Five Tips to Make 2016 Your Best Year Ever

By Mike Marchev, CTC

This is the time of year when many travel professionals begin to turn their focus and attention toward another clean slate… another New Year.

I am often asked what advice to give travel agents as they turn the corner and look down the barrel of another twelve months.

I’m afraid if you are looking for some new magic pill you have come to the wrong column. I continue to preach the basics when it comes to growing a business and I have no intention of changing my approach today, or any other day.

Two times two was always four and it will continue to be four. Business basics have always worked and they will continue to work.

With this in mind, here are my five pieces of advice designed to help you to grow your business in 2016.

  1. Adopt my 12-WORD MARKETING PLAN as your own. You must break from your current comfort zone. Stretch. Try new things. Get up from your computer. Get out of your office, and become interested in the people you come in contact with.
  2. Accept that “Visibility” may be your biggest challenge. You can’t possibly expect people to choose you as their travel advisor if they don’t even know you exist. In the first three months of 2016 make it your business to introduce your services to more of the “right” people in your marketplace.
  3. Reintroduce yourself to former clients. There is a gold mine in your old file cabinet and in your email inbox. Schedule time to uncover past accounts and make it your business to contact them in an effort to update your interest in renewing the relationship. The chances are very good that the only reason you drifted in the first place was due to a lack of attention on your part. This is easily fixed.
  4. Work diligently on your listening skills. As proficient as you think you may be at this skill, chances are that you are terribly wrong. Most people simply wait their turn to talk. As painful as this may sound, “Nobody cares about you.” They only care about themselves. So if you want to make points with your prospects and clients, make it all about them. Ask them questions and listen intently to their reply. If you want to be considered more interesting, become more interested.
  5. Understand that it is your mind that will quit first. This is a lesson I learned long ago while training for the grueling Ironman Competition. When you think you are tired and you can’t do another thing, think again. You are wrong. Your mind will tell you when to stop long before it is time to stop. Building a business is a long and arduous task. You need to keep on keeping on long after your mind tells you that enough is enough.

2016 promises to be a great year for all of us. But it won’t result from a wish and a prayer. Introduce these five tips into your weekly plan starting in January and I will be seeing you in the winner’s circle come 2017.

Read Mike’s bio.