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Episode 64:

Handling new booking enquiries when they may not be your ideal clients. With Maree Kirkpatrick

You can listen directly here. 

As Travel Business Owners/ Experience Curators, Memory Makers, our goal is always to create seamless and memorable travel experiences for our clients. However, what happens when we have a lead who seems like an unlikely prospect? Should we reject them? Or see the opportunity in every business interaction?

 

Our guest,  Maree Kirkpatrick is a sales trainer and business strategist with over 15 years of experience negotiating millions of dollars in sales for numerous industries. She and I have been working together over the last month or so putting some different ideas and perspectives on sales for travel advisors talking about different languages to use, and how we can work together to get the ideal clients.

 

In this episode, Maree discussed about understanding who are your ideal clients.  Understanding who you want to be working with and why you want to be working with those people. From there we can make that decision to say, "Yes, I want to work with him." or "No, I don't." If I don't take them on as a client, that's okay. But make sure when you say no, that you're also still looking after them. You can help them find people within your community that might be fit for them.

 

We also discuss the importance of implementing a sales process that allows you to understand who your prospective clients are, what they want, and if they are ideal customers for your business. The sales process then flows into your sales strategy, so you can remain focused on one thing at a time, instead of being pulled in different directions and becoming overwhelmed by all the work.

 

We both want your travel business to run smoothly and easily, because work should be something that makes you feel good instead of exhausted and overwhelmed.

 

It's a completely separate box that you can step out from you can step into. Stand in your power and know what you want to be known for, what makes you unique, and what makes you stand out.

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 and let us know what you want to learn about to help your travel business grow. https://travelagentachievers.com/  

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Links Mentioned in the Episode

Simon Sinek - "Start with Why" book (Order the paperback here

Describing and finding your ideal client

Join The Get Set to Soar  - LIVE Session

 

Maree’s 11 Tips to converting more clients

 

Connect with Maree:

Instagram Page https://www.instagram.com/mareekirkpatrick/ 

Facebook Page  - https://www.facebook.com/maree.nelsonsmith

Website - https://www.mareekirkpatrick.com/ 

Quotes from this Episode

“Give yourself permission to say no. That's okay and find a way to move them into what they're needing. But from a really connected space, so that they're feeling looked after, even though you're not the one looking after them.”  - Maree Kirkpatrick

 

“Your business is a completely separate box that you can step out from, you can step into.  It's really important to understand how you differentiate it and separate it from who you are, so that you can still be the best version of you.”- Maree Kirkpatrick

 

“Be the business owner, not always the business doer” - Roslyn Ranse

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Show Transcription:

Ros: Hello! Well, hey there travel agent achievers. Welcome back to another episode of our podcast. Today, I have a very special guest with Maree Kirkpatrick. 
 
Now, Maree is a sales trainer for businesses. She's also a business strategist. She and I have been working together over the last month or so putting some different ideas and perspectives on sales for travel advisors talking about different languages to use, and how we can work together to get the ideal clients. 
 
So we have a really special episode for you today, but a bit about Maree so that you get an understanding that she actually walks the talk. She has over 15 years of experience negotiating millions of dollars in sales for numerous industries. She's also currently working with a very big airline that I cannot spill the beans on. But she is awesome. She is not your typical Sales Coach. She will actually tell you how things are she's very real, and she makes sales fun, and easy. Also, profitability is what she is looking for. So we all know that we need that in travel. 
 
She starts from where you are currently at. So she's not going to jump way ahead and be talking about all these things that we may not realize or be in a place just yet. She helps you feel really connected. She's very authentic. She's here to help us with our travel business, to get some clarity, to find the language that's right for us. She wants to help travel advisors, working through our achievers community, triple sales. Now when we all like that.
 
She's also going to be a very special guest at our upcoming workshop, which if you go to travelagentachievers.com/soar. She's going to be speaking with us on that day. It's going to be in June 2022 in Sydney, real life in person, an amazing event. So Maree Kirkpatrick as our Sales Trainer for businesses, Sales Strategist, Business Strategist, Speaker, and Presenter. She's here for us today.
 
Ros: Welcome, Maree, I am so glad that you are here. Thank you for joining us today on the travel agent achievers podcast.
 
