If there is any truth to the belief that a good story is both entertaining and memorable, you are about to enjoy the information in my columns for the next few months. I am about to share with you my personal experiences that come equipped with some valuable lessons.
The first of these lessons come to you from 2500 feet above sea level. It was during my check ride, which requires a passing grade while flying alongside an FAA flight inspector. I was in the left seat of a Cessna 152 and I felt I was prepared for the “exam.” I read the books, practiced my landings, and Read the rest of this entry »
Fasten your seatbelts travel professionals. You are about to play a major role in a New Year consisting of successes, failures, challenges, wins, losses, good ideas, bad ideas, and a whole bunch of “head-scratching” scenarios that are sure to upset your stomach. You can also get ready to do a lot of smiling. And I will be back to help you along the way in an attempt to keep you focused, motivated, and refining your own personal “happy dance.”
Similar to past articles I have been sharing, the next twelve months will consist of thought-provoking reminders you can identify with, and use to your benefit.
In the interest of time (your time), each week’s Read the rest of this entry »
These four words popped into my head recently and, in addition to recalling a little tune sung by Bobby McFerrin, I found myself thinking of retirement. Yes, I have not been confused for a spring chicken for many years now; and I often have to stop and think how I managed to get out of bed yesterday. Some call it age, while I prefer to consider it as experience. But I digress.
Due to age, experience or whatever you want to call it, my days of actively pursuing new business have slowly gone the way of Seinfeld reruns. But here comes today’s million dollar thought of the day: Read the rest of this entry »
If by chance you are not creative, or you feel you do not have a creative bone in your body, I am here to tell you that you CAN become creative—if you remove yourself from your current comfort zone.
Yes, I am giving you permission to get up, get out, and make more of the right people glad they know you. For some of you, this will prove to be a real stretch. For others, it will take a certain degree of discipline. For a few, it will be “a piece of cake.”
The first thing you must do is to rid your vocabulary of much of the negative self-talk you are Read the rest of this entry »
I recently read a post from Seth Godin which got me thinking. (His words usually do.)
He referenced the early automobile and how roads were built to provide a path for leisurely drives out into the country. Families would take a ride on a Sunday to enjoy the scenery and perhaps stop along the way for a picnic. Hence, the concept known referred to as the Sunday driver.
You can picture pops behind the wheel, with mom and her bonnet secured tightly around her neck bouncing along a dirt road with no particular destination in mind. To me, that conjures up a delightfully civilized picture in Read the rest of this entry »
I remember thinking that things would be different once I reached my age. I believed things would be easier. I thought the hard part would be yesterday’s news. Wrong again Mike-O.
This has been proven not to be the case. But, if you stop to think about it, life would be pretty boring if we all had it together before the boys headed for the showers and the “fat lady” sang.
Marketing is simply why some things work, and why things don’t work Read the rest of this entry »
There are a few phrases I hear myself saying more often these days. One of which brings me back to my early years, when I spent summers on my grandmother’s farm. “Make hay while the sun shines,” reminded us that when you made a living which depended heavily on the uncertainty of the weather, it was in your best interest to take advantage of favorable conditions while they presented themselves. Read the rest of this entry »
A former National Hockey League All-Star, Wayne Gretzky has been given credit for the phrase, “You miss 100% of the shot’s you don’t take.” This reminder, in and of itself, is quite logical. But if these nine words are not obvious enough, there are more ways to drive home this valuable message.
- Using golf as the source: “Never up. Never In.” All putts fail if they do not reach the hole.
- Sales: If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
- Tom Peters: “In order to strike oil you have to dig a hole.”
There are more examples, but I think you are getting the gist of today’s memo.
Just last week Read the rest of this entry »
Practicing, repeating, editing and tweaking all play a major role when trying to perfect any singular skill, activity, challenge or assignment. It takes time, patience and, often times, many attempts before we begin to imbue the necessary steps into our “muscle memory.”
With this in the forefront of today’s message, I have elected to repeat a message I have shared before in hope that this time the lesson will take root and, as a result, you will benefit from my unsolicited advice.
Here is the first marketing mistake many travel professionals make from my list of fifteen. Read the rest of this entry »
As sales and marketing advice goes, this may very well be up there with the best of it. I was reminded of this natural phenomenon this week, and I could not find my way to my computer keyboard fast enough to share it with whoever is out there listening. This is a BIGGIE. Tune in.
I ended a recent Zoom Meeting with what I consider to be some sage advice. To me, what I am about to suggest is both logical and extraordinarily simple. It is effective and incredibly apropos. It does not cost a red cent and the results are extremely powerful.
The truth is, however, that nobody can do what I am about to suggest without feeling uncomfortable to some degree. This last sentence, in and of itself, may explain why there are not more successful travel-related sales professionals in the United States today.
