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🧭 How Can Your Business Navigate the Jittery Landscape of Business Travel and Increase Revenue?

Practical Insights for Overcoming Travel Challenges and Boosting Sales Performance

WEEKLY SPARK

I spent this past weekend navigating the complexity of business and personal travel. 🌐✈️I've been surprised by the challenges of finding reliable flights and availability. It's a jungle out there, and it's clear that the landscape of business travel is changing rapidly.🌪️

American Airlines, for instance, is undergoing a significant shift in its strategic vision, focusing more on direct appeal to travelers and less on corporate relationships. This move, while bold, has resulted in some negative changes that have left the agency world reeling. 😮

The airline has removed its lowest fares from Global Distribution Systems (GDS), pushing agencies to adapt or face only high fares in the market. I’ve seen the high fares, which is another challenge for company sales and revenue generation.

photo - CrankyFlier.com

Last week, American Airlines CEO Robert Isom revealed the airline is currently unable to operate approximately 150 of its regional aircraft. This issue arises when the airline industry is witnessing a record demand for travel, particularly during the summer. 🌟

However, the capacity to meet this demand is due to a lack of pilots, leading to grounded planes. Isom shared that the situation is more severe than in 2022 when the pilot shortage began to hit regional airlines as demand rebounded from the pandemic. American Airlines expects to acquire more pilots for its regional network over the next 18 to 24 months. Once these pilots are on board, the grounded aircraft will return to service.

Meanwhile, safety concerns continue to plague female business travelers. Despite efforts to address their needs, many challenges remain. A 2023 survey by Toronto-based insurer, World Travel Protection, found that 19 percent of female business travelers feel their employers should keep women’s safety in mind, including ensuring flights don’t arrive late at night.

Here’s some practical advice to help you navigate the turbulent skies of business travel

  • Plan for the Unexpected: With the current state of the airline industry, it's crucial to prepare for potential hiccups. Arrive earlier than usual to account for any unforeseen delays. Avoid late flights, if possible, as they are more likely to be delayed or canceled. Have a contingency plan in case of bumps - consider alternative flights or even different airlines.

  • Consider Flying Private: 🛩️While this may not be an option for everyone, private flights can offer a more reliable and less stressful travel experience if your budget allows. You can avoid crowded airports, long security lines, and the risk of cancellations or delays.

  • Speed Through Security: 🏃‍♂️Consider investing in services like TSA PreCheck or CLEAR to expedite security. These programs can save you valuable time and reduce stress before your flight. Better yet, read this article I discovered last week from CNET- get them for free!

  •  Stay Informed: 🧠Keep current with the latest travel insights and trends. For example, the U.S. Travel Association provides quarterly consumer insights on travel behavior and trends, which can help you anticipate changes and plan accordingly.

  • Prioritize Safety: 🛡️Safety should be a top priority for all business travelers. Be aware of your surroundings, share your itinerary with someone you trust, and don’t hesitate to ask for help if you feel uncomfortable. 🚨👀

Remember, the world of business travel may be changing, but with the right strategies and resources, you can navigate it successfully.

LIVE POLL RESULTS

Click on the question you most relate to and see if your view is shared by others in the community. It’s anonymous.

What's Your Biggest Challenge in Business Travel Today? 🌐✈️

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SALES SPOTLIGHT

Mastering the Art of Selling to CFOs 🎯

Imagine this: you've made the trip, secured the meeting, and now you're sitting across from the CFO. As a seasoned sales leader who has engaged with hundreds of CFOs and counts a few as trusted confidants, I've learned a thing or two about effectively selling to this critical decision-maker. Today, I'm thrilled to share these insights with you.🚀

Contrary to popular belief, CFOs aren't solely focused on price. In fact, they prioritize value above all else. 💡So, what does this mean for you? It means that when selling to a CFO, your primary objective should be demonstrating the exceptional value your product or service can bring to their company.

Here are some key insights I've gathered over the years:

  • Do Your Homework and Be Curious🧐: CFOs know their numbers, and you should too. But don't just regurgitate facts and figures. Instead, ask probing questions that delve into the "why" behind their viewpoints. This approach can highlight any gaps in their logic or understanding and open the door for a meaningful conversation that challenges their assumptions. 

  • Read What They Read and Attend Their Events📚: To understand CFOs, you need to think like them. This means reading the same publications they do and attending the same conferences. But don't just show up - listen. You'll gain invaluable insights that can inform your sales strategy. 

  • Your ROI Model Needs Work📈: Many CFOs are skeptical of ROI models that seem too good to be true. They want to see real-world examples of value, both qualitative and quantitative. So, ditch the marketing jargon and show them how you've delivered value in the past. Then, propose a collaborative exploration of potential outcomes with their team. If it makes sense, great. If not, you'll bow out gracefully. 

