There isn’t much we as travel agents can do about the continuing change of the Corona Virus. The U.S. Government has recently extended the 15-day challenge of staying at home, social distancing, and not going outside your residence unless it’s essential, until the end of April. Another extension of that message was that they expect the worse to hit us in a couple weeks and that by June we will be back and ready for action! The question isn’t if we can believe what we hear, the question is what we as travel agents can do about it and how we can be ready for the change.
As we went over in our last blog about how important communication is during this time, let’s take the next step in addressing your business goals.
The first step is recalibration. Your previous goals for this year are over. Don’t even think about them anymore! They are unattainable. Refresh and reset your brain to think about the future. For the sake of this example, let’s believe together that the second half of the year will be better.
How do you address goals? What is the most important aspect to focus on? Is it sales, creativity, planning, or a combination of these. At Gateway, we believe in setting SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-sensitive goals are the best way to refocus your business. You can watch a video we did about SMART goals here. Remember, what you put into your business now, is what you will reap in the future.
Let’s get to it!
It’s often difficult to set specific goals and not generalize your thoughts and ideas. Make sure you are very specific with the goals you want to reach. I recommend setting four or five different sets of goals for each type of travel you sell. Start with “Selling 2+ cabin cruises”, “5-day Disney World packages”, and “7-day All-inclusive stays”. It can be as many or as little as you want. Remember to be specific and not write down “sell more travel”. That’s not helpful. Moving forward let’s work with our Disney example.
Now that we have chosen our destination, let’s measure it! We need to set a goal of how many of these Disney vacations we want to sell. It’s ok to dream and reach for the stars here. One example I like to use is this. Try and do this if you’re alone sitting in front of your computer. Ready? Ok, raise your hand up in the air as if you’re back in school waiting for a teacher to call on you. Now that you have your hand in the air, reach your hand higher. It’s amazing what we can accomplish if we try a bit harder. Most people raise their hands a comfortable amount and unintentionally hold back a little bit of effort. It doesn’t mean your terrible, it’s quite the opposite. We believe it means that you are capable of much more than you think! Back to our goals. As we measure our goal, remember to think for the future and dream! For this example, we will say “We want to sell 20 of these types of vacations”.
Can we achieve this? Thankfully we aren't trying to traverse mountains, but for travel agents, in this unbelievable time of travel uncertainty, it’s difficult to define what achievable means. There are so many variables that may change this number, including additional time prolonging our favorite destinations. Let’s move on the reality right now that everything will open on June 1st, 2020. Moving forward, after a month of being stuck in our homes without travel, we believe a boom will come and selling 20 of these vacations is achievable. So let’s say YES, it’s achievable!
Although Pinocchio ended up becoming a real boy, chances are, our task won't be nearly as difficult turning a wooden toy into a real boy. Among all the letters of the acronym SMART, this is the easiest to define. We need to look at our tools and our ability to sell. Do we have everything we need to sell? Is it realistic that we can sell these types of vacations? The only barriers we have in front of us are whether or not Disney World will be open by then. Again, let’s assume so and agree that our goal is realistic.
Lastly, let’s set a time-frame to achieve these goals. As mentioned above, we believe a travel boom will take place as soon as everyone opens up their doors. If this takes place, this can easily be accomplished in a matter of a few months, but because we want to close out the year with these goals, let’s set our timeline from now thru the end of the year.
We now have our goal! Our goal is to sell 20 five-day Disney World packages, in nine months. I know for some of you this may seem ridiculous and outlandish, but if you trust in the art of making goals, and reach as high as you can to succeed in reaching those goals, you’ll be surprised at what you accomplish!