Maree: I am so excited to be here. And I'm excited to find some ways and tips I can give your listeners to help them move forward in their travel business.
 
Ros: I know this is one of the things that I love to talk about sales because people find that it's a little bit scary. You know my story and for the travel agent achievers community. Yes, I was once fired from a job because I didn't meet my sales targets. It was at that point that I realized that I was a relationship salesperson, I much prefer the process and building a relationship with someone rather than the cold, hardcore, get in there, ask for the sale and then be done with it. That is certainly not me. 
 
But before we dive into any of that, Maree, could you just tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
 
Maree: Sure. So I just want to add that I'm also not that sort of salesperson either. So I've been doing sales since I think I got my first sales job at the age of maybe 17 or 18ish. When I was taught to sell it was by really intense men that felt really pushy, and there was certain things you had to say and certain ways you had to do it. 
 
It just felt really roar. That’s how I look to sell right.  I was like there's got to be like, it wasn't until I stepped out of of that kind of industry or that heaviness. I was like, what is it? What is it about sales, and I really love it because it wasn't the roarness, I never wanted to feel like I was convincing people I was pushing people into a sale. I wanted that relationship type stuff that you spoke about as well. 
 
So for me, it's like how do I make an income as well as an impact? That's really, really important for me. How do I help you understand sales and sell your products and services in a really connected way so that you can make an impact on someone's life, but also make an income so that you can feed your family and keep a roof over your head and food in your mouth and all that sort of stuff. 
 
So yes, so as I said, I've been doing for many, many years, I've worked with large corporates all the way down to start-up businesses. I'm a mom of two boys, so that's always fun as well. I’m also a really big believer of helping women, especially in business. Because if I can teach you to sell, I can teach you to make money for the rest of your life in a really connected, fun, happy way. So that's the way that I approach all my work and all my clients and everything that I do.
  
Ros: Suddenly, why you and I have actually clicked so easily and so well is because there isn't any ickiness, there isn't any pressure. It's just two beautiful women catching out.
 
Maree: Yeah. Totally beautiful women.  
 
Ros: And talking, but also sharing experiences, and knowledge. One of the things that I love, not only about our relationship but also the travel agent achievers community is that we do all work together. 
 
There is enough business out there for everyone. It's one of the things that I love to talk about, but also hearing you talking about, putting a roof over your head and you got to have sales in order to have a business, let's be honest. 
 
But it is more for me about the heart and the why. Why are we doing this? Yes, we need to have a roof over our heads. It doesn't have to be icky.  Sales don't have to be something really hard to do. 
 
I just want everybody to feel as though it's okay to be you, Definitely, we are all unique. There is somebody out there for each of us.
 
Maree: Yeah. And the way that I look at sales is how do we keep a system of process around you that keeps you feeling comfortable, and brings out your true personality and skills and nature. Everyone thinks that I'm quite an extrovert, and I'm not, I'm quite introverted. 
 
Once I'm quiet, I'm loud, like, oh, be honest, I'm loud, to the point wherein one of my sales roles, they actually built like a little glass box around me because they didn't want to get rid of me because I was kicking some serious goals, but also disturbing the rest of the office because I was so loud at all.
 
So for me, it's like, how do we let people still be them, but give them that support and that system and process so that it doesn't feel uncomfortable. So that they know what they're doing and it doesn't just become this, “Oh, I need to make money in this”. You know, desperate plea for people to work with us.
 
Ros:  Yeah, absolutely. Desperation coming from that place, or even from the negative.  I was just having a conversation this morning with some advisors. Even coming from the negative side of things like I only had a small email list. I've only got a few amount of clients, I've only booked this sort of holiday before. I think a lot of it also comes back to that mindset of the scarcity. In a sales role, we can't come from a place of scarcity, right? Because there is enough business to go around for everyone.
 
Maree: Absolutely. I think a lot of it is also language, right? Like the language, we're using towards our clients and potential customers, and the language that we're talking to ourselves with. That's really, really important. There's a whole psychology around sales and all of that. So for me, it's like, how do we incorporate the two so that, yes, we're moving forward. But we've also got to deal with that mindset stuff, too, right? Like, I'm as guilty as the next person about, sometimes being a little bit hard on myself. 
 
