Don’t Be a Victim of Circumstance!

Uncategorized Feb 28, 2020

 “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs…” Rudyard Kipling


This first verse from Kipling’s poem “If” is indicative of the role you must, we must embrace to help curb the panic that many travelers are facing.

 You can cite the facts as we know them from the CDC, Johns Hopkins, WHO, and many other health organizations who are more knowledgeable than the news media all day long - but no one will hear you.

As humans, our learned instinct is to focus on the negative and let fear dictate our outcomes.  Right now, your clients are not thinking rationally, they are acting out of emotion.  They are focused on the 99% of “what ifs” that most likely will never happen.

Personally, we have a big family European cruise vacation scheduled for early June sailing from Venice with several ports stops in Italy and Greece.  Barring a complete travel ban to these areas, we have every intention of making the trip.

 Why?  I have been in this business for 30 years and have seen it through world-wide financial, medical, and terrorist crises.  I have no idea how long this will last, but in my experience, most events only last a few months as vaccines are developed, banks and businesses recover, and terrorists are dealt with.  The industry has not only survived these crises but continued to thrive beyond anyone’s expectations.

As a professional business advisor, my advice is to be proactive and protect your clients.  

  • Keep your head - Others are panicking, including your peers - don’t add fuel to the fire. People are frightened by the media.  They have seen the Diamond Princess referred to as a “petri dish.” The reality is the ship was quarantined helped to contain the virus and keep it from spreading more rapidly. 
  • Keep your head - Now more than ever you will need to practice the prospecting and selling skills I have been teaching you for the past 5 years. As we learned after 9/11 and the financial crisis of 2008, there is a price point that overcomes fear, but you still must close the deal.  Those who can draw on superior selling skills will thrive. 
  • Keep your head -Don’t let them cancel their trips prematurely. If your clients are under deposit and outside a penalty window, advise them to wait.  Look, they have nothing to lose.  This will eventually pass, and a knee-jerk reaction could cause them to regret their decision. 
  • Keep your head - Go on the offensive. The greatest fortunes are made in down markets.  Don’t sit on the sidelines and wait for it to pass (and it probably will quicker than you expect). Ramp up your marketing, reach out to your clients for referrals.  The industry has not come to a halt, it has not shut down.  Unlike hotels and resorts- cruise ships, cars, and airplanes are mobile.  As we speak, they are being repositioned all over the world.  This is a huge opportunity to grow your business. 
  • Keep your head - Don’t be a victim. Many will let this circumstance define their outcomes.  Trust me, no one will feel sorry for you. The old cliché “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me” applies here.  Take charge of your business and manage existing clients, they are looking to you for guidance.  If you haven’t heard from them yet, be proactive and give them a call – they will thank you! 

Lastly, please be patient and respectful of the reservation agents, supervisors, BDMs, and any supplier you deal with. I have seen this firsthand.  These folks are the unsung heroes who are doing just doing their jobs to help you and your guests.  Most have been working double, even triple shifts the past few weeks, so please be respectful when dealing with them. 

Dan Chappelle is the leading authority on sales performance in the travel and tourism industry.   His best-selling book “Get Your S.H.I.P. Together – The Wealthy Travel Agent Guide to Sales” is available on Amazon and Audible.  To learn more about his High-Performance Sales System and onsite training programs.  visit

© 2020 Dan Chappelle

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