Yesterday’s blog received a comment by a friend, and former business networking colleague, Aron Brajtman. Aron is a business coach, and one of the messages he stresses is that business owners must focus on their value proposition – what it is that sets them apart. I’ve answered Aron’s question in the comment, but I thought the point worth elevating to its own blog post – just to capture it for future reference.
Yesterday, I talked about PITA x 2. PITA 1 = pain in the a$$, which is the pain avoidance factor. PITA 2 = pleasure in the advisor, which is the pleasure attraction factor.
Aron made the point (see below) that “the value is not apparent. I know what I’m giving up ($$$$) but I don’t know what I’m getting. We use professional help when the benefits outweigh the investment in that professional.”
So – let’s revisit. You trade money for services to work with a travel advisor. What do you get?
First up, you get: Pain avoidance. So, PITA 1 = pain in the a$$. This is what you save yourself when you hire an advisor. You save yourself the headache, and the pain in the a$$. What does saving this headache mean to you? Well, how much is a headache worth to you? What is your time worth? Let’s say you bill $100/hour to do consulting work as a freelance writer, and you realize it’ll take you 5 hours of your time to research a trip and book it online – was it worth the $500 in lost opportunity you gave up? Or maybe you wouldn’t spend that 5 hours working. Maybe by spending the time researching online, you didn’t have that 5 hours free to take that leisurely walk with your spouse, or attend that sporting event with your child? Was it worth what you gave up? (And, by the way, if you did book by yourself online, you were using inferior tools, relying on bad online advice, and you also had no resources/ connections/ back up. How much of your time/ energy will you lose when you run into issues?)
Second up, you get: Pleasure attraction = PITA 2 = pleasure in the advisor. My existing Virtuoso clients already know about the value adds they get by booking through me. They know because they are on the receiving end of them. But, sometimes, I forget that new clients don’t have any idea of the value they are missing out on my not working with a Virtuoso travel advisor, such as myself. They don’t know about the pleasure attraction. My details on the booking I’d made for a client at the Wynn in Las Vegas last night is detailed below. $420 in guaranteed amenities, plus a complimentary upgrade at check in if available, and early check in/late check out… and… he’ll get VIP’ed. Just because he booked through a Virtuoso advisor.
So, using my freelance writer to continue the analogy, the savings compound – there is $500 in opportunity lost by doing the travel arrangements himself (or he’s lost a walk with his spouse, or not attended that sporting event with his child), and then there is the $420 guaranteed amenities he got just because he booked through me. That’s $920 in total savings that the client will essentially have in his pocket – just because he went to his Virtuoso travel advisor instead of booking it online.
Then, let’s re-examine: “We use professional help when the benefits outweigh the investment in that professional.” Check. My small consulting fee doesn’t compare to a $920 savings, and getting vip’ed.
Responses to Why Hire a Travel Advisor – PITA x 2 !
Last night, I just booked the Wynn in Vegas for a client. He is a past guest of the Wynn, and was convinced that his prior guest relationship got him a great rate of $299/night. No doubt it’s a great rate. But my client doesn’t have the connections I have. He cannot VIP himself. Since I’m a Virtuoso advisor, the Wynn is my partner. I got the client 10% off the best rate he could get himself (so that’s a savings of $30/night x4 nights = $120) PLUS got him breakfast for 2 for each night of his stay (at a value of $30/night x 2 people x 4 nights = $240) PLUS got him a resort food and beverage credit of $50 – so that’s guaranteed savings/ amenities worth $120+$240+$50=$410 he got simply because he’d booked through me as a Virtuoso travel advisor. (These savings/ amenities he could only get by booking through a Virtuoso travel advisor). And – depending upon availabilty, he’ll also get a complimentary upgrade at check in and early check in/ late check out.
By calling me – the client got PITA x 2. He saved himself the Pain In the A$$ of doing it himself (well, had he just called me first, he would’ve) – so the pain avoidance, but he also got the Pleasure in the Advisor – the pleasure attraction!