Susan Moynihan, founder of The Honeymoonist, an affiliate of Largay Travel, is up next on our “Five Secrets to Success” series. Featured in our December 2016 Trendsetters issue, Moynihan is a former travel writer and editor in chief, who now specializes in “special occasion” romance travel, i.e., destination weddings, honeymoons, engagements, and anniversaries, as well as family trips and bucket-list adventures.
Moynihan spent 15 years writing about travel before deciding to switch to selling it in 2013. Soon after she hit her first $1 million in sales, and in 2014 she launched The Honeymoonist.
- Do everything well; the littlest details matter in the bigger picture—I'm a former magazine editor, and I feel an immediate sense of distrust when I read a typo in an email—so I'm sure some of my clients do as well. Mistakes happen, but they should be exceptions to the rule of extreme attention to detail, not because of laziness or cutting corners.
- Money is relative; don't let your view of it color what your clients spend—One of my early lessons was almost not pitching a very expensive hotel stay, thinking "They won't want to spend this much, even though its perfect for them!" On impulse I added it to the pitch at the last minute, even though is was twice as high as the next-priciest option. They didn't bat an eye, booked it and loved the experience.
- Networking should be personal and authentic—I'm my own unique self, and I relate to people better in person. So I spend a lot of my outreach budget on going where my clients or contacts are, and spending time with them. This lets our relationship grow organically, and be about more than money and sales. If we end up doing business together, that's a fantastic outcome, but more important to me are the friendships I make, and the authentic connections I forge around the world.
- Nothing is more important that your personal ethics—To me, this means don't steal clients from other advisors, don't cheat clients by selling something that is a better match for you than them, and don't upcharge wealthier clients beyond what you do for regular clients "because they can afford it." My ethics have earned trust with clients and friends, and have also helped me avoid relationships with people I wouldn't have wanted to trust in the long run.
- Don't focus on competition; do your own thing—Running your own business is a high-risk endeavor, and I need all of my wits about me to make it work. Spending time comparing myself to others is a surefire way to get distracted by fear and insecurity, so I try to avoid it, and keep it in perspective when I fall into that trap.
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