But it's coming back to those foundations and those basics of like, cool, if I can get out of my own way and follow this, kind of system around it. How do I convert those people and find the people that I want to be working with? 
 
Ros: That's it.
 
Maree: You don’t need to be working with every single person that enquires. You just don't. Not everyone else.
 
Ros:  Yeah, I really want to talk about that today. I don't know whether you read it and I'm not even gonna assume. So I've been listening to Simon Sinek’s book about finding your why. 
 
Maree:Yes.
 
Ros: I've totally lost the blank, the blank of the name of the book, but it's a red cover and coming up with why.
 
Maree:I think it Start with Why.
 
Ros: Start with Why! That’s it. Yes. I've been listening to that to really remind myself, yes, why I do what I do as a Travel Advisor, and I do love it. I have the passion, but also just talking about that dream, and why we do something to bring other people into our world and our orbit, which I think also attracts them. 
 
So changing the mindset, but also starting with why, instead of starting with what we book and how we book it, but really coming back into the deeper stuff. Now I know that that's probably getting a bit too deep for this conversation.
 
 Maree: That’s okay. It’s so good. I think once we understand why we do, what we do and understand who are those people that understand our why, and kind of click with our why. I think that's what changes the game, and understanding who you want to be working with and why you want to be working with those people. Then you can find people that light you up. 
 
So when your phone rings, or when they send you an email, it's like, Yes, I'm totally happy to talk to Ros. I can't wait to book her holiday. I can't wait to hear about all the amazing stories that she's had while she was away, things like that. So yeah, absolutely understand why you do what you do, and understand who those clients will also fit in with your why.
 
Ros: Yeah, so let's start there then with understanding who is your ideal client. We do a lot of work around this inside our Travel Agent Business Foundation program, it's where we always start. Because that inevitably, then can be the beginning of the navigation. So the start of a whole business, and we work with a lot of advisors who do specialize in certain areas. So from a sales point of view, and as a sales strategist, why would you suggest people start there, like trying to identify their ideal client?
 
Maree: I think once you identify your ideal client, it's you can understand what they need from you, it makes a connection really easy. A way to understand how do I serve them the best, so that I'm lit up, they're lit up, the connection is beautiful. But it's also okay to say, You're not my client. 
 
Ros: Is it? 
 
Maree: Absolutely, it is. Absofreakinlutely. Yes, you are more than welcome. You have my permission, I will write you a little letter to anyone that needs it to say you don't have to work with everyone.


Ros : Okay. So in that, then, you know, we've identified our ideal client. We'll also link in the show notes, everyone, just so you know, we do have a full questionnaire. So a series of questions to help you identify your own ideal client, and who lights you up and who you'd like to work with. 
 
But on that then saying no to somebody. So let's say I receive a phone call from somebody who wants to book something that I wouldn't normally book. Immediately I'm like, I really don't want to have to do that. 
 
How can we say no, because in a time, like now, and even pre COVID, and all the rest of it. As an advisor, it's a privilege to be booking travels for somebody and creating memories and experiences for them, like that lights me up. But at the same time, I know that there are also clients that come to me that I just don't want to do that.
 
Maree: Yeah, so what I recommend to people is, that it's really important to also protect your energy, right? Yes. Especially as things open up with the pandemic, and people have realized that they can now escape. 
 
I think it's really important to understand who are those people that you want to work with? How do you kind of filter them out or filter them to understand who are the people that you're working. Yep, Take Me, I'm Yours type person or those people like, they kind of give you that you feel like hard work, and you're not going to be as fun to work with. 
 
So what I would suggest is in your sales process, now, I know today, we don't have a whole heap of time sure about sales process.
 
Ros: If this works out, Maree, you know, I asked really nicely, if you'd come back and do it.
 
 
Maree: I might come back. If we look at the sales process, I would have a piece of that puzzle that says, Cool, I'd love to have a chat with you, Sally, what's probably best is I'll send you through a quick link or a couple of quick questions to understand what it is it you're looking for. 
 
Then we'll organise a time to have a chat. Right. So you have kind of set your boundaries to say, I'm not going to be at your beck and call.
 
Ros: Right now. 
 
