The best advice article I have read in years comes from none other than our own Ruthanne Terrero, the vice president and editorial director of Luxury Travel Advisor, in the February 2016 "Editors Letter.” It is appropriately titled “The Biggest Mistakes New Advisors Make.” This is an insightful, no nonsense list identifies commonly made mistakes. Each on the list is accompanied with clarity, cutting to the core of why some sellers of travel stand in the way of their own success.
If you permit me to disagree with Ruthanne I would correct one word in the title- change “New” to “ALL Advisors". Let's put defenses down and let honesty rule. All advisors are guilty of some of these mistakes at some point in time. It might happen because of lack of experience but more likely complacency. Better for you to read this article than for me to paraphrase it my own words. They are numbered one through 10, but the order is not weighted by importance. It takes a big dose of self reflection to acknowledge mistakes or opportunities overlooked. Some may be attitudinal excuses like- "that's not part of my job" or "I don't make enough to devote more time" or best of all, "they don't appreciate me!” It also might be the opposite, "my clients love me anyway.” Really? All these attitudes are shortsighted. To sell successfully, you must continue to evolve, honing your interpersonal relationships, expanding your knowledge and elevating your understanding of best business practices.
It is not easy to be a travel advisor. Particularly today with travelers having so much unfiltered information indiscriminately thrown at them. Expectations have been dramatically elevated and competition can be fierce. And yet, business for advisors has never been better. So what's the reason? The successful agents, new and established are meeting this changing world with all its challenges. They do sacrifice much, literally working 24/7, responding to the demanding wishes of their clients. There is every reason to believe that this new emerging generation of Millennials, as they evolve to reach a luxury level of travel, will continue to drive the way advisors must reach them. They make the rules, they set the style. Now is the time to reach them and wrap your arms tightly around these movers and shakers. If not you, there's always someone else waiting in the wings.
Here is what I suggest. Follow the golden rule- establish loyalty above all. While loyalty is a two-way street it is you who has to work at it. You have to earn it not once, not twice but continuously. Ruthanne's list is a strong beginning on which to build. Loyalty is the only way to move from transactional selling to long term customer relations and professional trust. Remember, travelers don't love you. They love the experiences and memories you have orchestrated for them.
Read Ruthanne's full advice article here.