Future Proof? Is your business ready for a rocky time ahead?
You can listen directly here.
This is a crazy time worldwide, so much fear and panic and hysteria. Being in travel, we are likely to wear a tough few months ahead. This episode isn’t to scare you, it’s to help prepare you.
You are in the travel industry for a reason. This is, like any other career or job, going to weather tough times. Now you need to think about your clients, your own health (mental and physical) and also how you are going to weather this trying time. You can get through this, we have been through tough times before.
I’m giving you some tips and tools to be prepared, to stay focused and be the expert and guide your clients need right now. You can and will get through this.
Make sure you stay up to date with the podcast by subscribing and downloading our free resources and checklists to help you with your travel business. If you need additional help, email us at [email protected]
Links Mentioned in the Episode
Episode #8 Customer Loyalty & Easy Ways to Gain Referrals with Rebecca Wiles. She is a true systems genius and also helps clients in the hospitality and tourism industries about staying at the forefront of clients minds and how to build customer loyalty. Definitely one to listen to.
Quotes from this Episode
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin
“Sometimes we need to lean on each other to help get through the tough times, and have even somebody else see the light at the end of the tunnel for what's going on for us.”
“You are the trusted source of information. You are the source of reason and the source of knowledge, you are the person where your clients need to go to to find the facts.”
“This is not a time for us to remain silent, or get angry. It's just about communication”.
“Remember to remain positive. And remember that nothing is forever.”
“Nobody has all the answers, but you do have a fundamental care of duty to inform your clients of what they need to know”
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Announcer: Welcome to Travel Agent Achievers! The place to learn how to grow your travel business and have fun with it. Join Roslyn and her guests as they walk you through proven steps to a fulfilling and profitable business.
Roslyn Ranse: Well, hey there everybody welcome back to the travel agent achievers podcast episode number 21.
Well, haven't we hit 2020 running. I am feeling on the backfoot. I don't know about you guys, I'm getting straight into two days into today's episode, as it's one we all need to listen to and I believe share with your colleagues at the moment, in light of recent events. Thank you everyone for listening, and for being here, know that if you need to reach out and get some help with your business that I am here for you.
So, global crisis affects tourism, it always has and being in travel we're often seeing the effects faster than other industries. For myself having been in the hospitality and tourism industry, my whole working career, I've seen the good times, and also the bad. And I know as listeners, and you being in this industry as well you've also seen some tough times too. I get it, guys, and I'm here with you. I understand that this is a really tough time
Here in Australia, I'm in an area that was hit by the bush fires, and then we also had localized flooding. Now with the coronavirus and the media hype that's around it.
I mean here guys, we have people emptying supermarket shelves, full of toilet paper. Like, the mass hysteria is just out of control. And I hadn't put a whole lot of thought into the impact on my business and industry, until two things happened in the last 48 to 72 hours.
I was talking with another consultant and client the other day. And we were discussing her business and how to stay ahead of things, but I also have a very large client of mine call to cancel or maybe postpone their large international group trip for a couple of months time.
And this has, and does have a devastating impact on my business. And I wanted to talk about it because I think we've all been impacted in different ways, especially over the last few months with things that have happened.
I know globally, you've also been affected, each of you in different ways. And I want to assure you, and let you know that we're in this together. Because together we are stronger. And sometimes we need to lean on each other to help get through the tough times, and have even somebody else see the light at the end of the tunnel for what's going on for us.
Maybe even a glass of wine, helps you. I know it did for me last night, and you often just need to take a break for yourself because fielding phone calls and emails can be exhausting.
And it does feel like, what am I going to do this is the end. So, whatever it is, be you, I understand it, I get it. I'm here in the trenches with you. And I want to help you through these really tough time that we're all going through.
For those of you that are new to the travel and tourism industry. Welcome.
Guys, this isn't an episode to scare you off to the absolute country. It is about helping you future proof yourself and your business so that you too can come through this tough time, stronger, and even more focused.
With the travel agent achievers podcast in previous episodes, I've spoken about remaining at the forefront of the clients minds about having systems in place, getting organized, and if you haven't listened to these, please go back and go back to them and have a good listen again.
So Episode number seven, I spoke about getting to know your clients and creating peace of mind experiences, so your clients know that you are there for them in the tough times.
In Episode eight. So that's episode seven and episode eight. I then spoke about customer loyalty and easy ways to gain referrals with Rebecca Wiles.
Now Beck is a true systems genius, but she also works with clients in the hospitality and tourism industries on ways to stay at the forefront of clients minds, and what customer loyalty is all about and how to build it. Definitely listen to that one she is a guru in this industry and she works with many five star hotels and properties and tourism companies to help them define customer loyalty but also help build them so that was a great episode that we did together.