Maree: Yeah. But it also allows you the time to filter through people. So send them through the questions. Questions like what's your attribute looking for? Have you done any research before? Do you know where you want to go? Have you spoken to anyone else about this trip, because there'll be some people that are literally price shopping. 
 
Now, if they're your ideal client, the price shoppers and you're the sort of person that loves to beat process, great. Go hang out with them. That's all great. If you're not that sort of person, and you want to be known as an expert in your industry, which I know Ros and I were spoken a lot about that sort of stuff, right? 
 
Like we are the leaders in our industry, we are looking to be the best travel advisors out there, not just the price feeders or looking for the cheapest options.
 
Ros: Definitely not. 
 
Maree: So when you ask those questions, you'll get a really good understanding of the sort of people or what they're kind of looking for. From there you can make that decision to say, yes, I want to work with him or no, I don't. If I don't, that's okay. Let's go and find someone else or collaboration or someone else you can work with to say, Hey, Rebecca. I'm just throwing names out there. Hey, Rebecca. I couldn't necessarily help Sally. But you know, she might be right for you, here are her details, give her a call. You could even CC Sally into that email so that Sally knows that she's been looked after. 
 
Because what the other thing is, as a business, as a brand, and as a human. We don't want to just either fob people off or people to feel like they've been fobbed off or just plain ignore them. Because if  you ignore them, and that person doesn't have a great feeling about your business. Guess what? They go and talk to their auntie, their mom, their friends, their girlfriends, whoever that is, and say, Oh, don't go to her because she didn't even get back to me.  
 
Rather than cool, I'm not the right fit over here with Ros, but Rebecca can definitely help me over here. So Ros still has a good name and brand in our book. But she wasn't a good fit. And I'm really grateful that she told me that. Yeah. So you know, it's totally okay to say no, but make sure when you say no, that you're also still looking after them. We can’t.  Don't say no, by ignoring them is what I'm saying. 
 
Ros: Yeah. I cannot do it right now, come back. And they might come back in two months time and you still don't want to work with them.
 
Maree: Yeah, absolutely. Then you've just put a bandaid on it for now. Like, let's stop the bleeding and put them over to someone that can absolutely help them.
 
Ros: Yeah. In that, this is great for travel advisors, as well. One thing that I love is systems and organization and making sure that there are processes that are easily followed. So with that very first lot of communication that could easily be set up as an email template or a Google form or something that can initially go back to them and then be triggered back to you once their responses come in. 
 
If you wanted to organize phone calls, you could set up a Calendly link or Acuity or something there so that you can schedule times as well for people and you might have your own enquiry timeline that you do every day from 10 to 11 is when people can book in for a consult or something with you. So having those processes and systems that also becomes part of your sales process as well. Is that right?
 
Maree: Absolutely. I'm not about making things really hard or complicated. As I said, I'm a mom of two. So for anyone else that has kids out there, or he's just got 50 other billion bowls in the air, we really want things to be as easy as possible. So if you know what those steps are, and you can automate them, then it all works seamlessly. You know that when someone inquires, this is step one, this is step two, this is step three, automate what you can.
 
When I say automated in a really connected, relationship, nurturing way.
 
Ros: Yeah.
 
Maree: Don't be that, you know, like when you speak to like a Telstra on the phone, and they've automated their sales calls. But they're too automated, a little bit too robotic. They've just lost the humaneness in it. So add the human into the automation. 
 
Ros:  Okay. Absolutely.All right. So when somebody does come in, you know, and they're not the right fit for you. This is another point where it's really important to work with other Advisors or have the community right so for us is travel agent achievers, we've got several different communities. We've got our Achiever's Mastermind Membership group, we've also got our free group, The Achievers in Travel, which is a Facebook group. 
 
So I believe in all being able to collaborate together and overcompetition, like I don't want people to be coming from a place of scarcity, that there are not enough sales and there's not enough bookings. So they're clinging on to everything, even though it's not the right thing for them. So in that space there, where you're then saying to a client, that's not necessarily the right fit for you. How do you then know who to afford those bookings onto?
 