I challenged my audience on this particular day to pick up their telephones as soon as our meeting was over, and call a prospect, customer, or the first person who comes to mind to simply thank them for something. I reminded them not to get cute, fancy or eloquent. I urged them to Read the rest of this entry »
Although there may not be any “do-overs” or mulligans in business these days,
there is certainly time and rationale for “Do-Agains.” Let me explain.
I recently sent out a blast email promoting one of my books. In this case, I was featuring my 52-Week Sales Planner. What better time to start planning for a brighter future than right now?
I wrote a sales letter and hit the button which sent my words out to internet land. Read the rest of this entry »
This week I am going to remind you of the well-known phrase, “What goes around, comes around.” Maybe it would be more accurate if I said, “What was old is new again.”
What I am trying to say is that you do not always have to come up with something new to (1) capture attention, (2) become more effective, or (3) to deliver a message worth delivering.
Today, I have decided to turn back the clock and repeat one of my messages from 2015. Here goes:
Regardless of the length, girth or the simplicity (or intricacy) of your business plan, your persistent adherence to the basics is essential if you want to continue to build a business you can be proud of. Read the rest of this entry »
I once attended a Home Trade Show and was introduced to a number of entrepreneurs in booths manned by good, hard-working individuals trying to make a living.
Some booth sitters came on stronger than others. Some caught my attention as I passed by. Others actually repelled me away from their booth.
“What was the difference?”, I asked myself as I sauntered down each aisle.
I think you have to refer to it as “chemistry,” or could it be “packaging.” I don’t know how else to explain it—except maybe for the obvious. I recognized the fact that the products I had an interest in had a better chance of capturing my attention.
This brings me to a truth I have always tried to share Read the rest of this entry »
“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?
Just yesterday, my wife read me a story that inferred that over 50 well-known restaurants were in danger of going out of business… within the next 12 months. Many of which surprised me, but perhaps they should not have.
I recalled an article I read a few years back that announced the retail store Dressbarn was to close all 650 stores. This news meant nothing to me, but it was my wife who let out a quiet scream of concern. “I have a few sweaters and tops from Dressbarn that I absolutely love.”
Yesterdays announcement, along with the Dressbarn article, reminded me that yesterday’s accomplishments are, in fact, yesterday’s news Read the rest of this entry »
I remember as if it were yesterday, hearing the following words at the home of two Russian immigrants in Chicago. The husband was an emergency room surgeon, while his wife was a successful travel agent. Their home was modest, yet beautifully furnished. When they first arrived in the states as youngsters, neither one could speak a word of English.
The good doctor’s words at the dinner table will stick with me forever. After passing the rolls, he said, “If you can’t make it in America, you can’t make it.” Those words stuck with me ever since.
That was more than 25 years ago, and I think of that sentence every time I present to a room full of travel professionals. With a little poetic license, I now put a different spin on the same belief.
“If you can’t make it in the travel business, you can’t make it.”
How can I say this with the competition being what it is?
I say the following with all due respect: Whether home-based or not, travel agents grow on trees—a dime a dozen—they are everywhere. And, the internet makes it easy to book trips on one’s own.
Suppliers are contacting travelers directly and doing end-runs. The Big Box Stores are cutting prices. Clients to not want to pay fees and supplier commissions are being sliced and diced. “Mike, and you’re telling me if I can’t make it in this business there is something wrong with “me?” Explain, please! Read the rest of this entry »
The idea for this week’s article came to me while filling out the morning USA Today Crossword Puzzle. In and of itself there is no connection, so I don’t want you to spend any time trying to connect the dots. I suppose my point is that ideas come from anywhere and everywhere.
The truth is that your clients and future clients are out there dancing to the beat of their own drum. The chances are very good they are not doing the fox trot to the same rhythms. They are all focused on their own set of circumstances, and worrying about whatever it is they worry about. For you to enter their world thinking, or believing, that you can soon have them focusing on your agenda is nothing short of delusional. But there is a way. Read the rest of this entry »
For years, I gave credit to Voltaire for sharing this sage advice. I later attributed this key reminder to the rightful author, Louis Pasteur. Regardless of who first came up with this “beauty,” it remains one of my favorite quotes.
In our current (soon-to-be post Covid-19) environment, I am hearing many agents say they are experiencing the debilitating phenomenon known as “overwhelm.” My fear is that these very same agents may resort to the age-old strategy known as WHP… which stands for “wishing, hoping and praying.”
Let me be quick to mention that I have nothing against making wishes when blowing out birthday candles, hoping for sunny 4th of July weekends, and praying for guidance from above when confronted with a life-changing decision. All three situations get a “thumbs-up” from me. But, when it comes to building and sustaining a business, I am afraid it takes a little more effort on your part, and not so much enticement from your local soothsayer. Read the rest of this entry »