And here we are… the end of our 2019 resolutions and this is one that we all need to take seriously. For 2019 (which is nearly ¼ gone), we need to show more appreciation. In today’s world—a little appreciation goes a long way and we all should aspire to dispense it wherever we go. And in the travel business, there are plenty of opportunities.
Without our clients, we’d be nowhere. With the online world, one of the great differentiators between us and Priceline is the human touch. Of course we can give clients gifts. At one point, my office had a policy for leisure travel of giving a gift worth 10% of the commissions earned. We have long since ended that as it really ate into the bottom line when airline commissions went away. Of course if someone is booking an around the world cruise—a gift is pretty much required. But a weekend in the Bahamas? Probaby not! But that does not mean you cannot show appreciation. Did they recommend a client to you? Send them a thank you note—handwritten. Do you know they are interested in a specific topic? Send them a newspaper clipping or a link to an article. Reach out to them for no reason to simply say hello either by phone or by automated email. The possibilities are endless without really impacting your budget!
Suppliers are the other part of the sales equation. Without their products to sell to the clients, we are dead in the water. Now for the most part, they are making a lot more than we are. But they are much more willing to help you succeed when you appreciate their efforts. Don’t waste their time. If you have no chance of pulling off a cruise night—don’t do it until you can pull it off. Behave on FAM trips. There is nothing worse than a drunk agent on a FAM. Don’t waste their resources. They have a ton of training and resources available, but if you do not have an interest in selling China—for crying out loud, do not tax a supplier because your are curious. And one of the most effective ways to show appreciation is simply to sell. Select your preferred suppliers and work with them as a true partner. It really is that simple. And a bonus tip—if a supplier goes out of their way for you to help you close a sale or to maybe fix a problem—a nice letter to the CEO never hurts!
We are all in this together. It is sort of like a marriage—for better or worse. Despite what our children may (or may not) think—we do not know it all. So when a colleague from across the room or across the country reaches out for help—give it. Yes they are competition, but this is a big pie. As Julia Roberts said in Pretty Woman “huge!” Sharing your expertise costs nothing and is invaluable to the recipient. And if a colleague went out of their way to help—hey a gift card to a local restaurant or a little something added to their Starbucks account is a nice touch!
We all want to feel appreciated! It motivates us to do better. I appreciate the folks that take the time to read my column on TRO. I appreciate the ability to network (virtually) on the TRO Community and the various Facebook pages. And when I get the chance, I pay it forward!
How about you?
OK, that does wrap up our nine part resolution series. And in keeping with my own advice, a huge shout out to TravelPulse for the inspiration. And to Patrick Clarke, the author, shoot me an email and I will buy you a cups at Starbucks!