In the 2000 hit movie, What Women Want starring Mel Gibson, Marisa Tomei, and Helen Hunt, a chauvinistic executive played by Gibson (imagine that) after an accident gains the ability to hear what women are really thinking or rather the inability NOT to hear it.
One of the greatest things about my “job” working with travel agency clients large and small is finding the that they all experience the same challenges – just on a different scale.
Obviously, the biggest challenge is finding new prospects, a close second is discovering what they really want – which is not necessarily what they ask for.
What if you could hear what your prospects really want? How would you change the way you dealt with them?
There was a time when every cruise prospect asked for Carnival, because that’s what they saw on TV. But it wasn’t always the experience they wanted. Our job is to ask the questions, and then tell them what to do.
That’s right, now in some cases, it may be to simply validate their own research, but usually, it is because they want someone to take charge and tell them what to do. After all, you are a travel adviser, you should know what you are talking about.
Consider this: You typically give a prospect 2-3 options. I have seen agents provide a list of almost every option available under the sun. If they want an all-inclusive vacation to Cancun, they may receive the option of Secrets, Iberostar, and Palace along with ocean view, garden view, and dump view to choose from. But in most cases the prospect isn’t going to have a clue why to choose one over the other, and as a result they take the easy way out and choose not to choose. Seriously, they expect you know what you are doing. If you have asked the right qualifying questions, you should give them one and only one option – then tell them why YOU chose this one to serve their needs.
Part of my role is “shopping” my clients in-person, phone, and online in order to get a baseline on their sales and service levels. One of the more painful experiences is watching an adviser work with elderly prospects who are looking at a bucket-list trip and being forced to make a decision about something they know very little about – other than that’s where they want to go.
We are the professionals. We need to take control. Prospects really don’t want to have to decide, they want us to do it for them. If you listen to what they are not saying, you will discover that’s what they really want.
Dan Chappelle is a professional business advisor and best-selling author. His training and consulting firm helps develop sales focused business leaders and entrepreneurs in the travel and tourism industry.
His book, Get Your S.H.I.P. Together: The Wealthy Travel Agent Guide to Sales, is available on Amazon.com. For information on the Wealthy Travel Agent Academy’s business transformation programs, visit: www.DanChappelle.com