By: Terri Maldonado
Recruitment Specialist; Cruises Inc.
Here are four factors you can use as indicators of success and some suggestions for implementing or improving them in your independent travel agent business.
The famous factor. How well known are you in your neighborhood, community and industry? If your famous factor is pointing to success, your neighbors know what you’re doing and often introduce you not just by name, but also by company name. You know this one is working when your child’s friends say, “Aren’t you the travel person?” When I visit the post office, they no longer say, “Hi, Terri.” They now say “Hi, CruiseGal.” You’ll also know you’ve achieved the factor when you’re asked to contribute a column to your local newspaper make a presentation to a local charitable group.
If your famous factor hasn’t kicked in you can help it along by wearing your independent travel agent status wherever you go. Have a T-shirt imprinted with the Cruises, Inc. name and wear it anytime you go to school or public events. Give some away so that others wear your name around too! Put your business name on everything you write. Leave your business card every place you stand or sit. Having the award-winning marketing team of Cruises, Inc. behind your public image will absolutely elevate your famous factor!
The satisfaction factor. This isn’t how satisfied your customers are, it’s how satisfied you are. Do you like the way your office looks? Are you happy with the response your marketing efforts generate? Are you proud of the image your business cards, letterhead and website create for those who see them? To paraphrase the Rolling Stones, if you “can’t get no satisfaction”, you won’t feel very successful. If you aren’t happy, you can’t display a happy attitude to your customers.
So, how can you jump-start your satisfaction factor? Start with a twice yearly self-inventory. Make a list of the things that need to be changed. Start small but tackle your list. Make it your goal to increase your personal satisfaction with your status as an independent travel agent so that it shows in the way you treat your customers. Check your list frequently so that you can see and celebrate your improvements. Use your improvements as a way to get famous by sharing them with others. Ask your Cruises, Inc. representative about all the ways we can help you with your satisfaction factor.
The wow factor. This is the era of baby-boomer clients. One feature of the baby-boomer generation that’s often overlooked is the fact that these potential customers have lived and worked in an age of quality improvement. They know about, and participate in, surveys asking their opinions and qualifying their contentment with almost every aspect of their lives. It isn’t enough to simply satisfy them. The way you keep a “boomer” is to wow them. Doing things they don’t expect, like arranging a house and pet sitter or bringing them breakfast on their first day home, will make a difference. So, how do you know your wow factor is positioning you for independent travel agent success? Ask. Boomers will tell you anything and everything you want to know about their experience with your service. Ask your Cruises, Inc. representative how our marketing and public relations staff can help you with increasing your wow factor.
The future factor. Alexander Graham Bell said, “When one door closes, another opens, but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” Independent travel agents and their clients have been buffeted by forces they cannot control. Businesses and suppliers all around us are failing. If you are wasting your time looking at the closed door, you will miss the opportunity to create future triumph and discovery. For example, if you are waiting for things to get better before you attend a Cruises, Inc. National Conference, you’re looking at the closed door and not opening yourself to the possibility of discovering a new opportunity. Your future factor isn’t aimed at success. If you have an idea you’re implementing in the face of opposing pressure, you are using your future factor and the rewards will come.
Wake up your own forward thinking by getting out there and learning. Read the Cruises, Inc. blog every month. Get exposed to the new ideas that our family of Cruises, Inc. independent contractors have and let them activate your own creativity. Don’t continue your education as an independent travel agent because it’s good for your clients, do it because it’s good for you! Implement this factor for your own future growth. Take advantage of all the continuing education Cruises, Inc. has to offer.
How will you know these factors are making you more successful? Besides financial growth and business increases, there will be personal rewards. These rewards will give you a sense of meaning. You’ll feel more alive and you’ll be engaged in the world of travel you’re selling. When you do good, you’ll feel good. When you feel good, you will have succeeded.