Author Archives: Meredith Hill

There are 22 articles by Meredith Hill published on this site.

I’d like to ask you a simple question, business owner to business owner. If you decided to host a surprise birthday party for your best friend, and you knew she was a very popular gal so there were going to be at least 50 people there, would you wait until the day of the party and all 50 people had arrived before you purchased the food, beverages, and other party supplies? Read the rest of this entry »

No matter how experienced the travel agent, when it comes to marketing I seem to always get the question, “Where do I begin Meredith?” The answer I consistently give is to start with Module 1 of the Make Money Selling Travel Blueprint. While this may sound like a huge plug for my own product, it’s not. The reason why I created the MMSTB is because I found people wanted a pathway to properly marketing their businesses. Since no two businesses are alike, there is no marketing plan that will look the same. But the steps can be similar. That’s why I painstakingly put together a very clear, step-by-step path to making a customized marketing plan for any business selling travel. Read the rest of this entry »

One of the quickest and most effective ways to substantially increase your sales is through groups. I know that, and you know that. However, putting together groups and filling them are two very different things. In my own experience, I spent many, many weeks putting together groups that never traveled because I failed at filling them. All that time, energy, and effort was lost. Eventually, I did put together and fill my very own group and it was awesome. It was to the Cape of Good Hope, the most Southwestern point on the continent of Africa. But I learned the hard way what it takes to fill a group. Read the rest of this entry »

The topic of specializing is one that gets thrown around travel industry conferences and events like a beach ball in a giant stadium.  While I think it’s great that this concept is always a hot one, I don’t agree with how it’s taught.  The greatest mistake I see people make is picking a destination or supplier as a specialty and thinking they are done.  Next.  Now what?  In my humble opinion… Read the rest of this entry »

5 great marketing quotes you need to read

It still surprises me how powerful a great quote can be. I find myself repeating quotes to my clients and colleagues all the time, because they are such an effective teaching tool. So I thought I’d share with you 5 of my favorites of all time to equip you with a great little tool box. Here they are: Read the rest of this entry »

When I first got into travel, I did it for me. You could say it was a selfish move. I always had a passion for travel and I felt that building a business around my passion would allow me to travel more often. I also wanted to share what I knew with others, but that motive took a back seat to the number one motive of wanting to travel more often.

I dove into entrepreneurship with a naïve sense that if I followed my passion, the business would follow. It didn’t. I couldn’t understand why it was so difficult to get enough good clients so I could make decent money to afford to travel as often as possible. I think I have it figured out. Read the rest of this entry »

The future is very bright for the travel industry. It’s true – demand for luxury travel grew in 2014 (and continues into 2015), many agencies are reporting a banner year, and experts expect travel to continue to grow into 2016 and beyond. How do you cultivate your share? With a plan.

Really, there are five steps you must take to monetize your passion for travel. As we begin to think forward to 2016 I suggest you find a plan. Follow the five-step plan below to cultivate your own banner year. Read the rest of this entry »

Have you ever heard the story of the girl who was helping her mom prepare a Sunday meal of roast beef and vegetables?  The little girl watches her mother cut the sides off the beef before she puts it into the roasting pan and curiously asks her why she does that. The mother’s answer is simple … because her mother did it that way. They dig deeper and ask Grandma why she cuts off the sides of the beef before roasting it, and Grandma gives the same answer…because her mother did it that way. Luckily Great Grandma is still alive, so they call her to ask her the same question and she replies that the oven she used to have was so small, cutting off the sides of the beef was the only way it would fit in the oven. Read the rest of this entry »

Is your business fit enough to succeed?

Tony Robbins taught me that people fail to succeed at a goal not because of a lack of resources, but because of a lack of resourcefulness. In other words, if you failed to achieve a goal, you can’t blame a lack of money/funding, tools, human resources, intellect, time, technology, etc. The only thing you can blame is your lack of resourcefulness.

So, if that’s the case, how do we become more resourceful? Read the rest of this entry »

As a senior in college majoring in economics, I wrote a senior thesis on the Japanese practice of Kaizen. Kaizen is most well-known for its implementation in the Toyota production line. It was created in Japan following World War II and the word means “continuous improvement.” In stark contrast to the western attitude of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” the practice of Kaizen is about making small changes on a regular basis. The Japanese philosophy is “do it better, make it better, improve it even if it isn’t broken because if we don’t, we can’t compete with those who do.”

So what does this have to do with your travel business? Read the rest of this entry »

Good customer service or doormat? Which are you?

I recently had a client tell me that she is most proud of her excellent standard for customer service that her agency delivers. Then she backed this up with a story about a travel client who not only ignored her advice but also reprimanded the travel agent for giving the advice on multiple occasions and claimed she was pestering her. When the client called frantically 2 days before travel because she didn’t listen to the travel agent’s advice, the travel agent bent over backward to “be of service,” fix the problem and then drove her client to the airport on her travel day. The travel agent did all this and never charged a service fee.

I wouldn’t call this excellent customer service. I would call this being a doormat. If she had stopped at fixing the problem for her client, I would have given her credit for the good customer service. But she went beyond that. And going beyond that without charging a service fee is simply letting her client walk all over her. There is a fine line, but there is a difference. Read the rest of this entry »

Are you digging for gold with a sandbox shovel?