Maree: Yeah, great question. For me, I agree with you in the scarcity side of life, like it just doesn't need to be like that. It's like find people that have similar beliefs and values to you that are actually going to look after you, your potential clients too. Because, yes, there are plenty of leads to go around. If you are good at what you do, and you look after people and you come from that caring space, they'll come back to you. Right? 
 
But we also want to know that the people that we're passing people onto are going to look after them as well. Right. So I know, in your Travel Advisor achievers, they're probably all coming from a similar space, right? There's no scarcity, there's none of that. So they would be the sort of people and find those groups and networks that you can hang out in, where we're all lifting together.
 
Ros: That's definitely it. It's there. All tides rise, I get this wrong every single time.


Maree: Rising tide lifts all ships.
 
Ros: Everybody knows that I always get that wrong. But I know the analogy in my head, right? Because everybody gets it, we all rise together. So that's definitely where our Achievers come together. Everybody is different, like, nobody is doing the same thing. Or if there are people that are selling similar things, they all help one another as well. And that I think, is also really unique. And something that has come, you know, only come through over the last couple of years. 
 
Because pre-COVID, so a couple of years ago, it was in the travel industry, one thing that I found was nobody talked to each other. It was, oh my gosh, you know, so and so down the road, I don't want them to take my clients or steal my clients or I don't, I don't tell other people what's what I'm actually doing in my business, because they might go and do the same thing. There was very much in a competitive field. 
 
Whereas, when I started travel agency business, I don't want any of that, I don't want that in my life, it feels icky. From a sales point of view, as well. I want everybody to feel as though there is enough business to go around. I want everyone to encourage one another, share resources, share ideas, and I'm starting to see that more and more now over the last couple of years.
 
Definitely within a couple of Facebook groups, but also within our Achiever’s  community, everybody is there to help one another. And that is where I see that there'll be communities like that, that everybody rises together. Absolutely, because they help one another and they're supportive. Even from a sales point of view to say, if I don't do something, I'm more than happy to pass it on to somebody as part of that group.
 
Maree: Yeah. And I think the other thing is, like when it comes to travel, there's going to be like one client can be after many different holiday experiences. If you're clear on what you specialize in, and what you enjoy booking, hang out in that space, because they may be after a ski-holiday this time. But maybe you love booking European trips or something along those lines. 
 
So how do we  share that client and stay in your specialty and your expertise where you're lit up. Like there doesn't need to be that competition. It's just not necessary. 
 
Ros: I absolutely agree. 
 
Maree: You give your power away as well. 
 
Ros: Give your power away. What do you mean by that?
 
Maree: Well, you know, if you feel like if you come from that competitive space, you're constantly on that chasing scarcity type holding on to everything. It's like how about you just stand in your power and go I'm really good at what I do. I know what I'm good at. This is what I do. Come and see me if this is what you're after. If you're not after that's okay, let's find someone else that stands in their power in a different space. 
 
Ros:Yeah.I l do ove that which comes back to you know, understanding what your unique selling points are so as a Travel Advisor.
 
Maree: So when it comes to unique selling points a lot of people think that it's this you know, freight for example, like I think flights that one of the what they think their unique selling points would be is if a price match or price beat.
 
Ros: Lowest airfares guaranteed.
 
Maree: Right. Okay, there you go. There's their marketing coming in. Beautiful. So that would be one of the unique selling points. But it's competing just on price.Right. So everyone that goes into Flight Center is not well, I shouldn't say everyone that's a big assumption, But they putting out there that they're known for the lowest airfares, right. 
 
What do you want to be known for? What are you good at? What makes you unique? What makes you stand out? What lights you up from a specialty point of view? What's your experiences? Where have you been from both a travel and a life and an experience side of of it as well. 
 
So there can be two sides of unique selling points. They can be the business side. So what do you want your business and your brand to be known for? Then what do you as an individual I want to be known for to. Because a lot of the time what happens is people merge themselves and their business into one. 
 
Ros: Yeah. Okay. 
 
Maree: You and your business are separate identities.
 
Ros: Okay, can we  we just talk about that for a little bit there? Yeah. Because I definitely see that amongst travel advisors we embody everything to do with travel and be consumed our whole life.
 
Maree: Yeah. To the point it can be like a detriment to your health and your lifestyle, right.
 
