Dealing With Budget & Fear

Dear Travel Agents/Advisors, 

How many of your clients can travel often? How many clients have been referred to you?

These are rhetorical questions, I am not trying to do a survey, but just want you to reflect on these questions.

A travel agent’s world would be a perfect place if all of their clients would travel a few times a year, and if they all referred their friends and families, and their friends and families would take their recommendation and become perfect clients, and so on….

Unfortunately, not every client can travel that often because of that important word – “budget.”  Others don’t want to  travel to certain destinations or even cancel their plans because of another word – “fear.” (Of hurricanes, terrorism, earthquakes, security, epidemics, etc.)

Let’s focus on BUDGET. This is a very personal and delicate subject that needs to be discussed with each of our clients. Some wise posts on social media can put a great spin on this conversation, and make great points about the benefits of travel. I do this quite often in my posts, by using comparisons, for example:  

1) Travel is cheaper than Botox, it doesn’t hurt, and it lasts longer! 

2) An experienced travel agent may be able to help you better than a therapist can. Tell them your problems and she/he will send you to a paradise destination.

3) Cigarette smokers who quit a pack a day habit can pay for travel once a year

4) Coffee drinkers who limit going to a coffee shop only once a week can definitely save for a nice trip. 

5) Bringing lunch from home instead of eating out everyday is another great example for savings 

6) Traveling once a year keeps the doctor away. (Being more relaxed and less stressed can help reduce the effects of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.)

By giving your clients food for thought, you can help them prioritize things in their lives, and provide an incentive to budget more for travel. You are just stating the truth, and showing them reasons that living a full and enjoyable life has an impact on that other word: FEAR.

We should live every day to the fullest, enjoy every picture, every place and every memory. Life in this world happens only once, so we need to make the most of it.


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I Wish You More Business and More Clients

Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

Have you ever wished that you started your business years ago? Or wished for more friends? More followers? More money…… How easy it is to visit the land of “How I Wish!”

People do this all the time, and it causes such frustration and anxiety. These thoughts can come at any time – even to people who seem to have it all – because no one really has everything they want!

I love reading posts from travel agents celebrating their first booking. I still remember mine and all the emotions I felt. My feeling of accomplishment was huge, as though I couldn’t fit it all inside myself!  I remember how I felt on my first trip to Europe… my first time on an airplane… my first cruise… (I brought so many medications because I was sure I was going to be seasick!)

I love the feeling of arriving in a new country and being amazed by a different culture, colors, smell, etc. I also love the posts of people thanking God for another day, and celebrating the opportunity to start again.

What happens to the memory of those wonderful feelings when people spend their time thinking, “How I wish I had …..?” How can we guide our thoughts to think more about our blessings instead of “How I Wish?” Can you imagine that others wish to be just like us?

Life isn’t always fair.  I am writing this not only to remind you of this, but also to remind myself to be less critical, to treat myself and others more kindly, and for us all to be our own real best friends. Life is too short, especially when we spend our time frowning and wishing we had, or we were, or we did.

To all the beauty in the world that only those who really love themselves can see and celebrate, raise your head high and smile. You deserve beauty and happiness!

 Cheers to you! 

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Building a Stronger Business

Dear Travel Agent,

I have often been approached with questions about how to deal with clients who are “know it alls.” Even as tour operator, I had travel agents who seemed to want to teach me how to run my own company, or tell me how I should create my tour packages. Was that annoying? You bet!

I am a true believer in taking a deep breath and trying to understand, which is not always easy. But in a world where we are so tired of hatred, how can I call myself a “lover” when the first thing I want to do is to kick that kind of prospective client in the behind, and tell her/him to go shop somewhere else.

I believe in building bridges. If any prospective client comes to me, it was for a reason. With a smile on my face and kindness in my heart, I will let that person hear my voice over the phone asking the question: “What can I help you with?”

Not everyone is bad, not everyone is racist (I am Hispanic and speak with a Brazilian accent). However, so many people have personal issues or fears. Many times all people need are some caring words and validation. Once you break down the barriers and build a bridge, you will find a reliable client. They will trust you, come back, and recommend you to friends and family.

Some of you reading my blog might call me a dreamer or even delusional, LOL! Those who really know me, know that I built a successful business and spend my life making friends, instead of trying to prove who is more “macho!”

As I always say, life is short and travel is a blessing. Just have fun and build as many bridges as you can – you never know where they will take you!

With love,

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