  • Prepare Your Team to Sell to the CFO: Even if you never meet the CFO in person, you can still influence their decision. Equip your team or sponsor with the tools and information they need to sell to the CFO effectively.🛠️

  • Negotiate with Care💼: The term "final price" should only be used when it truly represents a non-negotiable offer. Precision in your negotiation strategy is crucial. 

Remember, selling to a CFO is not just about making a sale but about building a relationship based on trust and value. So next time you're preparing for a meeting with a CFO, keep these tips in mind. They might help you close that deal.💪🔥

ASK JOE

Question: How should I interact with the receptionist for my sales meeting upon arrival?

Answer: Great question! The receptionist is often the first person you'll interact with at a company; how you treat them can set the tone for the rest of your meeting. I once had a customer who recorded all interactions in their lobby. They used this to weed out salespeople who were rude or didn't align with their company culture. So, always be polite and respectful to everyone you meet, including the receptionist. Remember, every interaction is an opportunity to make a good impression.

Question: How can I identify potential prospects while traveling on the road?

Answer: Another excellent question! There are a few telltale signs you can look for. For instance, if you see a company with three flags 🚩🚩🚩outside their building, it's likely their headquarters - a prime prospect for your sales efforts. Also, pay attention to the type of flags. A foreign flag could indicate a foreign corporation subsidiary, another potential prospect. These are just a few tips, but staying observant 👀and curious is key. You never know where your next big opportunity might come from.

FAVORITE THINGS

As we navigate business travel, having the right gear is essential. One of my personal favorites is the Tumi Alpha Bravo 3 in the Navy (thanks, Andrea, for this Christmas gift!). It's a versatile backpack that's perfect for business travel, with plenty of compartments for all your essentials. However, I found the zippers to be a bit noisy, so I added sound suppressors. Problem solved!

zippers were noisy when walking

Another brand I've loved for years is Timbuk2. Their Never Check Expandable Backpack is spacious and practical, with a padded rear pocket for your laptop and an expandable main compartment for all your belongings. And let's not forget about Nomatic. I had one of their packs for a decade, and it’s a workhorse. Their 20L Backpack, with its flat rectangular design and 24 unique storage compartments, is perfect for those who like to stay extremely organized on the road.

Remember, the right backpack can make all the difference in your travel experience. So, take some time to explore these options and find the one that best suits your needs. Happy travels!

LOOK INSIDE

Mel Robbins

Here’s a powerful concept shared by none other than Mel Robbins, renowned author, speaker, and TV host. She's known for her practical, actionable advice that's as relatable as it is transformative. She shared how she recently adopted the "Let Them" framework, a tool that could revolutionize how you approach your relationships in business and life.

Ever felt left out when you're not invited to brunch or a party with friends? Or perhaps you've been frustrated when someone doesn't act as you want them to? Robbins' advice is simple yet profound: "Let them."

We often expend so much energy trying to mold others to fit our expectations and align with our vision of how things should be. But Robbins challenges us to flip that script. If someone in your life or business isn't showing up how you need them to, don't force them to change. "Let them be themselves," she advises, "because they reveal who they are to you."

This is a game-changer for the SPARK community. It's about releasing control and embracing the reality of people and situations as they are. It's about recognizing that you can't force change on others but can control your actions and reactions.

When you "Let them," you're not giving up or giving in. Instead, you're gaining clarity. You see people for who they truly are, not who you want them to be. And with that clarity, you're empowered to make informed decisions about what you do next.

So, this week, let's take a leaf out of Mel Robbins' book. Let's "Let them" and see how this shift in perspective can ignite our sales success and personal growth.

Stay tuned for more insights, and remember, you've got this to make it happen!

MONDAY MOTIVATION

WE WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU

I'm reaching out to you today with a heartfelt request. If you've found value in this newsletter, if it's brought a spark of insight or a useful tip to your day, I ask you to share it with others who would appreciate it as well. 💌

Imagine the joy of making someone's inbox happy and providing them with resources and insights that could make their professional journey a little easier and more successful. That's the power you hold when you share this newsletter. 💡

And the rewards? They're not just for the people you share with. We've got some fantastic rewards lined up for you too. Look below! 🎉

But beyond the rewards, your sharing helps us grow. And as we grow, so does the wealth of resources and insights we can provide. If you think we're doing OK now, wait. With your help, we can reach new heights. 🌱

So, please, share this newsletter. Let's grow together, learn together, and succeed together.

Thank you for being so supportive.

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P.S.

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Grow & IGNITE the world with your brilliance this week!

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