In Episode number 18, I spoke about how to wow your clients in every step of the booking process, and I have my 67 Step Process that you can purchase, if you want some systems in place. Just go to our website travelagentachievers.com, and you'll find on the 67 step process there. But this episode was how to wow your clients in every part of the booking process so they will continue to come back to you.
Now, in any business we experience, tough times, and good times. We also know that there is a very high rate of small businesses here in Australia that fail in the first 12 months, three years and five years, if you've been in the business longer than this then congratulations to you, and you are stay up but I want to reassure those that are just getting started that it's okay, and you will get through this. Just hang in there.
So, the tough times, and the good times, we work with it together now is the perfect time for you to reinforce who you are, why you do what you do and be the go to resource and person for your current clients.
I want you to also be the go to person for their friends and also potential clients in the future. Now before we talk about what to do, which I am going to give you a bunch of tips to help you future proof your business, I'm going to ask you a very serious question.
Why are you in travel?
Why are you in an industry that can be so heavily affected by global events?
I am asked this by my friends and my family. And, you know,
I love what I do.
I absolutely love it.
I love being able to help other people.
So, this is something I want you to ask yourself, and this is your why.
Why do you do what you do?
In Episode number four of the podcast. I spoke with a good friend of mine and accountant to Jeff banks about knowing your numbers but we also spoke about our why, and why you're in business in the first place. Have you just created a job for yourself because you didn't want to work for somebody else or are you in this to create a business.
And if you're in this to create a business the flexibility the freedom and doing something you absolutely love, then you need to get serious about it, and you need to look at what you can do to be the go to person for travel with your clients, their friends and those around you, building your business.
Now as I said, I know globally, you've also been affected in different ways around everything that's going on.
So, this is a serious question, why do you do what you do, you will have chosen to be here for a reason. I know that, my hand on my heart and I want you to remember this reason, when the going gets tough, in any job.
You're going to experience tough times like that's in all seriousness, and I do love how our industry, even when there are problems and issues and things are tough. We just get through it, we have that tenacity and personality to remain resilient and just get on with things.
Sure we might complain and moan and, you know, get down when it's all going to paces. But we get through it. And remember that you will get through this.
So things I want you to remember and keep in mind, right at this very moment,
Be aware of the facts and stay true to yourself
Your integrity is what people are looking for.
And I want you to be dodgy. If you're not sure about something find out the answer before you stay, take clients, but always stay true to yourself, and the facts. Scaremongering is just not going to help anybody at this stage.
And remember, in this industry, we have been through this before. Think of SARS and MARS and Ebola and lots of other global events. We've been through it, and we will get through this.
You are the trusted source of information.
You are the source of reason and the source of knowledge/
You are the person where your clients need to go to to find the facts.
You need to direct your clients to actual evidence. And if it helps you even draft an email with links to government websites or tourism authorities and bodies. I want you to pick up the phone and speak to those clients that are traveling.
Answer their questions way you can guide them through the process and the actual facts of what's happening now.
I had a client that's leaving for Egypt in a couple of days time and they’re elderly clients and I spoke to them and I said, are you sure? Are you okay? and she said to me, she said Ros:
“I'm in the health industry, I get this, I know what it's all about. We just need to keep sanitation up.”
She was not worried in the slightest. But I have reassured her that I am the person to come to if she needs me.
I want you to be that person for your clients, speaking to them and reassuring them by giving them actual evidence of what's going on.
Big pair, have an email drafted, it doesn't hurt, just in case you need it.
Also, talk to your suppliers know they are feeling the effects to, we've seen here in Australia that some companies have asked staff to take voluntary leave of absence. And we want to keep their businesses going as well.
So, talk to your suppliers. They want to keep the business. So if it means changing dates or being flexible. I know that they will do whatever they can wherever they can. You just need to talk to them.
This is not a time for us to remain silent, or get angry. It's just about communication.
Whenever you post on social media, or you put together videos newsletters or correspondence with your clients. Remember to remain positive. And remember that nothing is forever. They will be reprieved, we just don't know when.
And this isn't just for the current situations it's in all situations, whether it's a local issue, a country a destination issue or a global issue.
Be honest and transparent.
These are some things that you can do to fruit to prove yourself right now.
Be honest and transparent. Now is the time to connect and build your trust with your clients and show them how much you care about them, and they will bang. Communicate the up to date information, not information that's out of date or from last week, and don't share any irrelevant or scare tactics.
Nobody has all the answers, but you do have a fundamental care of duty to inform your clients of what they need to know, give them the facts.
If you're traveling, show your clients on social media or wherever you're talking about your business, show them that you're traveling, go live on video, share photos and images let them know your experience.