Ros: Yeah, absolutely. Often, I mean, even for myself, one of the last things that I want to do is when a friend says to me, Hey, let's go away together, and then they expect me to book it all. I'm like, I really don't want to.
 
Maree: If you don't want to don't do it.
 
Ros: I just wanna have fun myself.
 
 Maree: Yeah, absolutely. 
 
Ros: Why do you think we do that? We merge it all together. So even looking at our unique selling points, or who we are as people to take care of clients' travel? Why do you think that we mesh it all together? Do you think it's a small business mentality?
 
Maree: It can be a small business mentality. However, as I said, I've worked with large corporates, and the large corporates, high up people are the same.
 
Ros: They live it breathe it. 
 
Maree: Yeah, it comes which isn't always a bad thing. However, it also can be a challenge from being able to step out in the business, being able to take the time out, book the holiday, or be looked after by someone else, if that makes sense. 
 
So what I tend to look at so I've, I've developed a sales implementation program that looks at setting up your business as a business, business strategies, sales strategy, sales processes. 
So it's not just a branding course about how to brand yourself. It's your business is your entity. Don't just go and create a job for yourself. You're not a job. Like it's not a job. It's a business. 
 
Ros: That's right. Yes.
 
Maree: You have jobs within that business. Yes, it's a completely separate box that you can step out from you can step into. And so it's really important to understand how you differentiate, right? I can never say that word properly. 
 
But yeah, how do you have it separately from who you are, so that you can still be the best version of you, you can still have the lifestyle that you want to have, be the mom when it's Mom time, and not be always constantly on? I think that that makes you a bit of business owner at a bit.
 
Ros: Yeah, I think I certainly found that , when I've decided, so I've run myself into the ground. I have a photo of myself being wheeled into an emergency room still on my laptop and working because I was so worried about my clients, like everything about me was my business. And it was at that moment, and my mom showed me that photo after I came out of surgery that she said, Ros, this cannot continue. 
 
I made that decision right then and there that I needed those systems in place. I needed to have the structure and treat my business as a business and step out of it from time to time. That was when I decided I needed help. I needed help to do the things I couldn't do. Well, or I needed somebody to take over some of the tasks so that I could focus on the higher-level tasks, I could actually be the business owner, not always the business doer.


Maree: Yes, and that's so important when it comes to business stuff, right? I know that you've got your event coming up, called Soar getting to. What did we call it?
 
 Ros: Get Set to Soar.
 
Maree: All I remember was Soar and how like, I loved the Soar side of it. So it's about taking that time to be able to work on your business, not always in it. And so I think it's really important to understand what support, what structure, what systems, what processes, so that if you needed to step out for a day, you could easily slot someone into that business that knows exactly what they need to do step by step. 
 
It's documented, it's repeatable, it's trackable. They know exactly what that business is about from a values from a feeling from a strategy point of view. For every product or service that they sell. There's a strategy behind it. There's a sales process that then flows into that sales strategy. And so it's making sure that you're not keeping all your knowledge in your brain and that you are completely just your walking business. 
 
Ros: Yeah. So do your has the sales strategies and working with businesses as well. And looking at at it from an outsider's perspective.
 
Maree: Yeah.
 
Ros: In working with small business owners or solopreneurs, it's very difficult. And I see that with travel advisors. Most of the advisors that we work with are either a solopreneur. So they, they're in their business. They're the marketing, they're the sales. They’re the admin, they're the finance, they're the booking person. They're doing all the doing stuff through to, you know, franchise owners, or people who have some sort of employees. 
 
But when working with the small business operators, one of the hardest things that I see, and please share, what you see as well is for that business owner to actually step out of that and release the control in a way to say somebody else can do this, without me having to be in there. But it's also looking at the systems, you know, systems aren't sexy.
 
Maree: Systems can be sexy.
 
Ros: Really?
 
Maree: Yeah. I used to think the same thing, right?
 
Ros: Having a system in place of working fine. Absolutely. I recognize rocks duster, but it's the getting a system in place, or putting that getting the business owners mindset into a place that it's okay to get it out of your head. Somebody else can actually do this job, that doesn't feel sexy. It's feels like it's hard work. You've got to get in the mud to do it. It takes time. 
 
