I am not sure if this can be considered my “signature story,” but it’s true that I have been sharing this particular point for over 30-years in my public speaking business.
It involves a single PowerPoint slide where I ask the audience to count the number of times they spot a particular letter, clearly printed on the slide. It is not a trick. It calls for a single answer.
The result has been the same for over 30 years? I get four different answers to the question where there is just one correct one.
The message then addresses the necessary skill of spotting opportunities when they appear right in front of you. In fact, they are everywhere. In fact, very few spot them. As a result, very few people take advantage of them.
This leads me to today’s message.
Here is an example of an opportunity blown.
To engage my readers in some level of feedback, I make it a practice to offer an item of value at the conclusion of all my written articles. (This one is no exception.)
To make the task as easy as possible, I say that “if you send me an email and simply type the number ‘12’ in the subject box, I will respond by returning a Special Report to you which I am certain will help your cause.”
Within hours I begin to receive emails. In my mind, here lies the “mistake.” Many, if not most travel agents, contact me as directed. They send an email with the number “12” in the Subject Box. Period. No personality. No acknowledgment. No positioning statement. No indication that I might have just met a “special” person.
There is no attempt at establishing a relationship with the author. No reference to where they got their instructions. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Just an email with the number “12” as suggested. (Some agents don’t even include their name. I find this very perplexing.)
In truth, there is nothing wrong with this, as they are simply following my directions. But, in fact, they are by-passing what I consider to be a huge opportunity.
Here is their chance to indicate that they are “someone special,” a travel agent who takes seven to twelve seconds to distance themselves from the competition. A few more seconds is all it would take to insert a little “humanness” and “personality” into their request.
Don’t take my word for it. See for yourself. Which “person” would you migrate towards?
Choice 1: Subject Box: “12” with no following message.
Choice 2: “Thanks Mike. I enjoyed reading your article in this week’s Travel Research Online. You gave me much to think about, and I would really enjoy receiving your complimentary copy of your promised report. 12.”
I know who I would give a little more attention to—all things being equal.
Distance Yourself from the Competition
But this is not about me. I am just using this as an example of how easy it is, every day, to distance yourself from the competition.
When I receive an incoming email and see the number “12,” I deliver as promised.
When I see a little personality in the request, I feel good about my offer, knowing that there are a handful of good, honest, hard-working people in the travel industry doing what they can to successfully feed their families while helping others.
And I find myself receptive to a continuing dialogue.
This is just one example. It’s all about spotting these opportunities—and then taking an additional few seconds to clearly position yourself as the “winner” you are.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. email@example.com.
*** You want more to think about? Check out my weekly podcast (Mike’d Up Marchev). Also listed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google, and iHeartRadio.