A handful of seasoned agents will recognize these four words as the title of a TV show first introduced in the early fifties and hosted by Johnny Carson.
Fast-forward nearly 60 years and these four words still represent an interesting question.
Exactly who can you trust today?
- Do you trust the salespeople down at your local car dealership?
- Do you trust infomercial TV personalities?
- Do you trust politicians? (Local or National)
- Do you trust news representatives… or weather personalities?
- Do you trust your children? Your spouse? Your neighbors?
- Do you trust what you read, or what you Google?
- Do you trust me?
- Exactly who do you trust? Who can you trust?
I don’t have the answers to these trust-related questions, but one thing I am quite sure of: you have learned over the years not to view the world through rose-colored glasses. This doesn’t make you cynical, jaded, or negative. It simply infers that you have learned the importance of becoming cautious with your dealings with others. In my marketing-oriented mindset, this single behavior trait provides an enormous opportunity to those who wish to position themselves above the competition.
With one strike against you from the initial introduction, the challenge looms large to clearly represent yourself as a professional who can actually be relied upon, and one who can eventually earn your “trust.”
This is NOT an exercise in futility or mundane advice that should be taken lightly. I see this important attempt at positioning unfolding in three ways.
Speak when you can only improve upon the silence.
The first time I heard this phrase it spoke volumes. Why do so many people feel it is in their best interest to hear themselves talking? Why not communicate when you only have something of general importance to add? The last thing we need is to hear more noise for simple noises’ sake. Then, and this should come as little surprise, listen for meaning for what your targeted audience is saying… or trying to say.
If I were asked to provide just two words that appropriately defined the true art of professional salesmanship, I would not hesitate in suggesting the words “listening skills.” I know this is not news to you. I also know that you need to improve upon suggestion #1.
Look your target audience in the eye.
This simple reminder is worth its weight in gold. Although you know how important this behavior is, you are in all probability very poor in executing this skill. From this moment on, pay attention to where your eyes are landing. You will soon become appalled at how little time you spend focusing on your target audience. Fix this now. It will make a huge and immediate difference in your relationships.
Do what you say you will do.
Once again, I will use a colloquial expression that I am sure you will understand. This seven-word recommendation is a “no-brainer.” Yet, it is more often abused hiding behind the bogus excuse of “not-enough-time.”
There is no better or faster route to developing a trusting relationship than to be true to your word. If you say it… do it. If you have no intention of doing something, don’t say you will.
If you want to be a person (and a professional travel associate) that people can unequivocally trust, than it is in your best interest to:
- Offer substance when you speak.
- Look people in the eye.
- Follow through on your word.
After you manage to make these three suggestions a daily habit, you are on your own. But if you are looking for one more piece of guiding light, here it is:
Have fun doing what you do. You don’t ever want to look back with regrets.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.