3 Key Words that Defined the 2015 TMTC Summit
Written by: Amanda Bailey on October 29, 2015
At this week’s TMTC Summit in Cancun, Funjet Vacations’ President Mike Going encouraged travel agents to think about The Bigger Future. He asked the audience: do you only want immediate rewards, or are you making decisions that will bring you long-term growth?
It was an invigorating, enlightening few days, and KHM Travel was fortunate to have more than 80 agents attend. For those that weren’t able to attend, I’d like to share the three keywords that defined the Summit, at least from this newbie’s perspective! Each one points to a way that travel agents can get themselves on the road to The Bigger Future.
Erik Wahl, graffiti artist and author, brought his artistic energy to the Moon Palace ballroom during the keynote speaker session on Sunday. He encouraged the audience to change their mindset about creativity and creative thinking. Creativity is not something to fear, and it’s not a trait that we are born with or without. It’s a skill — just like customer service or public speaking — that we can all gain access to if we practice it on a regular basis.
To tie into Wahl’s message, we were prompted to engage our creative side throughout the Summit. This included wellness activities, social media contests, and even a giant, 3-D graffiti project that attendees were asked to contribute to!
The final speaker of the last general session, CEO of The Mark Travel Corporation Bill La Macchia Jr., asked us to consider ourselves back at the Summit, one year from now. He had the audience take a moment to write down one or two things that they’d like to achieve by then. It was a simple request, but for me, it was a surprisingly difficult question to answer in the moment.
Hopefully, you have a vision for your travel business. Maybe it’s doubling the number of clients you have, or reaching the Pinnacle Elite level. If you attended the Summit, maybe the training sessions sparked something new that you’d like to achieve. If you don’t yet, take some time to consider what your vision for your business is, and write it down. It will help you define your goals, determine what is and isn’t important to your business, and even guide your daily routine!
The second keynote speaker, comedian and psychology expert Connie Podesta, had the ballroom rolling with laughter with her honesty and wit.
But she was completely sincere in her goal to help agents gain more clients, and her argument was rooted in one fact. The number one reason why you, as a travel agent, fail to make a sale is not because your client was misinformed, or your travel supplier screwed up. The reason you don’t close a sale is because of you!
Connie explained that salespeople are usually successful when selling to people with similar personalities. However, they often don’t realize they are limiting themselves by forcing their potential customers to do business the way they want to do business.
What better way to show appreciation for your clients than by simply asking them: would you like to meet at my office, or over coffee at Starbucks? Would you prefer I call you discuss your options, or lay them out in an email? Something as simple as asking how they’d like their travel-planning process to go builds trust and demonstrates that you are thankful to have the opportunity at a client’s business.
The final moments of Tuesday’s keynote were filled with gratitude as well, as Bill La Macchia Jr. called The Mark Travel team on stage to thank them for their hard work in putting this year’s Summit together.
On behalf of KHM Travel Group and our agents, I’d like to do the same! Based on my own experience, and on the feedback we’ve received from the KHM Travel agents who attended, it was a valuable and unforgettable few days.
Stayed tuned for more on KHM Travel Group’s Summit experience. Check out our recap and more photos from the event on Travel Agent Meeting’s Past Event page.