Each spring the travel specialists and independent contractors of Largay Travel of Waterbury, Connecticut gather for a meeting of the minds. Personal and professional development, bonding with co-workers and suppliers and celebrating the previous year’s successes are always a focus of the weekend retreat. However, when this year’s invitation, entitled “Getting Naked with Largay Travel”, was received, attendees were left to wonder if Paul Largay a.k.a. Dr. Travel & Roland Largay a.k.a. Uncle Roland, co-owners of Largay Travel, had finally lost their minds.
Then, just weeks prior to the event, each attendee received a care package containing a welcome letter and the business fable “Getting Naked” by Patrick Lencioni. Intrigued and somewhat skeptical, each attendee got their first taste of what it means to be “Naked” in how they do business. So as moderator and trainer, Helen Nodland of Virtuoso, began the two-day weekend session, everyone had a strong understanding of where we were going.
The training, built around Virtuoso’s unique agent development program, Agent to Advisor Leadership Group, was focused around how travel specialists learn to collaborate with clients and comfortably implement planning and consulting fees. Although most Largay specialists previously charged fees, it was not always consistent and had been challenging, to say the least. Therefore the training began by examining the fear’s we have as travel specialists. “I always felt that I would lose business if I charged fees because clients could get the information on the internet or from another travel agent for free” says travel specialist Vivian Leonard. “As much as I know I am already providing a far superior experience for my clients, I just didn’t feel comfortable charging when I know I am already getting commission on the booking.” Recognizing that the problem we have surrounding fees is not with the client but with ourselves was a huge breakthrough for most.