Do you have to say "Yes" to everyone?
School is back in session which means PTO, Girl/Boy Scouts, fundraising, sports, and holiday activities. Every day my kids come home with a mound of paperwork, mostly their writing and drawings for the day, but also constant requests for help. I used to volunteer for everything, thinking I was helping and it was fun to meet the other parents. What I have learned is that I am meeting the same parents who also continually volunteer, and I am not sure if I am really helping out. Yes, I have become close friends with some of the parents, but what would happen if I just say "No." If I put all my efforts into helping out certain activities where I can truly make a difference and politely saying no when I can't.
Did you know the same holds true for your travel business? When I started in the travel industry many years ago I was excited to get any inquiries, even inquires on places I had never been to before. I would spend so much time and effort doing research only to lose the client to the internet. Who was I really helping out, myself?
One day I read an article about saying no, and marketing to only those who you want to do business with. Well, this isn't easy when you are starting out and you want to make money, but eventually, it clicked with me. I can't sell every destination in the world, I will drive myself crazy doing all the research. Also, am I really helping someone have an amazing vacation if I don't know the area?
I decided to write down all the countries and destinations I had been to, which took some time as we had traveled to 18 countries in 4 years with multiple stops in each country, plus my 32 years of US, Caribbean, Canada, and Mexico travel. What I realized in writing down my list, was that these were the places that I would BEST be able to help clients in planning their vacation. As my husband likes to say "I had been there, done that."
With my list made, I had marketed myself as the customized European Vacation travel agent and my second booking ever was a customized tour to Italy. When I started to tell people what I book, they started to tell friends, family, co-workers, etc about my services. Next thing I am getting referrals for customized European vacations for vacations all over Europe. Remember, I had other destinations on my list so if a client called about something outside of Europe and it was on my list, I helped planned their vacation. It was on my list, so I was fine planning with it.
On the other hand, when repeat clients would call for a vacation that was not on my list, i.e. Africa, I would politely tell them no but put them in the good hands of some travel agent friends who book African safaris.
I learned to say no. I learned that when you are truthful and authentic with clients they don't get upset with you. They appreciate that I have told them the truth but was also able to refer them to someone I trust to book them an amazing vacation. My mindset for saying no has changed my whole business, and I feel confident now that I am truly helping people take the amazing vacations they want to take.
Until next time, keep being SUCCESSFUL!
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