“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.
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 www.DanChappelle.com.
© 2020 Dan Chappelle
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