It’s been said that trust is the most powerful currency in business. The late Steve Jobs emphasized this best by saying, “A brand is simply trust.”
Establishing trust in business has become increasingly more difficult as we have entered an era of increasing distrust resulting from reports of conspiracies and corruption, which permeate our news feeds. Today’s society is being systematically hardwired to distrust. Trust has truly become a precious commodity.
For travel professionals, trust is extremely important when working with clients as well as with preferred travel providers and vendors. Trust, which is integral in fueling our business engines, should be at the heart of our everyday interactions
When there is trust between a travel consultant and client, there is no longer a need to explain or justify the value the agent provides. Clients who trust their travel advisors are extremely loyal and more likely to refer them to others. That trust becomes a bilateral relationship based on credibility and reliability.
The relationship between travel consultants and suppliers also requires a foundation of trust for mutual growth to occur. Having trust in preferred travel suppliers fosters loyalty and creates an environment of partnership
Over the years, this relationship of trust has suffered, as travel professionals have watched tour operators suddenly shut their doors or get swallowed by larger brands. Resorts, airlines, cruise lines and tour operators have abruptly changed commission structures, or, even worse, created campaigns to bypass the services of travel advisors altogether, soliciting the very clientele that travel consultants originally sent their way.
Perhaps these practices are the reason why travel professionals routinely change alliances, shift partnerships and appear to be fickle with suppliers that were once preferred vendors.
In every business relationship, trust requires transparency and truth. Betrayal occurs when there is deception. Even the appearance of concealing the truth creates an air of distrust. As the travel industry evolves, travel suppliers and agents can mutually benefit from prioritizing the development of trust in how business is conducted.
In the final analysis, trust is a valued asset in any relationship and provides a competitive edge in our increasingly distrustful world.
5 Ways to Generate Trust
—Demonstrate ethical business practices that are visible to all.
—Highlight integrity as a core company value.
—Communicate openly with your clients and suppliers.
—Be transparent with your intentions and accountable for your actions.
—Create clear expectations and policies that promote a culture of trust.
By Jennifer Doncsecz
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