Author Archives: Mike Marchev

There are 1414 articles by Mike Marchev published on this site.

Protect Your Time

“Productivity isn’t about being a workhorse, keeping busy or burning the midnight oil. It’s more about priorities, planning, and fiercely protecting your time.”

I am absolutely certain of one thing when it comes to rendering travel services to the rank and file: Although you can try to be many things to many people, you can’t be all things to all people – if you have any intention of accomplishing your financial goals.

I am betting you are as busy as a one-armed paperhanger, and you do not have enough hours in the day to complete all the tasks on your to-do list. You did not invent this “time warp,” but you do have to find a way to deal with it. Read the rest of this entry »

Coaching Beats Good Intentions

The single most important difference between amateurs and elite performers is that the elite performers sought out teachers and coaches while they were still amateurs.

The more skilled a person is at their craft, the more likely it is that they have a coach to guide them. This goes for Olympic athletes, pro football players, musicians, TV celebrities, movie stars, and singers.

All of these “competitors” and “students” know and appreciate the difference between criticism and coaching. At virtually every award ceremony, isn’t it the coach who is publicly recognized early in the acceptance speech? Read the rest of this entry »

A Disciplined Life Is The Key

“Success is about doing the right thing, not about doing everything right. The secret to success is to choose the right habit and bring just enough discipline to establish it.”

The plight of today’s entrepreneur is that they feel they have to do everything; and heaven knows there is plenty to do! To complicate things, they never seem to have enough time to get it all done. Too much to do… not enough time to do it.

This has the earmarks of a true conundrum. But the truth is that you have all the time there is, and you can’t possibly do it all… nor do you have to. Read the rest of this entry »

Beware The Extrovert

“It was an excess of assertiveness and zeal that led to contacting customers too frequently. Extroverts, in other words, often stumble over themselves. They can talk too much and listen too little… which can be read as pushy and drive people away.”

It has been believed for years that successful sales personnel exhibited an outgoing, people-oriented, fun, and vivacious personality. Sales pros had one thing in common, and that was the “gift-of-gab.” They could mix and mingle with anybody at a moment’s notice. They were always “on” and more often than not they would border on the obnoxious. Read the rest of this entry »

Your Job Is One of Curation

“Today, they must be skilled at curating it – sorting through the massive trolls of data and presenting to others the most relevant and clarifying pieces.”

I hope you are beginning to see that your issues, when it comes to sales, are not yours alone. There appears to be massive amounts of data available to everybody regardless of the industry.

Your job has slowly morphed into one that involves more than “having all the answers.” Your job is to decide what information is pertinent to your client’s itinerary, and to share that information in a way that can be easily internalized and used when the timing is right. Read the rest of this entry »

What Happened To The Human Element?

“Injecting the personal into the professional can boost performance and increase quality of care. Yet, in the name of professionalism, we often neglect the human element and adopt a stance that’s abstract and distant.”

What this quote reminded me of was how many so-called ‘business professionals’ adopt the phrase, “Don’t take it personally, it’s just business.”

This positioning statement might have been true 20 years ago, but today it borders on lunacy. Read the rest of this entry »

Email Nuances

“Research has discovered that the reason some subject email lines are more effective than others is directly related to ‘utility and/or curiosity.’”

Emails still play an important role in many people’s lives, although the term “spam” is bandied about freely and directed towards a great percentage of incoming messages. It has become a daily practice to delete as many unwanted emails as possible in the least amount of time. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may soon be over-shadowed by Email Delete-itis. Read the rest of this entry »

Are Surveys a Good or Bad Practice?

I recently overheard a group of my friends saying that they have noticed the number of surveys arriving in their inbox have become overwhelming. They found these surveys to be a nuisance and they resented the intrusion.

They felt that if the service they were receiving was not up to par the supplier would hear about it without the need of filling out a survey. This of course is one side of the story.

The other side clearly depicts a company who is interested in improving their service or, at the very minimum, confirming that they are doing things right. Personally, I cannot find fault with this practice. The receiver, as with all emails, has the option to simply delete the communication and get on with their life. Read the rest of this entry »

72 Shots – Three Goals

Like hockey or not, today’s message serves as a great reminder for all of us. Granted, this happened a few years back but the message is just as valid today.

Once upon a time, the Washington Capitols and The NY Rangers faced off for game seven in the semi-finals for the Stanley Cup. It was all on the line. The winner moved onto the finals, while the loser went home to catch up on some Seinfeld reruns.

I tuned in with 17-minutes left in the 3rd period, the score tied one apiece. I heard the announcer say, “61 shots. Two in.” Those numbers immediately caught my attention. Read the rest of this entry »

Make The Call

When the Rolling Stones sang “Time Is On Your Side,” they were not talking to you or me. When Simon & Garfunkel suggested that we “kick on down the cobblestones while feeling groovy.” they obviously were not aware of the 24/7 thing soon to be coming into vogue.

