By Emily Peters
At dinner the other night with colleagues, we discussed why some people are more successful than others. We explored many theories, but they all possessed a common thread: confidence.
Fake-it-til-you-make-it can seem like a dangerous course of action for some, especially if you’re new to the travel industry. Yet there’s something to be said about confidence’s ability to create opportunities rather than fabricate them. So whether you’re brand new or a seasoned vet looking for an edge, the secret to immediately becoming a better independent travel professional starts with confidence.
Confidence, like acting, is an artform.
Confidence is the belief that acknowledges—and acts upon—your ability to master new skills and challenges. Some people are born with a natural talent for confidence. But just like any other skill, practice can bring it to fruition for those less gifted.
So how can you practice confidence? By identifying your chances to project confidence instead of backing down.
Take a typical qualifying conversation with a travel client, for instance. They’ve come to you to sift through complex logistics, eliminate poor choices, and recommend customized options. When the time comes to offer those options, do you make passive suggestions or do you firmly recommend what’s best?
Customers respond to confidence. It simplifies decision-making for them. If you’re intimidated by pushy or mercurial clients, view each conversation as a chance to practice the confident delivery of your recommendations. Over time, your confidence will build as client pushback falls and your close rate rises.
Let your language be your guide.
Confidence is also impacted by our internal and external dialogue. As you attract more clients, it can be tempting to stay in your comfort zone by telling yourself that more experienced travel professionals deserve the opportunity. Yet that kind of talk fundamentally undermines the whole reason you became self-employed.
Instead of doubting your capacity to grow, tell yourself these new opportunities are the fruit of your hard work. The language you use with your clients can boost your confidence, too. Eliminate filler words such as “well,” “um,” and “uh” from your vocabulary. Use shorter, conclusive statements punctuated with phrases like “based on my years of experience” and “this is my professional recommendation.” Why? Because you ARE a travel professional. Trust your training. Trust your instincts.
Get by with a little help from your host agency.
For any independent travel professional, there is one surefire self-confidence shortcut: your host agency. While some take years to build confidence as agents, hosts provide the infrastructure to allow their agents to skip over much of the preliminary doubt and difficulty. Gwiin Correa of Memorable Moments travel commented on this confidence phenomenon when she first joined MTravel.
“I had a mission to learn and increase my confidence by becoming more intimate with my product,” said Correa. “I took advantage of every opportunity that Montrose provided. It was an awesome journey that I continue to enjoy! The more I learned, the more confident and successful I became.”
Confidence begins today—with you.
Having the support of a host agency like MTravel behind your business can be a huge confidence-builder. But remember: confidence doesn’t wait for affirmation from others. That inner spark that inspired you to start your own travel business is the same that will affirm your competence as a travel professional.
So project a little more confidence with your next traveler and see where it leads. You’ll be a better independent travel professional in no time.
Are you ready to start your independent travel business with MTravel? We are here to help! Contact us here or call us at 800-870-5799. Be sure to check out our website at www.MTravel.com and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.