twitter_icon fb_icon GTS eNews Button

Education resource for the group travel supplier


Tuesday, 10 December 2013 06:34

9 Qualities of Truly Confident People

First things first: Confidence is not bravado, or swagger, or an overt pretense of bravery. Confidence is not some bold or brash air of self-belief directed at others. Confidence is quiet; it’s a natural expression of ability, expertise, and self-regard.

Published in Business Practices

Too often, organizations promise satisfaction to external customers and then allow internal politics to frustrate their employees’ good intentions to deliver. It’s important to remember that your customers aren’t the only ones who come through your organization’s door every day seeking quality service. Your coworkers and leaders also need to be served. If they’re not happy, it’s not likely they’ll deliver stellar service, and the same goes for you. Inevitably, “difficult people” will creep into your work life, disturbing your, your colleagues’, and your leaders’ workflow and negatively affecting the service you all provide your customers.

“Once you’ve characterized someone as a ‘difficult person,’ you’re already in a lose, lose situation,” says Ron Kaufman, author of the New York Times bestseller Uplifting Service: The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues, and Everyone Else You Meet. “It’s like my view on difficult customers: There are no difficult customers; there are only difficult customer situations. Similarly, there are no difficult coworkers. There are only difficult coworker situations. And once you start to think differently about how to manage those difficult situations, everyone can be more satisfied and better served, including you, your colleagues, and most importantly, your customers.”

Service is taking action to create value for someone else, and that “someone else” can be outside or inside your organization. You can use difficult situations to start building an uplifting service culture in your organization from the inside out.

  • Assess the situation carefully. Is your colleague deeply upset or simply having a bad day? Is she angry about an ongoing internal issue that must be addressed and solved, or a one-off situation like a presentation gone wrong? Is this a process problem that persistently provokes, or a one-time irritation that will naturally fade away? “Once you have assessed the situation,” notes Kaufman, “you can then determine whether the person just requires a little personal attention from you—or whether a larger plan must be created.”
  • Shift your perspective. Stop thinking of your colleague as “difficult” and start thinking about the difficulty she is experiencing, and how you can serve her in her current situation. What is it she is concerned, disturbed, or upset about that’s leading to her behavior? Once you realize what a difficult situation means to another person, you can approach the issue with more compassion, generosity, empathy, and patience. This is far more effective for both parties than concluding that another person is difficult all the time or is always overreacting.
  • Lean in and work on the problem together. A “difficult” person often behaves that way because she is trying to get something she needs, or is trying to make something happen. She probably thinks the only way she can get her colleagues’ attention is by outwardly showing her anger. But we know from experience that the way to get better service is to be a better customer. And the same goes for getting the help we all want from our colleagues. "The sooner you say, ‘Let’s figure this thing out. What action can I take that will create value for you? Let’s agree on next steps. Let’s make some promises to each other,’ the better,” says Kaufman. “Working this way creates a culture of colleagues taking action to create value for each other. It takes emotion out of the equation and creates a platform where people can work more effectively with each other.”

Kaufman says difficult coworkers are most likely just seeking service. Recognizing this and handling situations accordingly will prevent further problems and allow that coworker and the rest of the office to get back to a productive and happy working environment faster. This will be reflected throughout the business and interaction with customers.

Source: Ron Kaufman

Published in Business Practices
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 07:45

Are You Competent? Are You Great?

To be a great leader, you need to know what you’re great at. This is the skill set around which you will package yourself inside your organization. Acknowledge to yourself and to others what you’re good at and not so good at. Don’t be bashful, vulnerability helps people connect to you and makes you a better leader. But this is only a starting point.

Published in Business Practices
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 09:36

Rapid Response is Key

The CEO of a major bank told me, “When you have a customer crisis, there is rarely an easy solution—the solution actually lies in how rapidly, energetically, and sincerely you respond to their complaint. The quality of your response is the solution.”

Published in Business Practices
Thursday, 28 June 2012 13:28

Recharge Your Leadership Mojo

Business transformation begins with personal transformation. Recycling your usual skills only recycles your past. Only by recharging your leadership mojo—getting back to your basic beliefs and rediscovering your passion in light of a new reality—can you transform yourself and your company.

Published in Business Practices
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 11:32

All About Attitude

You can change your sales figures with a change in attitude.

Published in Business Practices
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 16:43

Find Consistency: Quicken Your Slow Seasons

If you own or operate a travel business, chances are you have experienced a time when you didn’t have enough revenue coming in, which translates directly into not enough leads coming in. Maybe it’s because of the season. Maybe it’s because of the economy. Whatever the case may be, there is a way to market yourself so you are never at the mercy of those factors again. Integration and organization can propel your marketing so you won't have to worry during slow seasons.

Published in Business Practices

Looking to get more groups coming to the events in your area? Then provide them with the “red carpet treatment,” like they do for the Shreveport-Bossier Mardi Gras. Group tour operators looking for a less chaotic experience for the Carnival season make Shreveport-Bossier the place to party.

Published in Business Practices
Thursday, 24 May 2012 09:39

The Four Agreements

Many of us have read all sorts of books on "how to sell" or "selling better." I am a big fan of Dan Kennedy and Brian Tracy. I recently read a great book that has nothing to do with sales titled The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. It is more of a philosophical book about personal happiness. As always, I relate what I read to what I do, which is sales (one of the things I do). The four agreements apply very nicely to the mind of a salesperson. In fact they are the rules you have heard one way or another during your career, but maybe never layered on top of one another.

  1. Be impeccable with your word is the first agreement of the book. For me, who likes small words, this translates as "be truthful in what you say." This applies to many aspects of sales. Firstly, tell the truth about your product, sell what you have. If you sell things you do not have, you are going to make stress for yourself and your staff trying to create something quickly. If you need a new product, then take the time to design it.
  2. Do not take anything personally. How many times have we heard this? But it is true. If you do not make the sale, you cannot beat yourself up. You do need to find out why you failed, that is essential to getting better. This discovery must be a productive process, not an exercise in self-pity. What good does it do to feel bad for yourself? Wouldn't you rather say to yourself, "I failed this time, but I'm going to find out why and not make the same mistake again”? I know I would. When you do not make a sale, there is no deep down problem with you.
  3. Make no assumptions. One of the worst things I heard was one of my phone salespersons said to a client, "We can give you that, but it is going to be expensive." Let the client make that decision. Do not assume anything, it will lose you the sale. Do not assume this meeting will be a waste of time, or that you will be more expensive than the other guy. If you do this, you just fill yourself with negativity and that will come out in your presentation. Sometimes sales people fall into a funk, and making assumptions keeps us there.
  4. Always do your best. Ruiz says this agreement is "the one that allows the other three to become a deeply ingrained habit." When you do your best and are truthful about doing your best, you can no longer feel guilty or shameful of not succeeding. The key is when you say to yourself, "I am doing my best," are you being impeccable with your word? Doing your best will allow you to do more, because when you are doing your best, you are giving the right amount to everything, not too much to one client and too little to another.

Source: Eric J. Gordon 

Published in Business Practices
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 12:30

Group Travel Success Story: Branson

If there’s one destination in the United States that is synonymous with group travel (successful group travel), it’s Branson, Missouri.

Published in Business Practices
Page 1 of 2

Serendipity Media, LLC • 535 Cascade West Pkwy • Grand Rapids • MI • 49546

Ph: 616.458.8371 • Fax: 616.458.8609 • Web: