Reality Training’s Bob Morrell says current crisis reinforces that agents should focus on ‘moments’

As salespeople there are two golden rules. 1. You must believe that what you’re selling is worth more to the customer than the money they’re paying for it and 2. Sales is a transference of feeling – if I can make the customer as excited about the product as I am, then they’re far more likely to buy it.

With travel, I’ve read recent stories about agents becoming salespeople again, and have seen social media posts from lucky travel people who have managed to get away despite the current restrictions. Those who have sound like they’re really appreciating this year’s holiday. Perhaps far more than they’ve appreciated previous ones?

Years ago, I spoke at a retail travel conference in Benidorm. I gave a speech about what it was an agent is actually selling. You’re not selling flights, hotel rooms, board basis, insurance and extras – those are simply the components that go along with the travel experience the customer is booking.

What you are really selling is a ‘moment’. It’s the moment the customer sits on a balcony, sleeps by the pool, looks at a loved one in a lovely location, sees their kids playing in the pool, looks at a beautiful sight, or shares a special moment. That ‘moment’ is what you’re selling. All the other stuff simply allows them to have it.

For any of us who have made it abroad this year, it is also the true appreciation of the value of a holiday. After years of taking them for granted, this years’ holiday makes you feel damned grateful, and teaches you never to take a holiday for granted again. This year, for me, it was sitting in a Chateau in the south of France, on a sunny terrace, having a lovely breakfast, looking over an infinity pool with vineyards in the background. That ‘moment’ was worth all of the effort to get there – you couldn’t put a price on it.

So with all customers enquiring about holidays for this or next year, let’s not assume they can only afford the lowest cost option. This current crisis means if you’re interested in a holiday at all, then you really want one, have some money to spend and will really appreciate it. The agent needs to sell the chance to have that special moment, or a series of moments, and try and create a relationship which will bring this customer back to you.

In Benidorm that year, the ‘moment’ that told me I was on holiday was watching a Lady Gaga tribute act, standing in a pirate ship shaped bar with a bunch a rowdy agents and suppliers – I thought, ‘ah yes, this is a special moment’. That trip culminated in someone very senior doing a pole dance, I seem to remember. That was their special moment!