Torstein Hagen founder and Chairman or Viking (River) Cruises, said in a recent interview. “We are focused clearly on what we are and the number of things we are not.”
In a world where everyone and every business from Costco to Sea Ray Boats seems to be selling travel, how can you not only survive but thrive to build the business and lifestyle of your dreams?
If you want to stand out among the plethora of options – get clear on who you are and who you are not. Ask yourself these two simple questions. “What makes me special?” and “What do I want to be known for?”
I always ask these powerful questions of my students and audiences around the world. I am usually met with an awkward silence after because for many of us, there is not an easy answer.
I like to hike. In fact, I am planning to hike a 70-mile section of the Pacific Coast Trail this summer. As anyone who has served in the infantry will tell you, their most important piece of equipment is their boots. I often spend long hours and days on the trail in snow, ice, and mud, so in addition to comfort -they must be able to keep my feet warm and dry. Poor fitting boots can cause considerable pain. As a result, many a hiker have lost toenails or worse.
What do my hiking boots have to do with selling travel? Here’s how- I buy my boots from REI. I can get them cheaper from a number of vendors both local and online, but like others serious about the sport, I seek out Pete Smith who has been fitting boots at REI’s Flagship Seattle location for over 25 years. Pete is well known throughout the Pacific Northwest for his ability to fit hikers and climbers with the right boots for their feet and hiking conditions.
Intentional or not Pete, became he has become a star in the hiking world. He didn’t start out that way – in fact he sold fly fishing gear, but moved to footwear and over time has become known as REI’s premier boot fitter. Because of this, he attracts customers who seek him out and will wait for hours to have him fit their new boots (I can personally attest to this).
So, what makes you special? What do you want to be known for? What is it that you are so good at or what to be good at that prospects will seek you out?
The key is -less is more. Drill down to the minutia. Pete doesn’t sell tents or sleeping bags, he sells boots. Twenty years ago, you could get away with specializing in cruising or all-inclusives. Not today, there are so many options which require such specialized knowledge you must go deeper to establish your expertise in specific brands or regions.
Conde Nast, Travel & Leisure, and Wendy Perrin all publish World’s Best Lists. It’s not best Travel Agent The travel professionals who make the grade have become known for specialized products and destinations.
I am known as “The Wealthy Travel Agent” guy. I specialize in finding and selling to new prospects in a very specific demographic. This is what makes me special and why my coaching and training services are sought by some of the biggest brands in the industry.
What do you want to be known for? Something so specific prospects will seek out your services. You do this and you will have no problem standing out from the tens of thousands of travel agents competing for business.
Dan Chappelle helps travel sales professionals achieve full potential by transforming their mindset and focusing on fundamentals to produce real results. He speaks internationally on strategic business development in the travel & tourism vertical. His signature keynote & workshop “Secrets of Selling to the Affluent Traveler” helps organizations, entrepreneurs, sales professionals, employees, and business owners gain meaningful competitive advantage.
His new book “Get Your S.H.I.P Together – The Wealthy Travel Agent Guide to Sales” is now available on Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle versions. For information on Dan’s education and sales programs, visit www.WealthyTravelAgent.com