But once you come through that stage, it can absolutely soar for you. And that's definitely what we want to come across in our upcoming day together is that sales is fun. Sales can be sexy, sales systems can work for you. It doesn't have to be the hard slog, but it is important and imperative for business owners to be able to spend some time and I'm not saying all the time, just some time working on the business instead of always in it and being a doer. Do you agree that?
 
Maree: Absolutely. I know a lot of people from the numerous amounts of business owners that I've worked with. They didn't start a business to be working 50 billion hours a week for less money than they've ever probably earned in their life. Right? So when I say systems can be sexy, they can be sexy when you can go on holidays and be sitting by the pool and still be making money, or knowing that your clients are looked after. Or knowing that everything's handled, and you're not stressing and being on your phone 24/7. Right?
 
I feel like that when it comes to sales as well, like a lot of time, a lot of the time people like eww, sales,  gross or I'm not a salesperson. Let's be honest. If you're running a business, you're a salesperson.
 
Ros: Yeah, that's true. You are. You have to be.
 
Maree: Yeah, like, you don't have to be the sleazy, slimy salesperson that is just after ripping people off. It's a mindset. It's a way of doing it. It's about learning the skills and systems and strategies. So that's not what you have to resort to, you can still be you. You can show up and use your unique selling points to say, This is why you should come work with me. I'm not the only person out there. I know, Maree Kirkpatrick is not the only sales person out there. Right? I'm very clear on it. 
 
There's no doubt in my mind, right. But what I do know is I'm really good at what I do. I care about my clients. And I do things differently. And that's why my clients come to me, and they come back to me over and over and over again. They think that they come to me yet, let's get your sales systems and processes sorted, trained me on how to sell. 
 
But then what happens is their business grows, because hey, surprise, surprise, we've sorted out your sales. So you've got more coming in. And then it's like, well, what happens now? How do I scale it? How do I track it? How do I make sure that everything is growing and keep moving? How do I bring people into my business so that it's not just reliant on me? So yeah, I think that's really sexy. Right? Then you've actually got a business not just a job that you're working 80 billion hours in?




Ros: Absolutely. I hear. I love that. I love it. All right. So we need to as travel advisors, let's pull this all together here. It's determining who you want to work with. Okay, first of all, decide who you want to work with. Know what's right for you go with your gut feel understand your why, who you are, what clients are gonna fit into your world and into your life then but what lights you up at the end.
 
Maree: I also say like find clients that you would go and have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine with for dinner. Like find those people that you want to be friends with. You know that way. You get those emails or those phone calls are like, Yeah, cool. I want to help this person out because they call. They're my people, you know. So yeah, be really clear on who they are.
 I think once you're really clear on who those people are, give yourself permission to say no, you're not my people. That's okay and find a way to move them into what they're needing. But from a really connected space, so that they're feeling looked after, even though you're not the one looking after them. 
 
So find people in your community that can help them. Collaborate with people that have similar values and beliefs and understandings when it comes to business and customer service, I think it's really important as well. Then once you're really clear on who those people are, put some sales processes and systems and strategies around you. So that you don't have to be pulled in 500 different directions, all at once, and you're exhausted, and you're overwhelmed, and all of that. You want business to be easy. You want work to feel good. You want that joy and excitement back into it. Yeah, and then know who you are, why people would work with you. Why your business is weak? 
 
Ros: Find the community.
 
Maree: Absolutely 
 
Ros:Find the community are there to support you and encourage you, but also that you can help and support and encourage as well and share the love, share the knowledge, share their business. If it's client, that's not your ideal client, that there are people out there that we'll be able to take great care of them with the same values and understanding and heart that you have. 
 
Maree: Yes, well, beautiful.Definitely.
 
Ros: Awesome. So we've got our amazing day coming up, get set to soar. I am so excited for me that you are going to be joining us talking about sales, strategies and processes. On the day, we're also we will be talking numbers. 
 
So for everybody that's coming or if you haven't booked in yet, we will be talking sales stats, we will be talking targets, we will be talking about understanding and knowing your numbers. So that is throughout the day, if you go travelagentachievers.com/soar, not the other way around. You can grab all of the information and join us in real life or virtually as well. So Maree, what are you looking forward to on that day?
 
