Gets You Right in the Feels
I truly, deeply, and with all my heart and soul, don’t care what you think. Nope. I don’t care a bit, at least until I know the feeling behind your thoughts. Feelings – caring for example – are the framework through which we live our cognitive lives. All our thoughts and behaviors stem from, or are at least strongly influenced by, our emotions. Oh no! Everyone knows that business and feelings don’t mix, so how can this have anything to do with you and the business of travel?
I’ll explain it this way: Anyone who says business and emotion don’t mix is a ding-dong. Yep, I said it. Now, let me prove it to you.
You see, I’ve been a businessperson since 4th grade. From startups to taking a company public, I’ve had the privilege of seeing business from many perspectives. Building OutsideAgents.com with my cousin Steve from the brink of bankruptcy with $10.62 and a pocket full of hope into the biggest and coolest host in America, though, has been the pinnacle of it all. We’re not Harvard graduates so, naturally, some of our decisions were better than others. Accidentally and intentionally, we broke many of the traditional rules in business along the way, including making the conscious choice to care, to mix feelings with business.
I can say that demonstrating authentic care has been key to our success, especially in agent development. In fact, we’re the most awarded host in the industry for our education, mentoring, and support. Why? Because every day we choose to care, and our agents feel empowered by it.
Look, every single one of our agents has Steve and my personal cell phone numbers. With over 8400 hundred agents, if that fact doesn’t demonstrate care, I don’t know what does. It’s not just the support and education that drives the unparalleled success of our agents. It’s also the confidence they feel knowing we have their backs when they have an out of the box idea, a complex problem, or they just need a shoulder to cry on. Our crew reflects these values as well, each willing to fight for our agents like a mad momma bear. Steve and I couldn’t be more blessed to have a crew, a family, like ours.
Feelings, though, don’t pay the bills, so why care? Simple. By demonstrating care, we empower our agents to excel, and the numbers prove it:
- Our mentored agents sell 28% more than those that pass on this free service.
- Every year for the past 8 years (excluding that one year that was a little rough because of masks or something), agents engaged in our training and tools have seen the velocity of transactions, average transaction value, and total revenue per agent grow by 16-31% annually!
- We have 6 times the number of million-dollar producers in 2023 than we did in 2019 and those engaged in development with us account for over 80% of them!
To accomplish this, we work to get to know our agents individually and best understand what they need. With a clear understanding, we can confidently align them with the best resources to achieve their goals. As we get to know an agent, we’re able to motivate agents. Motivation, from the Latin meaning “Motiv (reason) and vate (move), is purely emotional. With a clear path and easy DIY resources we aim to give agents the reason they need to move, to be moved, to be activated, to be activating, and to take action in a meaningful way. Wait. I’m not trying to be Tony Robins here. Let me explain.
A year from now?
With our clients, I wish we started with “How do you want to feel on this vacation? How about a month after?” instead of “What’s your budget?” Wouldn’t that tell us volumes about how we can best serve them?
The same is true with our agent partners. In fact, we start our process with a new agent with “In a year, How do you want to feel when you’re sitting down to work in the morning?” rather than “Where do you want to be?”
We ask both questions all the time, especially when we’re mentoring. The “where” question often garners a deer in headlights reaction as you watch them frantically search for a dollar amount.
The “feel” question, though, everyone can answer. You see, feelings are easy to explain, at least on the surface. Even though both questions effectively ask the same question, one asks you to quantify and the other asks you to qualify your answers. Now, if we qualify clients to provide great service, why would we try to quantify our agents’ wants and needs? Make sense?
I’ve had the privilege of working with Anne Madison, CLIA Global Communication Director. One of the most significant things I’ve learned from her is the 3-5-7 rule: it takes 3 times to recognize you, 5 times to trust you, and 7 times to believe. Belief is where our thoughts and feelings align to motivate us to act. So, even at the most basic level, feelings are what really matter when you want to be a successful businessperson.
In marketing, for example, we help you tell stories that connect with your clients’ emotions first so they’re ready for your call to action. In business development, we help you mitigate the fears that might otherwise hold you back. In legal matters, we are that calm voice in the storm. In all matters, we are there to demonstrate care. We’re there to help find answers and to help calibrate your confidence so our agents make strong business decisions.
People who say that business and emotions don’t mix aren’t businesspeople. Sure, unmanaged emotions are terrible for business. Well managed feelings, though, are pure gold for businesspeople. So, give yourself a hug, express your excitement for your clients, and let the world know you care. You’ll be glad you did 😊We’re doing what we’re teaching…this is 3 and 5…you’ll do 7 after reading this.