Following is the latest in a series of guest columns on sales
Hooray for Hollywood!
You may have read that the voice over artist who did the majority of movie trailers passed away recently. So in tribute to Mr. LaFontaine let’s start with what could be the trailer of your dreams (please read out loud in a deep voice with strong inflection).
“In a world where travel agents are still called dinosaurs, the lure of the internet is intoxicating, the economy depressing and ‘staycations’ has become a dreaded accepted part of our vocabulary; one travel agent stands alone. With a clear purpose, a strong message and palpable passion, throngs of time and service-starved sojourners are clamoring for the unique and personalized attention of this ultimate travel agent. While exceeding expectations, earning exceptional income and with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, this agent has shattered the boundaries of the travel agent stereotypes to become . . . The Dream Designer!”
The key to every movie trailer is that you want to see the movie after the short teaser. So after reading the travel agent trailer above about the ultimate travel agent, do you want it to be the trailer of your life?
It can be and should be! The words “Based on a True Story” will fly up on the screen followed by your name (before the title, no less).
Does this sound too 'Hollywood?' It shouldn’t.
Our ‘worst enemies’ ?—that would be us
In an earlier article I talked about starting with the end in mind and this description is not only a great vision of your future, it is not fantasy.
In so many ways we are our own worst enemies. If you do not think that the above description is achievable then it isn’t. As Og Mandino said, “If the mind can believe it, you can achieve it.”
We wonder why younger people are not coming into our industry. I think maybe it is because we have released the following movie trailer far too often (once again read out loud in a deep voice with strong emotion.)
“In a world of opportunity, adventure and excitement; overworked, stressed and threatened travel agents huddle together in misery in an attempt to survive. While the internet steals business, consumers are forever shopping and never buying and the lowest price is all that matters, these agents cry out to an uncaring and unsympathetic world. As these travel agents wallow in their sorrows they bemoan the lack of new entries into their profession and sadly see no link from their lamentations to the lack of those clamoring to call themselves – a Travel Agent.”
This trailer can also have “based on a true story” pop up on the screen followed by your name. It is your choice how you want your full-length feature to turn out.
Are you a ‘Dream Designer’
The key difference between the two movies is your attitude and believing that you are the Dream Designer. Like any good story it will take hard work, perseverance and a belief that you can indeed live the dream.
So start now and write your own trailer. Use the first one as your template and add in your name, what makes you different (a key point) and your personal vision of your Oscar-winning production.
One last comment: Beware of the movie critics!
Most people will read the first trailer and think it is so farfetched that they will tear it apart. Since misery loves company the second trailer may seem more believable and more people will relate to it because it is safer.
Taking on the critics
If everyone agrees that being a travel agent is a miserable existence with no real opportunities then there is no need to work hard or take risks.
So if you want to be the exception, be ready for the critics to line up to call your trailer/vision ridiculous.
As a matter of fact, if you do not have critics calling your film ludicrous, then you have not taken enough risks and do not believe enough in yourself.
But remember the critics who later had to eat their words as they panned many of the best movies of all time. You can smile at them while you skip down the red carpet singing “Hooray for Hollywood!”
Scott Koepf, CTC, MCC, senior vice president of sales for Avoya Travel, is an industry veteran known for his retail travel sales acumen. Koepf brings sales techniques to life through referencing his other passion, musical theatre. As both a performer and a salesman, he provides sales techniques and insights to help travel professionals grow their business.