You cannot tell a client whether they should travel or not. But if you're traveling, just share what you're doing.
Show destinations that aren't affected, or promote something closer to home. It doesn't mean you have to stop doing anything on social media, it just means you need to get creative.
Highlight potential savings and future booking opportunities as well.
Here in Australia, we have seen cruise ships that are now coming to our shores over the next few months where they normally wouldn't. And this has also bought fantastic opportunities and press discounts.
So, if there is something that your clients are interested in, and they are still willing to travel, highlight the potential savings. And if there is something down the track that they've been talking about, there are also amazing specials that are coming out for if it deals that you could book in the future.
I want you to go live, where you can, and how you feel comfortable, just talk about what you're doing, showcase the supplier. Let the clients know that you are still open and available for business.
Provide facts, not scaremonger tactics. We all know this. There are some very funny memes out at the moment and I get it, I want to share them as well sometimes, but I also need to think what is going to be useful and helpful for my clients, and you need to think about that as well.
So what can you do or what can you talk about in newsletters, personalized emails on social media? Get personal, let your clients know you're happy to help their friends and family members with travel advice if they need it.
Your clients know that you're the expert, the more assistance you provide, the more they are going to brag about you and how helpful you are.
You are already the expert. So now is the time to showcase this. Talk about your personal travel experiences, places that you've been before and you loved, suggest places that you know are okay to travel to and also areas that have great specials that they can book for in advance.
Who do you serve?
Who are your clients?
What markets do you specialize in?
And what can clients ask you about?
Answer some of these questions, and make sure that you are being visible.
You need to also upskill right now. It's the perfect time to attend seminars, webinars, training sessions. Upskill in an area that you're needing training on.
It's the perfect time to become a specialist, and then talk about those achievements as well. The more experience and knowledge and recognition you have, this is something that clients are going to look for as well. And you need to be where your clients are.
So here I have a friend who works from home, but she's started working in a local cafe in a shopping center. So she's around her clients, and they are seeing her. Hey, she's got quite a localized business so working in a cafe is exactly like her working from home.
It's just that she's around people and people have seen her there with her computer and everything is all still business as usual, so you can try this as well be where your clients are, if they're at sporting events, go to the sporting events, if they're groups, then go to those group events.
If you are having clients that want to cancel their trip, there are things that you can do. You can talk to them about changing a destination, offering options closer to home, suggest rebooking things for a later date.
You need to speak to your suppliers first and then act second. So always gather all the information. You can't promise something to a client without speaking to the relevant suppliers or wholesalers. You know this and I don't want you to get in trouble.
So just show your clients that you have their backs, you will be there for them, and you'll get back to them.
You need to be adaptable, flexible, approachable and contactable. I can't stress these things enough, because if you feel like you've been hit. You still can't show that. You need to present that everything is still business as usual.
And even though we are having a tough time, speak to somebody else in the industry, chat to somebody who understands, reach out to me. I'm here guys and I get it, I'm in the trenches with you.
If you feel like you've hit 2020 and you're on the backfoot, if you feel like you're struggling, you need direction and support, please reach out, I, you know, log on to the Travel Agent Achievers website, check out our articles, read the blog posts, and we've got training materials on there.
And because this is just a time that we all need each other, as a very special offer, I'm opening up my personal one on one coaching for you. And that's for you my listeners here on the Travel Agent Achievers podcast.
What this is, is a 30 minute chat for a three month period. Where every month we’ll have one on one conversation to discuss what's working in your business, what you need help with and work out your next best steps to move forward.
I want you to stay accountable
I want you to get stuff done.
And I'm here to help you build your business.
This isn't something that you're going to find on the website as I don't publicly offer this. So, as you are listening. I will add a link in the show notes to this, but I want you to go to bit.ly//taa30minstrategy.
So you'll see this incredible offer there that I have for you. It is limited so jump in quick. It’s bit.ly//taa30minstrategy and this will be a series of strategy calls.
Guys, you can future proof your business, you can stay ahead of what's going on, you can get through this and I know you and I believe in you and I am there cheering you on.
I know for my own business, that's okay. The group that I was looking at in the next couple of months, anyway, too much work going on, so I'm okay. I'm going to move forward.
In the wise words of Charles Darwin, I'll leave you with this. “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
Guys, thank you for being here. Thank you for listening. I'll talk to you soon. Keep smiling. And remember, jump onto the link, bit.ly//taa30minstrategy.
I'll talk to you soon. Take care for now.
LOOKING FOR MORE HELP SPECIFIC TO YOUR OWN TRAVEL BUSINESS? WORK DIRECTLY WITH ROS. BOOK A ONE-ON-ONE STRATEGY SESSION.
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Jump on in and book your individual strategy coaching sessions with Roslyn.