Recently, I went out for cocktails with another agent after an agent networking meeting. As we were sitting at the bar chatting with the bartender, we started talking travel. The bartender said, “Oh, so-and-so down at the end of the bar is a travel agent.” I approached her, introduced myself, and mentioned the group along with an invitation to join. The next words out of her mouth took me aback.“You are my competition.” Ouch! The agent I was with laughed and said, “Well, Mary and I are competitors, too, but that doesn’t stop us from associating with each other.”
I am always amazed at agents who feel threatened by fellow agents for whatever reason. Yes, we are all competitors. But, if I take care of my clients, give them great service, and go the extra mile, should I be worried? If I am pleasant to deal with, respond promptly to requests, and communicate my value each and every day, should I be afraid of the agent across town? Or, avoid joining an group that promotes agents to the general public? Likewise, if I am doing my job should I be afraid of the OTA’s? If you are doing your job and communicating your value, why is everyone so intimidated by competition?
Throughout my years of going to trade shows, attending meetings, seminars and FAMs, I have learned that the best part of these events is socializing with other agents. Not only do I pick up some great tips, ideas, and resort information, but I have made lifelong friends along the way.
I have said this before and I will say it again-there is plenty of business to go around for all of us. We shouldn’t be afraid to be friends or have cocktails with other agents. We shouldn’t be intimidated by the competition if we do our job, service our clients, and show our value each and every day.
Editor’s Note: This column was originally published in 2012.