start.
Tradition would have said that all travel agents belong in an office behind a computer screen. Tradition would have said that a travel agent’s services are free. Tradition said that travel agents worked for the suppliers and not for their clients. Sometimes breaking the mold, challenging the idea of how travel consulting should take place, or what services should be offered to clients or which niche markets are profitable is a good idea.
Challenge yourself. Look at the way you have historically worked with your clients. Look at the travel product to which you have exposed them. Examine the places where you meet with clients or the media you use to marketing your services. Look at your channels of distribution. Is your every point of contact with your clients as excellent as it should be?
Shake everything up. Fire yourself! Then re-hire yourself to come in and clean house, to do things in a new, better fashion where it’s needed. Do not accept the limitations of the past just because “that’s the way it’s always been done.” Call it “spring cleaning” if the metaphor of firing yourself doesn’t suit, but the idea remains the same. Take a hard look at your travel practice and seek to improve every facet. Your clients have many, many opportunities to purchase travel. To stay involved in their travel plans, you have to be at the top of your game. Don’t be lulled into mediocrity or into expecting less than the very best from yourself.
Your clients will thank you for the effort.