I was reminded once again how impetuous behavior can cost you. This lesson came during a welcome reception on a cruise ship.
Three individuals “dumped their wagons” on an unsuspecting host at an opening seminar cocktail party right before my very eyes on a well-recognized cruise ship. Upon witnessing this abrupt behavior, I was both disappointed and taken aback. The host was shell shocked. After all, it was the “opening” reception.
As most of you know, cruise lines do what they can to educate their distribution channels. We were all onboard as guests of this cruise company with hopes to become more versed on the product line. I was the motivational element of the program and was scheduled to present two onboard workshops.
It was my opinion (and still is) that the opening reception is certainly not the place to rip into your host with one’s personal agenda.
To me this was a clear sign that there was a lack of confidence on the agent’s part, as well as a total lack of professionalism. If timing is everything, this was a great example of how not to do things.
Stuff happens, ladies and gentlemen. And “stuff” will happen to you. And when it does, it is your job to deal with it. But deal with it in a logical, clear-headed, results-oriented fashion.
When you become the victim of life’s fickle finger of fate here are a few steps to take in proper sequence:
- Let the situation play out. Stand back out of the way and allow things to come to a boil.
- Don’t attack a problem that is boiling. And never try to fix a boiling customer. Allow time for the boil to simmer down.
- Step back and give the “problem” a slow but deliberate overview. Take it all in. Evaluate the options and clearly see the ramifications of each option.
- Have a cup of coffee, and allow a little more time to pass. Then keep thinking.
- Choose the best option and the most direct approach.
- Finally, with a cool head and ample thought given to the problem, fix the “problem.”
In the case of my Seminar at Sea debacle, it would have been more prudent to wait a day or more before approaching the cruise rep. This would have taken the word “stranger” out of the situation and hopefully replace it with the word “travel associate.” A travel associate can accomplish tons more than a “lunatic stranger.”
Now, let’s flip the coin. Assume a “lunatic stranger” bombs you with a problem you were not braced to receive? How are you going to respond to that?
Same way. Go back and read #1 – #6 and starting today, take pride in your professionalism. You’ll get the job done.
NOTE: In no way, shape or form am I suggesting that you ignore the problem or needlessly procrastinate. But just as the saying “He who hesitates is lost” is true, so is “Haste makes waste.” Doing battle with a person who’s anger is on the upswing is not unlike trying to herd a bunch of cats. Let “timing” work in your favor.
Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.