On a recent cruise I was once again reminded of a thing called “timing.” I think this lesson (reminder) is worth sharing again.
During the opening night’s cocktail reception hosted by the cruise line, more than one travel agent (guest) approached the cruise line’s representative and began to air their complaints as it related to former experiences with this particular cruise line. (This is similar to an airline passenger becoming irate at a ticket agent demanding him/her to produce an airplane immediately so they can get to their next destination during inclement weather.)
The rep was obviously caught off guard at this sudden burst of unhappiness, and came to me for help. I did what I could to help the agents focus on their white wine, and order was soon restored. But, the damage had been done, and it simply did not have to happen.
The secret ladies and gentlemen is to establish an environment conducive for communication. Then you can communicate knowing that what is heard just might be what is being said. Often times you will have to wait until this environment presents itself. Somebody a lot smarter than me once suggested that timing is everything.
I am not saying these agents didn’t have a legitimate beef; I am sure they did. The fact that they approached a “stranger” and presented themselves right out of the blocks at an opening reception as aggressive travel agents did nothing to help their cause. This was not good, smart or fruitful behavior.
Sometimes you just have to back off. Take your time, peruse the landscape and take the temperature of people you want to engage with. Become a person first…and then, when the time is right, address the subject at hand.
Had these agents positioned themselves as thankful and attentive seminar attendees before raising their concerns on perhaps the 3rd or 4th day of the cruise, a lot more good might have been achieved. Timing is everything. Cool your jets. Become the professional you are and show people that you know how the game is played, and what side of the bread the butter goes on.
I don’t care if you are right or wrong. Be smart.
That’s it. I’m done. Now go have some fun making a few people out there glad that they know you.
Mike Marchev has plenty of stories, strategies and tactics to keep you on top of your game.
Mike will be conducting his 5th annual Travel Sales & Marketing Business Development Cruise, sailing the Freedom of The Seas from Ft. Lauderdale. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for complete details. Five cabins are still available.
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