Hello again to everyone who has been following my transition this year. This is my last column, and I want to share how enlightening this experience has been for me. As you may remember, this was my year to take control of my business, and not let the business run me. I was focusing my marketing efforts on my destination and wedding niche. It is now 4th quarter of my 2011 business year, and now it is time to see how it all worked out. Read the rest of this entry »
Hello again! For those of you who have not been following my diary this year, I made the decision to concentrate my marketing on the bridal segment. In my effort to become for profitable, I really wanted to specialize and sell myself, and not the vendor’s product. Education comes in many forms, and therefore, I am eating, breathing and sleeping destination weddings, honeymoons, and brides. One confession I must make: I am watching a lot of reality bridal television I’ve watched enough TV to last me a lifetime! You know the shows I am talking about…I am saying Yes to the Dress, learning how to sell from Amsale girls, observing When Girl Meets Gown, and searching on line for past episodes of Married Away. I find it interesting to observe other wedding professionals–wedding planners, bridal shop sales people, and all other wedding vendors that work with brides—and how they overcome client objections, and what it really takes for these businesses to close the sale. Read the rest of this entry »
It is the end of July, and I am looking back at the amazing transformation my business had taken so far this year. As a long time travel agent, I wonder if anyone else out there has done this? Have any of you completely changed their marketing after years of doing all things for all people? Has it been a 100% business shift or do you still sell product and destination outside your new marketing plan? Read the rest of this entry »
Hello Again! Before I begin each diary entry, I review my previous segment. What had I shared that was noteworthy? Have I met my goals? Am I staying on track with the marketing plan? Am I leading by example? Or, in spite of my written word, am I completely off target? Last time I talked again about my goals of specializing and not being all things to all people. I was to sell myself, and not the product. And, I am proud to say that I have been true to this goal for the first two quarters of this year. For the most part, I followed the marketing plan I had written. Read the rest of this entry »
How do you decide how much technology you should use? Or am I forgetting the human touch factor of selling travel? How do you know what your current clients prefer? What is the best way to reach new, potential clients? In other words, what is really the best way to reach all my clients?
These are all the questions I have been wrestling with lately. Every trade magazine you pick up reminds you to embrace technology. Most likely there will be an article or two on the latest and greatest way to have a high-tech touch. We compete with the Internet and compete with each other; always attempting to be ‘one up’. It is a constant struggle. You may remember that I have a ‘text club’ for my bridal leads. I advertise it at all my bridal shows, and it has its own Facebook page. It has been a successful way to reach brides. I am ready to expand that program to my current client base, and I am hesitating: is this how my current clients want to be reached? Is this how they need to be reached? Is this how they should be reached? Read the rest of this entry »
Here we are at the end of the first quarter of the year and I can’t believe how fast the time is passing. You may recall that I began this column with a goal. I wanted to take charge of my business, learn how to say “no” to some potential sales, and not let the industry control me. I was so positive I could do it, but a quarter into the year, I am thinking that those might have been some pretty lofty goals. You do need goals to have something to work toward, and I wanted to lead by example, as any good owner or manager would. What I have learned is not to try and do it all at once! My enthusiasm for change led me to rush into it. Read the rest of this entry »
Hello again everyone, and welcome back to the story. I’ll begin where I left off. At the end of the last column, I was getting ready to participate in an bridal show—an annual event for us. This year I made the decision to showcase the agency, Journeys Unlimited Travel, rather than showcasing a product. Read the rest of this entry »
My name is Amy Hobbins and I am a Travel Agent. Travel Consultant. Travel Professional. MCC. CTA. Destination Wedding Specialist. GIVC. Preferred Sandals Agency. Former travel school teacher…and the list goes on. In other words, I am a 20 plus year veteran who, after all these years, and all these changes, still believes in the dream. What dream? That travel agents matter; we make a difference, we are worthy and we are still needed, and that this is a great profession!
When I started my travel career, I did what everyone did way back then; I went away to travel school. Once I proudly graduated in 1988 with big dreams of helping people travel the world, I returned to Green Bay, Wisconsin, only to find that no one would hire me. Read the rest of this entry »