Three Keys to Earning Clients’ Trust | Travel Research Online


Three Keys to Earning Clients’ Trust

“Who do you trust?”

A handful of seasoned travel 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 70 years and these four words still represent an interesting question.

Exactly who do 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—and what you Google?
  • Do you trust me?

Exactly who do you trust? Who can you trust?



The Importance of Caution

I don’t have the answers to your particular trust-related questions today, 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 implies that you have learned the importance of becoming cautious in your dealings with others.

In my marketing-oriented mindset, this single behavior trait provides an enormous
opportunity for those who wish to position themselves above the competition.

With one strike against you from the initial introduction, the challenge looms large as it relates to clearly representing yourself as a professional who can actually be relied upon, and one who can eventually earn your “trust.”

Developing Trust

This is not an exercise in futility or mundane advice that should be taken lightly. I see this important task unfolding in three ways:

1. Speak if and when you can only improve upon the silence.

The first time I heard this phrase it spoke volumes to me. Why do so many people feel it is in their best interest to keep talking? Why not communicate when you only have something of general importance to add to the conversation?

The last thing we need is to hear more noise for simple noise sake. Then, and this should come as no surprise, listen for the meaning of what your targeted audience is saying… or tying to say.

If I were forced to offer just two words that appropriately define 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 it is easier said than done.


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2. Look your targeted audience in the eye.

Is this a blinding flash of the obvious? Yes it is. But 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. Fix this now. It will make a huge and immediate difference in future relationships.

3. 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.

A Daily Habit

If you want to be a person (and a travel professional) that people can unequivocally trust, then it is in your best interest to (1) Offer substance when you speak, (2) look people in the eye, and, (3) 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. And here is one more for you. If you don’t want to regret yesterday, don’t screw up today.


A headshot of the author, Mike Marchev

Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club.

*** You want more to think about? Check out my weekly podcast (Mike’d Up Marchev). Also listed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google, and iHeartRadio.

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