Knowing your business and understanding your travelers’ aims is the name of the game. When we’re successful, business is successful
The success of any business, and especially our business, requires tremendous coordination, creativity and patience. Buyers, suppliers and a slew of other front line and behind the scenes folks all play a part to ensure our key business people get where they need to go in a way that supports their missions.
So how does everyone in the travel value chain contribute to that success? If we take a close look at our day-to-day activities, are we doing everything possible to move the business forward? What’s at stake if we don’t?
ROI of the travel or big event is vital. What are you doing to maintain your value proposition? Are you able to tie each activity of your day to business results in some way?
Those in the position of making buying decisions typically have multiple concurrent responsibilities, so one phone call or meeting can change their direction. I am sure most readers can relate to this. It’s so easy to get derailed. So have specific goals written out and posted where you can see them every day.
OK, getting in the dirt is going to happen. But the point is to really think about our role and look for ways we can make our activities constantly drive towards business results.
Be strategic. Meet with individuals who are responsible for the core deliverables in your company. How do they relate to customers? What are they doing to support the organization’s growth strategy? What is their budget focused on this year? Use that information to establish your own strategy to support those goals.
Set aside time specifically for ongoing education. Keeping up with industry trends is arduous, but necessary. It’s all about understanding what’s new, what’s coming and where your company is on the maturity index.
Attend industry networking events, read great industry publications (like Business Travel Executive! and sit in on all the free webinars you can. Don’t forget leadership and professional development strategies. You’re the expert in your organization, so maintain awareness of the industry, develop as a leader and make the time to stay educated.
Meet with your suppliers. Think beyond the price point. Work towards a true partnership; it’s the easiest way to get some extra hands. Consider your suppliers an extension of your team. If you don’t have suppliers that can help propel your success, seek out new ones.
Get the data. It’s hard to argue with data-driven strategies. If you don’t have baseline metrics to start with, stop what you’re doing right now and establish your baseline.
Ask, don’t assume. Stakeholders are travelers and event attendees who need the services that we are selling and managing. In fact, we are our own customers. Be available for feedback; share perspectives on what stakeholders are trying to accomplish, and understand what they really want and expect from the travel program.
Finally there is one thing we can all count on and that is a lot of noise. It’s not going to stop. We’re going to keep innovating, changing, meeting and traveling. It makes the world go round; it’s how business gets done. In the end, it’s up to every individual to find ways to put their best foot forward and contribute to success beyond the transaction.