If nothing else, I believe I piqued your interest in where I am going with this one.

I am certain that you can all benefit from today’s message. Read the rest of this entry »

Attitudes Are Contagious

There is a familiar saying that reminds us that “attitudes are contagious.” I then ask you if “yours is worth catching?”

Regardless of your industry, the product, or service you’re selling, it seems that making a living today is far from being a casual “walk in the park.” In fact, it often resembles a slow crawl through a minefield.

I’m afraid I can’t say or do much to soften your competitor’s blows, but I can remind you that in most instances you can fend most of them off before “bobbing and weaving” toward eventual victory. The secret is to stay on your feet and keep moving forward. Read the rest of this entry »

You heard me right. It is okay to fail.

I’m not suggesting that you commit flagrant fouls. I’m simply asking you to allow yourself to experiment and make mistakes that come with trying to stretch beyond your current comfort zone. Mistakes are visible signs that you are trying to do something new. Here is a corollary:

Allowing yourself to make mistakes will actually make you and your life more interesting. The words “mistake” and “boring” do not work well together. Mistakes are never boring. Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s Keep Things Simple

I do not see what all the fuss is about. Who said that building a business has to be difficult? Certainly not me. Like everything worth pursuing, it is the fundamentals that will get you to where you are trying to go.

In an attempt to simplify your journey, I’ve outlined five steps that will have you feeling like a successful entrepreneur in very short order. Any work involved stems from the concept of “consistency,” and not from tedious and laborious “work.”

Let’s break this down to its component parts. Read the rest of this entry »

Do You Care?

Take a lesson this week from the founder of the Peanuts cartoon character, Charles Schultz, and go out and make a difference in other people’s lives. This is a splendid reminder that it is us “ordinary” people who are already in place to make a difference. Read the rest of this entry »

Do What Is Right

Somebody once went on record to remind us that bad news travels light-years faster than good news. This may be true but today I am going to focus your attention on a little good news that happened to me a few years back.

I want to share this true-life experience with you. It happened when I was traveling to Europe on business. I was taking a river cruise, which I hesitate to call “work” but that is exactly what it was.

It wasn’t until I was packing to return home that I realized that I was missing my Kindle reader. I had over 75 business books loaded on this device, so this more than a slight inconvenience. In fact, I was very disappointed in myself for letting this treasured device slip away from me. Read the rest of this entry »

  1. Thinking social media is your magic pill. Social media is in no way, shape, or form today’s flavor of the month marketing strategy. It is “real”, and it is here to stay. My warning is to not solely rely on this strategy in hope that it will lead you to the Promised Land. It won’t. It is merely another cog in the marketing wheel to help you let others know that you are alive and that you may have something of value to offer.

Read the rest of this entry »

One of the most often re-quoted reminders by those attending my live training sessions is: “There are only two types of people you will ever encounter. Those who you can help and the other kind.” No truer words have ever been spoken.

In the next two days I plan to touch on nine reasons why most salespeople are not more successful. Today we will discuss the first four. Read the rest of this entry »

You Can’t Handle the Truth

Never known to mince words or to endorse the practice of political correctness to excess, I have some bad news for many of my readers working the travel industry. If not “bad news,” it certainly falls under the category of “less-than-motivating facts.”

The truth is… the undisputable truth is… the undeniable truth is… many of you in the travel business DO NOT want to become successful. That is the unfortunate truth.

Say what? It seems many travel industry practitioners would rather offer excuses, appear overworked, be misunderstood, and be victimized than recognize the truth. I don’t mean to insult anybody. Read the rest of this entry »

This term was brought to my attention again just yesterday. In this case, it was while I was reviewing a YouTube video on finger picking methods on acoustic guitars.  (Yes, among my many interests the six-string guitar has always been one of my favorites. My Martin D35 is a treasured friend and can be found next to my bed stand.) Read the rest of this entry »

There is a thin line between “customer service” and being a doormat. Remember, you can’t be all things to all people.

If there is one common refrain I hear (and if I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a hundred times), it is:

Potential clients contact me to milk me for information before they head out to book their own vacation on the internet.

It is your business and you can run it any way you so choose. If you want to give away the shop and be taken advantage of that is your decision. You or anybody else are not going to stop people from taking the easy way out. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Ever Count Yourself Out

You all know how much I enjoy the Olympics; they are truly special times every few years. I was once watching an event that resembled cross-country skiing. And as it is only fair, when you take a group of international, world-class athletes, you put the bumper crop of superior athletes in the front – so the second tier of world-class athletes do not screw things up.

I have no problem with stacking the deck by putting the fastest guys up front. That is okay with me. The gun sounds, and like it is often the case when you have a group of world-class athletes trying to accomplish their life-long dream Read the rest of this entry »