Maree: Oh my gosh, I'm so excited to be able to help the people that are coming along to get their sales systems and strategies set up. So that it's easy, it flows, they know what they need to do. They can track where people are coming from, and not just like people and leads, like the amazing clients.
 
When I first started in business, I remember having like one of my favorite clients. And I was like man, if I could just have another 100 of her, I don't need 10,000 leads. I just need 100 of her. So maybe I need to talk to 110 people, because my sales process is sorted out. I know how to convert them. I know exactly what it is that I can do to help them, you know, book, the holiday of their dreams type thing. So it's like, I just want more of them. 
 
So if you have a whole heap of leads coming in, and you're feeling overwhelmed, come along to the day. And what we'll do is we'll put together your process so that you will know exactly who it is that you want to work with and how we move them through your business.
 
But also be able to track where they're coming from because of the process we're put in. And then how do we find more of them? So that our energy that we're putting into lead generation and marketing is in the right space, and it lights us up, and it's fun, and it's enjoyable. We can step back from the business knowing that the right people are coming to us, and we're serving them and looking after them. And you know, maybe their repeat business, maybe they're referrals that they're, throwing our way and things like that. 
 
But how do we create that system so that it's not overwhelm? It's not stress. It's not hard. It's like yeah, cool, can't wait to dig in let's, you know, book trips of a lifetime or whatever it is for them. You know.
 
Ros I love it. So I'm so excited about our day together coming up in June, it will be not only an opportunity for travel advisors to come and spend some time with you. Get some insight into their own business, and get the direct support and help from you. We've got some other incredible mentors coming as well. But it's also an opportunity as we were saying throughout this episode to actually work on your business. Yeah. Or that one day. Now we've done it so that it is a Tuesday because we know that Mondays when you get a lot of enquiries. 
 
Now you're able to get a whole lot of things out of the way. Tuesday is the day to focus and work on your business. So we're going to be doing it on the Tuesday, the 21st of June in Sydney. Maree is going to be joining us and we are going to get sales as a focus for you. 
But get yourself organized, and plan out the rest of your year. And really just take action on becoming more streamlined, get some systems in place, and understand, you know, sales can be sexy and fun.


Maree: So sexy. I think it's also being on a Tuesday, it means that when you go into work on Wednesday, you've got that plan, you've got the strategy, you're really clear on what needs to happen. As you said, I will be there on the day, I'm more than happy for people to come and pick my brain, ask me questions. 
 
Throw me the questions that have been challenging you, or you know, things that you feel like are blocking you when it comes to your business and dealing with enquiries and leads and sales. I'm an open book like I could talk about this stuff for hours and hours and hours on end. You know, like, I laugh at the teachers that say to me, that, you know, when I was at school said, Oh, Maree, if you only stuff that you do really well in life, if you just stop talking. Well, look at me now. I'm more than happy to talk about this stuff, till the cows come home. So, bring all your questions, bring your challenges. Let's sort out your sales and your enquiries.
 
Ros: The language around it, that's one thing that we are definitely going to be talking about as well as the language because that is really important. You and I Maree, have had the conversation around the would be.
 
Maree: Yes.
 
Ros: We're going to dive a little bit deeper into that it's not time for now. I'd love to have you come back onto the podcast and we talk about that and other things. 
 
Thank you so much for your time today. Really appreciate it. Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks time, my friend and continuing to get some sales, you know, but working with the right clients, not just every client moving forward.
 
Maree: Thank you so much for having me Ros, it has been brilliant.
 
Ros: So for anybody who wants to learn more about Maree, you can find her on all the social media channels but also go to her website, mareekirkpatrick.com. And also for all the show notes, the links to all of the resources that we have, the book so Simon Sinek Start with Why, your ideal client questionnaires and also for the information about our upcoming day you can go to travelagentachievers.com/soar, or you can go to the podcast episode with all the show notes for this session. Thanks so much. Have an awesome rest of the week. We look forward to talking with you all very very soon. 
 
One final thing before we go we also have an incredible free resources from Maree which is our 11 tips to higher conversion rates that will also be found in the show notes. So make sure you jump onto the website travelagentachievers.com/podcast and you will grab everything there from Maree. Thank you so much. Have an awesome day.

 

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