By Jennifer Doncsecz
Being considered a highly credible travel advisor commands respect and authority—and speaks directly to the immense power engendered by trust, which has the ability to influence and inspire. After all, people want to work for—and with—those they trust.
“Trust is the one thing that affects everything else you’re doing,” said Stephen Covey, the late best-selling author. “It’s a performance multiplier which takes your trajectory upwards, for every activity you engage in, from strategy to execution.”
Being a trusted advisor can produce deeper client relationships as well as a significant number of referrals.
So what do you need to do to be considered a trusted travel advisor? Management consultant James Alexander studied professional sales consultants across a breadth of industries to determine what classifies someone as a “trusted advisor.” His research led him to discover specific signals exhibited by “trusted advisors,” including:
—They are requested by name, from referred or previous clientele.
—They are sought out for advice that goes beyond their described expertise.
—They have strong personal brands and are sought out for speaking engagements, interviews and articles.
—They maintain strong business relationships.
Simply promoting an area of expertise does not guarantee that you will be viewed as a trusted travel advisor. Trust is developed through proving your credibility.
Here are some of the personality pillars of trusted travel professionals:
Ability: They are proficient and knowledgeable, effective and skilled in providing insight and guidance to clients. They are also determined to continue learning and go above and beyond the call of duty.
Reliability: They follow through on commitments and are punctual, consistent and responsive.
Integrity: They treat people with kindness, empathy and compassion, and possess a strong moral compass. They keep confidences and are truthful and sincere.
Security: They provide assurances, helping reduce anxiety. They are proactive, responding to issues and creating solutions, and they guarantee results.
Becoming a trusted advisor, however, isn’t based on your actions alone. Your actions are manifestations of your core beliefs and values.
At the end of the day, being considered trustworthy can have a huge impact on our personal and professional lives. As the Scottish author George MacDonald wisely wrote, “To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”
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