Can we possibly be starting the 8th year of the Travel Agent Diary series? Wow! Seven years ago, Richard Earls and I were discussing how beneficial it would be if agents could share some of the small things that really work for them in running their business. We took a chance and wondered if they’d ever share the things that didn’t. And they did! It was a unique proposition and one that probably should have failed; but, back in 2009 we found five brave souls who were willing to take a a risk and lay it all on the line. Apparently the concept worked. Over the years, we have seen online agents, agents who specialize, generalists, home based agents, employees, agents who are very close to being tour operators, host agents, and more. And 2016 might just be your year!
Through the series, we are able to bring fresh ideas to more than 70,000 agents. Sure we have experts and gurus writing for TRO as well as plenty of tools. But what makes this unique is that it is NOT about the experts, gurus, or suppliers—it is about you, the working agent and the tasks you face day in and day out. The ideas presented by these agents may work for some, all, or none of you. You may be able to add to someone’s suggestion. These ideas can work for few, some, most, or none. We have heard about business generated from a sporting goods exhibition to a texting club for specials. We have learned about unique new ways to market yourself and your agency, and ideas to bring added value to the table to set you apart from the competition. And this year, an agency has grown to the point where they are launching a lead development program that might be available to everyone! In a sense, we are all competitors; but, as a whole, we are co-workers. The industry has seen its share of adversity and it is the resilience and the willingness of the agents that helps us from becoming the dinosaurs the media wants to think we are.
And 2016 will be no different! I am looking for a few good agents to round out our stable for 2016. Are you willing to discuss your successes and challenges in a monthly column? We are not looking for anything confidential, just a little about what your agency offers and how you are faring month-to month. We have editorial assistance for you. It will make you a better writer and it is also a pretty decent marketing tool for you to use for your prospects.
Intrigued? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
And as 2015 comes to a close, I do want to take a moment to especially thank this year’s diarists—Dave Holman, Stephanie Cannon, Judith White, Smitty Price, Crickett Lancaster, and Nathan Graeff. You all were terrific and I am looking forward to continuing working with you and seeing the continued growth of your agencies!