While working with a private coaching client recently, my parting words to her were, “you now know how far your gold is – it’s time to stop using the children’s sand shovel and start using an industrial-sized shovel.” It occurred to me that this is a common blind spot for many travel business owners. You can get so caught up taking every piece of business you can to “get ahead,”; yet not realizing you are actually following a path that will NEVER lead you to your goal.

So, how do you avoid this?How do you put down the children’s sandbox shovel and pick up a much larger, more powerful shovel? I will share with you the 5 steps I suggest to accomplish this. Read the rest of this entry »

Are you your agency’s worst enemy?

I’ve recently had the pleasure of working with several clients who have well-established travel businesses. They have been in business for many years and they consistently sell millions of dollars in travel every year. Sounds like the ultimate place to be, right?

Not necessarily. Every entrepreneur has obstacles and challenges no matter where they are in their business journey. So even though these business owners have reached a threshold of success, they still have issues to face. Some of them have brick and mortar storefronts and some don’t. Read the rest of this entry »

3 signs you are sacrificing your success

“When you live in your history, you sacrifice your destiny.” – Bishop T.D. Jakes

I opened our recent mastermind retreat for GIFTE’s group coaching clients with this quote. Why? Because the travel professional is stuck living in his or her history. We do it in our personal lives too, without knowing it. Even the name we assign to the profession: “travel agent” is old, outdated and defunct. A travel agent is a booker, an order taker. This is a very different role than that of the people I know who are selling travel. If you want to be seen, heard and valued for the services you provide – your ultimate destiny – it’s time to stop living in your history.

We stay stuck in our history for two reasons.  Read the rest of this entry »

A few years ago, my daughter overheard me saying to a client on the phone, “People don’t buy products, they buy solutions.” She later told me, “that’s really smart, Mom.” It’s a marketing concept that seems so simple, but so critical to the success of your marketing.

It’s too bad that 95% of travel business messages miss this entirely. Go online and all you see are ads promoting travel specials. Go to any travel agency website and you will most likely read about how many years they have been in business and how their specialty is something like cruises. But these are not solutions. Read the rest of this entry »

We’ve all heard it at least 100 times – “Video is king.” So when you finally decide to bite the bullet and attempt to use video in marketing your business, where do you begin? And how do you do it effectively? Here are my five best tips on how to use video to market your travel business.

Tip #1: Use Simple Equipment. You don’t need a $10,000 video camera to shoot great video. In fact, your phone is often good enough, or a simple $99 video camera. Just make sure you have decent lighting.  Read the rest of this entry »

“How you do anything is how you do everything.” I learned this from my business coach several years ago. It’s true. Not only is it true, it can be applied to business AND life. Think about it, if you have a friend who cheats playing golf, is it reasonable to believe that friend also cheats on his taxes?

A recent experience at a travel trade show made me aware of how many travel professionals have TERRIBLE business cards. It’s not really the business card that’s bad, but the business card represents fundamental mistakes people have made in marketing their business. If you can’t articulate your business on a small piece of card stock, then how are you effectively representing your business in other ways? Read the rest of this entry »

How to find those elusive ‘dream clients’

One of the most common questions asked of me is, “How do I find clients with true luxury travel budgets and get in front of them?”  There is a very long, complicated answer to this question and it might differ from person to person.  But there is also a very simple one.  It’s the same answer I give when people ask me how I attracted millionaires and billionaires to my travel business.

The answer is: Read the rest of this entry »

Getting lucky in dating and travel

A reality TV show called “Geek Love” reminded me of the similarities between dating and marketing. The “geeks” in “Geek Love” are diehard fanatics of comics, video games, and movies (like Star Wars), and they convene every year at the largest pop culture event in New York City, called Comic-Con. They may like different characters, but they all have one thing in common – they are aware of their nerdy-ness and the word “geek” is self-proclaimed.

A hugely popular activity at Comic-Con is speed dating. As people roll into the convention center, a gentleman with a microphone announces the speed dating event and directs people to a room. Surprisingly, there are plenty of women who are fanatical about their comics or video games. The men still out-number them, but there are enough to make speed dating happen. Many of the speed daters have very little experience dating.

The happy ending is that love connections are made…and lots of them! Not bad for a bunch of geeky beginners.

There is a great marketing lesson here for all small business owners: Read the rest of this entry »

Why you are not getting more quality clients

When I first got into travel, I did it for me. You could say it was a selfish move. I always had a passion for travel and I felt that building a business around my passion would allow me to travel more often. I also wanted to share what I knew with others, but that motive took a back seat to the number one motive of wanting to travel more often.

I dove into entrepreneurship with a naive sense that if I followed my passion, the business would follow. It didn’t. I couldn’t understand why it was so difficult to get enough good clients so I could make decent money to afford to travel as often as possible.

It’s not that having a passion isn’t important. In fact, having a passion for your business is critical. But it took a long time to realize the missing link, or as I now refer to it, the secret to success. Read the rest of this entry »

5 tips for a successful mindset

You may have heard that adopting a successful mindset is a major factor to your success.  Perhaps it’s the only factor, since your mindset drives everything else. But what does it really mean to lead with a successful mindset?  In the day-to-day happenings of life and business, how does one maintain a successful mindset amidst conflict, demanding clients, chaos and responsibility?

I can guarantee one thing you will experience as a business owner – change.  The path you follow will not be a consistent uphill, downhill or flat line.  There will be great peaks and, sometimes when you least expect it, deep valleys.  Understanding how to maintain a successful mindset will get you through it all and keep you moving forward.  So, just how do you maintain a successful mindset? Read the rest of this entry »