I recently overheard two young women speaking; one was stressed out with school, a sick parent and the location of her apartment, which was too far away from her job. Then she laughed and said she was getting a kitten. “A kitten is the last thing you should be thinking about right now, you have too much going on,” her friend said. “But cats aren’t allowed in my apartment building. If my landlord finds out I have one she might break the lease and kick us out and then I can find a place closer to my job,” was the response.
I share this because this is how people really think sometimes. They’ll have a multitude of issues and put up barriers that create even more stress for them, thinking that they’re solving their problems creatively. It flaws their decision-making.
We all, in fact, have two systems of thinking. The logical side analyzes a problem methodically and comes up with a practical solution. The intuitive side resolves issues quickly and automatically. It’s not always right. It might justify your eating that huge piece of chocolate cake in the fridge at 3 o’clock in the morning. But it might also get you out of a bind adeptly if your gut is telling you something is wrong and you need to flee. This method of thinking drives much of what we do.
Luxury travel advisors going through the sales process need to appeal to both sides of their clients’ thinking processes. Spell out the logical aspects of why this trip will be good for them from an emotional, cultural and physical perspective. Display the mathematics of the value of the amenities you’re able to provide to them because of your industry relationships. If you’re delivering cost savings, write it down for them so they can see it clearly.
When the time is right, make an appeal to the intuitive side of their brain, the one that underneath it all wants to be daring and bold, that wants to be pampered and have fun.
This method of thinking will be helpful for those travel advisors who want to get their clients to try new things on their vacations, which makes for a more fulfilling trip.
One of the Trendsetters in this issue, Will Jennings of Valerie Wilson Travel, says that he’s unafraid to push his clients out of their comfort zone. “I believe the best travel experiences happen when we try something new,” he tells us. “That’s been my personal experience, and it’s helped me discover some incredible destinations that I’ve passed on to my clients.”
Another Trendsetter, Martha Gaughen of Brownell Travel, is also keen to get her clients to do new things and appeals to their practical and intuitive thinking by using Brownell’s “Discover More” process.
“I create something new and totally unique for each and every client by staying focused on who they are, what their dreams are, and leading them to those experiences they don’t even know they want to have,” says Gaughen. “I educate them on how to immerse themselves into their destination so that they can be comfortable being uncomfortable. I give them the opportunities to connect and reconnect and find joy.”
It’s true artistry, if you think of it; helping a person find something that will truly bring them happiness. This is trendsetting at its best.
For more brilliant ideas on working with clients and building your business, see the rest of our Trendsetter profiles.