In my time with GIFTE (less than a year), I have coached and hung around with many six figure earning Travel Professionals. In that time, I have noticed some specific common denominators among Travel Professionals who are making six figures selling travel and are actually ending this year having sold seven figures in sales.
It sounds too good to be true, right? It’s really not! So allow me share my observations:
#1: There are riches in niches.
There really is no way around this – you have to specialize. The top earning Travel Professionals who have embraced this concept and built their business around their specialty are the ones that:
A. Make more money
B. Work less and travel more and/or spend more time with their friends and family
C. Are happier and feel personally fulfilled by their travel business
Do you want more of the above? Then specialize. This is at the core of what Meredith teaches and the foundation of your success. So why aren’t you doing it? I have several theories – here are two:
I. When you entered this business you were told to take every certification program under the sun. So now you are an expert at everything, which to the consumer means you are an expert at nothing. Sorry to sound harsh – but that is the truth. You can’t know it all. Let that go. But what you can do to be of the highest value to yourself and your clients is to be knowledgeable in one area of travel OR to one segment of the population. For example, baby boomers, the affluent, families, etc.
II. You are afraid to say no to business.
This is totally normal and completely understandable. BUT, it is what is keeping many of you reading this article “stuck” in your business. Once you are crystal clear on your niche, then you can start to turn business down or refer that business to another travel professional who does handle that type of travel or an online booking engine that is better served to handle that bargain basement discount cruise (insert gasp here!). By letting go of business that is not serving you, you are making space for the clients and types of travel that you actually want to book.
#2 Top Travel Professionals work on themselves more than their business.
An average travel agent always complains about how little time they have. Sound familiar? Are you so overwhelmed that you don’t even know how you found time to read this article (but I am really glad you did)? Most Agents can’t fathom the idea of leaving their office for a personal development event or taking one hour a day to journal or exercise. According to the average Travel Agent, it is just not possible. Well, believe it or not, what I have witnessed with my own two eyes is that the Travel Professionals who are earning six figures are the ones who invest in themselves consistently and passionately. They read engaging books to keep a healthy mindset, they care about their health, they join masterminds, they hire a personal coach and more. They stay educated on their specialty when it comes to their business and do not get easily distracted by the latest and greatest supplier or destination board webinar. I hate to be the bearer of bad news here – but having an excessive amount of travel certifications and attending multiple high-content webinars on supplier related topics is NOT a common denominator among top earning Travel Professionals.
#3 They are highly accountable.
I just love the attitude of top earning travel professionals. They are all wonderfully positive people who are highly passionate about their business and know that they and only THEY control their future. I was really struck by an Agent who told me last month that the election would determine the outcome of her business in 2013. Top earners don’t think like that – they just don’t. No matter who is President or even what Host you are with – your success it squarely up to you.
#4 Top earners market consistently.
And by consistently I don’t just mean 1 or 2 times, I mean more than 10 and above on a weekly and monthly basis using a variety of media. For example, doing a weekly ezine (just like the one you get from Meredith every single Tuesday) or consistently running an Ad in a magazine that is relevant to your target market. Too many travel agents give up too soon on their marketing campaigns and efforts. I get it – it is easy to throw in the towel. But in order for your client attraction strategies to work you need to:
A. Be marketing the right message to the right audience and
B. Be consistently in front of the same people
Think about how often you get a magazine from a home good store. I get a Pottery Barn magazine monthly….and do I buy something monthly, no! Maybe once a year…and sometimes not even that often. But I am a past Pottery Barn client and their target market so they will continue to provide me with information consistently so I don’t forget about them and start shopping at Restoration Hardware! Make sense? So the message here is don’t give up! Don’t get frustrated if your first ever direct mail campaign does not yield a result or the Ad in the local paper didn’t make your phone ring. Marketing takes time and I realize this is hard for those of us that like “instant gratification.”
In closing, let me remind you that that it is likely that no one said running a travel business was going to be easy, right? But I promise you that if you stick to your passion (ie. niche), invest in yourself regularly, stay accountable for everything that happens in your business (and in your life!) as well as market consistently to attract your ideal clients – then you will be making the right steps.
Ask yourself – and be honest with your answers – are you doing all 4? If not, why not? Get clear on what you need to put in place and take action quickly to get the momentum going. If you are feeling stuck, then consider investing in the Make Money Selling Travel Blueprint. This program has helped many Travel Professionals get very clear on how to move their business forward. The program is on sale through November 30th. Go here to learn more: www.makemoneysellingtravel.com