Walk into any bookstore these days and you will find book after book about how to succeed in sales. There’s an entire section, in fact. Row after row. Titles like The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need and How to Be a Great Salesperson…by Monday Morning promise success for a few hours of your time and the small investment of $14.95. Let me save you the time and expense. There are only two things you need to be successful in sales: you must love your job and you must be emotionally relevant to your clients.
Finding a job you love isn’t always easy, but you can tell when someone does. Their eyes sparkle, maybe they bounce up and down a little while they talk. They’re confident and smile. The waitress who enthusiastically describes the how the apple pie was made fresh that morning and is the best she’s ever had. You weren’t planning on having dessert, but how could you say no? It’s endearing when someone loves what they do and are excited about what they have to offer, and it’s the first step toward developing emotional relevance.
What is emotional relevance and what does it have to do with corporate travel? Emotional relevance is developing personal connections with those around us. In other words, building relationships based on communication and trust. It’s telling stories and listening to stories, it’s asking questions and sharing experiences — it’s cutting through the noise to develop meaningful relationships. In the travel industry, it’s quite possibly the most important quality we can offer our clients (not to mention, the most personally and professionally fulfilling). It’s also good for business, as once established, emotional relevance often leads to long-term relationships and, you guessed it – loyal clients.
Of course, like most things in life, developing emotional relevance is easier said than done. Effective communication is important. Mark Twain was on to something when he encouraged writers to use “plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences.” It is, as he said, “the best way.” Always completing the communication cycle is also essential. Promptly returning emails, phone calls and texts is a sure way to win a client’s favor. But perhaps the best piece of advice I can give, you probably already heard from your mother: be yourself. Don’t be afraid to open up and share your life, talk about your kids and vacations. Be a real person, and take the time to discover who your clients are as people as well.
Undoubtedly, the goal of emotional relevancy is to be remembered. Your client needs something, they think of you first. Boom. Success. But, there are other powerful benefits as well. The more emotionally relevant you become to your clients, the better relationships you develop, the more you will enjoy your job. The happier you are in your job, the more engaged you will be. The more engaged you are, the better you’ll perform. You see where this is going. We are by nature emotional creatures, and by acknowledging that fact, we can create lasting long-term relationships that not only help us succeed in business, but also help us succeed in life.
Want to learn more about how business travel can affect employee satisfaction? Check out this article.
Ready to speak with a corporate travel expert about how you can better manage your business travel? Get in touch with us to schedule a free consultation that can help lower airfare costs and get some added-value perks for your travel spending.