Not long after starting my training firm, The Wealthy Travel Agent, I received a call from my friend Richard Earls, publisher of Travel Research Online (TRO), asking if I would write a column on luxury travel. I immediately agreed. Over time, it morphed into one that advocated sound sales-based business practices with luxury travel as the product of choice – but could be applied to any model.
I don’t want to be that person who overstays their welcome. Five years and around one hundred columns and dozens of educational / sales webinars later, the time has come for me to step aside. I am proud of my contributions and the consistency of my message. I don’t like to use a lot of rhetoric and tend to tell you what you need to hear, rather than what sounds good. Some people don’t like that.
This is a business where people take things very personally, but if everyone agreed with me, I wouldn’t be doing my job. While many travel professionals have shared how my teachings have inspired and helped change their lives, there have also been a few who have compared me to the offspring of a female dog and called me other unprintable names.
My favorite expression used frequently in some of the “love letters” I received, always begins with “This is a slap in the face to… (you fill in the blank).” What many readers didn’t realize is I am one of the few who have experienced the truths of which I write.
This could be polarizing because they sometimes conflicted with the teachings of other industry experts and supplier executives. But, my perspective is unique and I stand by them having spent many years on the frontline selling travel day-in and day-out as an adviser and agency owner.
I would like to leave you with these last words of advice. Do with it what you please, just know it comes from the heart of someone who has been in the trenches with you.
- Regardless of what anyone says, you are in the business of selling travel. Everything else – marketing, advertising, social media, even operations – serves one purpose: To support your selling efforts.
- There are no participation trophies. The more you sell, the more support you will receive from the supplier… especially in a post-COVID world.
- And lastly, limit your time in industry social media groups – everyone has an opinion. Keep your head down and worry about your own business.
It has been my privilege.
Dan Chappelle is the leading authority on sales performance in the travel and tourism industry. His best-selling book “Get Your S.H.I.P. Together – The Wealthy Travel Agent Guide to Sales” is available worldwide on Amazon and Audible. To learn more about his proprietary sales training programs, visit www.WealthyTravelAgent.com
© 2020 Dan Chappelle / The Wealthy Travel Agent Academy