I recently asked a seasoned travel professional what he thought the difference was between an average salesman and a special sales professional.
His answer was quick and shared without hesitation. He said, “Professionals ask for the business. Amateurs don’t.”
Contrary to a popular belief, asking to be of service has nothing to do with aggressive or manipulative behavior. The question is, “Do you want to sell by accident or do you want to position yourself as a leader in your field?”
The choice is yours, but here are a few facts that might influence your decision:
- There are a number of people who are going to think you are being pushy no matter what you say or do.
- Some people are going to tell you to “buzz-off” – in no uncertain terms.
- Some people are going to threaten to call the cops.
- Some people are lazy and, although they are looking at you straight in the eye, they don’t have a clue what you just said to them or asked them to do.
- Some people will be reluctant to do business with you, but they will agree just the same.
- Some people will be glad you asked, others will take offense.
- Some people won’t wait for you to ask and they will demand you take their money.
- Some people are looking for someone like you who knows exactly what they are talking about.
- Some people are shy and are depending on you to make decisions for them.
- Some people just don’t know what to ask, what to say, or what to do.
- Some people are really glad that you came upon the scene.
Bottom Line: There are many people who need your expertise and are grateful for your contributions. The bad news is that most people will not.
This is what makes the travel industry so challenging. We are all involved in a competitive game and it takes all kinds. As long as you are not a crook, thug, or a dishonest ex-con on parole, you have nothing to apologize for if all you are trying to do is to help people make better travel-related decisions.
Stick to your knitting. Go out there and mix with the people. And keep asking for the business. You are a professional and true professionals ask for the business.
One final edit. Only confident sales agents can ask for the business while appearing sincere. All of your intentions are admirable. You have no reason not to position yourself as the obvious “go-to” resource.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.