It’s Time to be Authentic

The People Part of Travel Sales

By Joy Martinello



People dream of seeing far off places and having exciting experiences. They dream of bustling cities, exotic animals, and foods they’ve never tasted. They dream of perfect beaches and much needed relaxation. Or maybe they dream of going back to where they were born to see the house they grew up in.


Whatever travel dream your client is imagining, it’s unique to that exact person. If you don’t get in touch with that dream, you’re about to lose the sale to someone who will.


So how do you get inside your client’s head to figure out what they really want so you can sell it to them? How do you get people to trust you with their most vulnerable and precious possession, their dream?



For years it seemed like the travel business didn’t need salespeople anymore. Every flight, cruise or hotel room could be booked online and all customers needed was a better interface or more efficient automation. Read a blog. Check Trip Advisor. Anyone with a laptop could do it all themselves. Customer service? Make people wait on hold. That will get them to go back online and book that trip, no humans necessary. Not so!


As online booking loses its “shiny new toy” status and people become more and more frustrated with information overload and non-existent human support, customers are craving human contact more than ever before.


And they don’t want to talk to:


  • people who are fake
  • people who dislike their jobs
  • people who don’t know much
  • people who are required to fill quotas


They want to talk to someone real.



The time has come for companies to bring depth and meaning to the moments their customers spend with them on the phone. The time has also come for sales and customer service people to find fun, creativity and most importantly, satisfaction every day that they spend selling travel.


How is this done? How do you shift the focus of your headset wearing customer service agents, travel agents or reservation agents to this new paradigm of being real on the phone with their customers?


It’s done by introducing your sales and service people to the concepts of emotional intelligence and empathy.


And out of the real moments soon to be unfolding between your salespeople and your customers will come opportunities for influencing.



Charlatans trick people into buying things they don’t need. Liars misrepresent the qualities of their products to get people to buy. Coercers play on people’s fears and insecurities to make sales. And people are sick unto death of being manipulated.


So what kind of influence is actually honorable and effective? What kind of influence makes sales and creates repeat customers who can’t wait to travel with you again?


Truthful, caring, expert guidance is the answer to this question. And methods for offering this guidance can be taught to your sales force.


Whether your company is a multinational hotel chain, an exclusive luxury cruise line or a local travel agency, if you believe in excellence and offering your customers the very best travel experiences, then your sales or customer service staff can be trained to eliminate off-putting, inauthentic habits and patterns, and to find authentic moments with customers that result in increased sales.







For more information about how your sales or customer service staff can benefit from one of our training programs, please contact:





Travel Team Consulting

Phone: 1-864-325-2379


100 West Antrim Drive Greenville, SC 29607-2506

Get started today.

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