Can I let you in on a little secret? Your business skills are going to get you a whole lot further than any product knowledge you might possess.
Something I learned very early in my business was the idea that it would be more important for me to see myself as an entrepreneur, and work hard at developing a solid business and brand than it would be for me to hang my hat on my in depth knowledge of a destination, certain way of travel, or all the ins and outs of booking various kinds of vacations.
I’m not saying product knowledge isn’t important. It is. It’s just not going to be the only thing that makes you successful as a Travel Advisor in this day and age.
In my first couple years of business I did not have the best product knowledge. Sure, I had personally traveled to a lot of countries around the world, but it wasn’t even leisure travel-- and it definitely wasn’t luxury! I would talk about luxury travel with confidence when my personal knowledge of anything luxury was severely lacking, and basically fake the funk when it came to the nuts and bolts of being a Travel Advisor.
But guess what? Clients were still hiring me and trusting me to plan and create their dream trips. They paid me a planning fee because they trusted in the experience I would deliver for them, and because of how I positioned my business to be the answer to their problem.
I was in the business of creating experiences for my clients and relieving a pain point in their lives. I could get help choosing the best overwater bungalow experience for them in Bora Bora, but I first needed them to know, like, and trust me -- and not just see me as a mini Expedia alternative.
I see far too many Advisors spend their time, money, and resources on the nuts and bolts. They watch product webinar after product webinar, they go to conferences and meetings where they will be introduced to this supplier and that one, and they believe that their inexperience or lack of product knowledge is the problem.
You need to be in the business of client attraction. What you need to learn more than the various room categories at each Sandals resort in the Caribbean is how to speak to the type of travelers you want to attract and build a solid business that creates an amazing experience for them so they can’t stop raving about you.
There will never be a time and point in our business where we stop learning the nuts and bolts. One, because it’s an evolving and changing landscape, and two because we are professionals trying to be the best experts we can be. As we continue to grow our business, our knowledge will inevitably grow.
I’m pretty sure you are wanting one of two things -- you want more clients, or you want a different echelon of clients. The best use of your time and energy is learning how to build a strong foundation for your business and doing the hard work to attract the right clients who can’t wait to work with you.
An easy way to put this into action is by using social media effectively — If you are interested in learning more about how I can help you do that in the near future, pop in your email to be notified HERE!