It still surprises me how powerful a great quote can be. I find myself repeating quotes to my clients and colleagues all the time, because they are such an effective teaching tool. So I thought I’d share with you 5 of my favorites of all time to equip you with a great little tool box. Here they are:
1) “When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.” – Meredith Hill. Seth Godin said the same thing in different words when he said, “Everyone is not your customer.” If you are making a living selling travel, you are heavily influenced by a widespread scarcity mindset when it comes to clients. This belief in scarcity can be traced back to the emergence of online booking engines and the intense “competition” they created. Your business will transform the day you recognize that everyone is not your customer. So figure out WHO your customer is, what they want so badly that they will give anything to have it, and then go tell them… in their language.
2) “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show them.” – Steve Jobs. Wow, has Apple embodied this concept. I’ll never forget my first iPod. As a long time runner, I’d occasionally run with a Walkman (Remember those!). I say “occasionally” because it was a decent option but it wasn’t a great solution to having music in your ears when running. The portable cassette player was good because you could make your own mix and listen to your favorite songs. But there were lots of downsides: it was a little clunky and awkward to hold; the music sounded warped with all the bumping around; and it took time to make a mixed tape. Then there was the simple radio option. Upsides to this was that it was light, the sound quality of the music was excellent, and radio has always offered great variety in music. But, in my honest opinion, the biggest downside to listening to the radio when running was the commercials! It would drive me insane to listen to anything but music when running.
So I’ve shared this little throwback about the Walkman to demonstrate how lucrative it is to create things for your customer that they don’t know they want until you show them. I didn’t have the technical or creative capacity to dream up the iPod. But when I first saw one and understood how easy it was to use, how light, and that it was commercial-free… I was taken. And I couldn’t go back.
Everyday, you should be getting out of bed and asking yourself what do my clients want, but don’t know they want? Perhaps it’s a butler suite at a beautiful all-inclusive resort on a stunningly beautiful beach. Or maybe it’s a group travel experience with people they adore where connections are rekindled, laughter never ends, and the taste buds are tantalized.
3) “Hope is not a strategy.” -unknown . I know I naively followed this concept for the first 4-5 years of my business in travel. I hoped clients would find me. A little like a deer caught in headlights, I had a passion for selling travel, I wanted to help clients, but I was so overwhelmed by all the different ways I could market myself and my business, I just didn’t know what to do or what not to do. If you are feeling a little guilty of following hope as your strategy, then I implore you to invest in marketing education. Whether it’s a smaller first step and you buy a book, or it’s a bigger leap of faith and you invest in a GIFTE coaching program, the greatest antidote to using hope as a strategy is coaching.
4) “People don’t buy products, they buy solutions.” – Meredith Hill. I said this to my daughter when she was 8 years old and her fabulous reaction was to tell me I was very smart. Yay me! But it’s so true. My favorite analogy for impressing this lesson on my clients is that of the drill. In other words, people don’t go to the hardware store to purchase a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole. So, when marketing your business, STOP SELLING YOUR PRODUCTS! You are hiding behind them. It’s time to start selling the hole. And YOU are the hole!!! The solutions you offer are the hole. The dreams you deliver are the hole. Lead with this in every bit of marketing you have.
5) “Consistency builds confidence.” – Vanessa McGovern . A bad habit I see travel entrepreneurs fall into is what I like to call “shot gun marketing.” In other words, they have developed no marketing systems and instead look to every single marketing vehicle as a silver bullet, shooting randomly at their target. And then they erroneously draw a direct correlation between their marketing activities and their results. This is not how marketing works. You MUST develop marketing systems and you must have multiple outlets for them.
I hope you have found these 5 great marketing quotes as powerful as I did and still do. Challenge yourself to put into place just one thing you learned from this article.
Meredith Hill, ex-President of Hills of Africa Travel, founded the Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs (GIFTE) to empower frustrated and struggling travel consultants who weren’t getting the marketing support they needed. As the fastest growing industry organization dedicated to marketing education for travel professionals, GIFTE’s mission is to revolutionize the way travel advisors market and grow their businesses. GIFTE’s products and programs provide all the tools, resources and support travel professionals need to reach a whole new level of success in travel – one that includes making more money while making a difference in the lives of their clients. Learn more at www.travelbusinessu.com, or visit and “like” GIFTE’s Facebook Fan Page at www.facebook.com/GlobalInstituteforTravelEntrepreneurs.