I am about to burst a number of bubbles out there in travel land, and I fear that many of those reading this article are about to have a mild cardiac arrest. The following reminder and accompanied advice is going to sound 180-degrees juxtapose to what you have been taught to believe for the last quarter of your life.
The familiar quote says that if you “give a man a fish, he eats for a day. But if you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” This may be true at face value, but I am afraid that most people have little interest in learning how to fish. They want to cut to the chase. They want the fish.
You may find the following message easier to swallow by way of an example. Perhaps you can identify with this:
The big night had finally arrived. You elected to celebrate by going out to your favorite restaurant. Your best clothes are the right choice for this occasion. You remind yourself that your bread plate will be positioned on your left while the water glass will be on the right of your plate. This is going to be a great night.
The waiter greets you and politely places a pristine napkin on your lap. He offers an opened menu for your perusal. He fades away without fanfare, leaving you ample time to salivate over a number of options for your starter followed by your main entrée. So far, so good.
Your eyes remain on the left side of each page as tonight price is not a factor. The waiter returns sans writing instrument or pad of paper. He is a seasoned professional and will remember your order without having to document the specifics.
You decide that the sea bass would be absolutely delicious.
You place your order and anticipate the arrival of a perfect meal. It arrives. You eat. You smile a smile of contentment and satisfaction. And that is how it works.
Not for a minute did you want to know what lure caught the attention of the fish. You didn’t care what time of day the fish was caught and at what temperature the fish was kept at while being transported to the dock. You did not want to know about nets, rods, or how to fillet the damn thing. All you wanted was a delicious meal consisting of sea bass and perhaps a few accouterments.
You didn’t want to learn how to fish. You wanted the fish.
In most instances your clients can identify with this analogy. (No, I am not inferring that your clients are “fish.”) I am suggesting that they want you to do the work that is necessary to result in the perfect vacation. How you do it is your business. In most cases, they are not interested in becoming travel agents. They want to enjoy the benefits of your labor.
You are the pro. They are the recipient.
I won’t go so far to call most people lazy… but I will say with little hesitation that many people are lazy. (There, I said it.)
So, what have I just said?
Most people are too busy to get overly involved in your business. Don’t teach them how to fish. Give them the fish. Just make sure it is the best tasting fish they have ever enjoyed.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.