7 Reasons why travel is like sales

I recently visited the USA to meet with the ASLAN Training team (theres some very exciting news which I’ll share soon).  Whilst travelling and upon my return I reflected on how consciously pushing myself outside my comfort zone enables personal growth on many levels, it made me think about how travel is much like sales, here is how I see it:

  1. Fear isn’t really that bad and often necessary. I don’t mind sharing that I had all sorts of anxieties about the trip, but leaning in and being present allowed me to enjoy the moments so much more.  Being present to experience new things, consciously enjoying meeting and learning about new people and acquaintances and having the pleasure of seeing new places.  If we approach sales with curiosity it removes all the fear.
  2. Sometimes you get lost.   I had no idea where on was on many occasions – quite uncomfortable.  I had to breathe, take stock and then go back to basics, get out the map, work out where I was up to (process) and do something that ensured progress towards my destination (goal).  Applying this during the sales process will keep us grounded and give us time to refocus.
  3. Travelling by oneself is lonely. As an extrovert I get energy from others, waking early and getting to late afternoon before I’d had a good conversation was extremely difficult for me. Sales is like this too – you can go all day without so much as a “thanks for dropping by”, it’s tough and you have to be resilient.
  4. Independence Being in control of one’s destiny is about as empowering as life gets. Constantly relying on others and taking things for granted means we risk sliding into a victim mentality – no thanks!  . When travelling in the past, my wife was the organiser and I was the passenger, not this time, this was great learning opportunity.
  5. Being vulnerable is powerful  I had to ask for help from complete strangers on any number of occasions. We’ve all been there and most humans love helping other humans, put those two together and it’s all good.  Showing vulnerability with customers is not a weakness and goes a long way to establishing essential rapport.
  6. Get to meet new people  It’s amazing how quickly you can become friends with people that have the same values as you. I’ll be lifelong friends to the team at ASLAN, they are MY people, they made me feel welcome and at home, it was AWESOME.  Being open and authentic with your customers can only build great relationships.
  7. Don’t compromise your standards  I was approached by a homeless person in one city, we had a nice chat and eventually he asked for money. I respectfully said I was happy to buy him a sandwich but I wasn’t going to give him any money; I knew he’d spend it on things that wouldn’t help him. He became abusive but gave up when he realised I wasn’t giving in. In sales as in life your values and personal standards should come above all else.  Don’t compromise them for a quick sale.

I mentioned I had one more post in me about the trip, these are my reflections, it’s always important to think about what one learns from any such experience, hopefully others pick up a few things as well.

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