Show and tell.
Yep, it’s as easy as a rainy day in elementary school. Show everyone you have what they want through pictures and tell everyone the feelings behind them with words. You’ll subtly nudge your audience in the right direction by infusing what they see online about travel with positive images that elicit the good feelings they want and miss. Before you know it, they’ll be ready to buy, and you’ll be there with what they want.
The point is to be vivid, from Latin “to live” in the minds of your clients. Bring your pics to life in your clients’ mind by adding words that evoke feelings so the images connect you to your clients. Remember, in tandem, words can elevate an image to a connection. Think Facebook meets Dead Poet’s Society.
“Whatever…I’m not a writer,” you may be thinking. That’s okay. There’s a lot of things you’re going to get better at. In the meantime, here’s a little cheat sheet that my High School English teacher, Mrs. Hayes, gave me. She didn’t give it to me as a go-to list of phrases to make me a lazy writer but, rather, as an object lesson. Not satisfied with the words on the list, I found myself discovering better and better combinations of words with which to engage my readers and evoke (re)actions. This discovery process influences my
communication style to this day. For now, just look for the feeling you’re trying to elicit and you’ll find a list of adjectives and adverbs to help make your words vivid and emotive.
Now, here’s the important part: You have to try. Get out of your comfort zone and try some word combinations that touch your client in ways that build relationships.
Nobody wants to travel anywhere. Nobody wants to buy anything. They do, however, want to trade the time they spent at work for the feelings of a lifetime.
I’ve always taught that if I can make you laugh, cry, or even make you mad, you will remember me. How can I be so sure? Besides having been on stage over a thousand times, I also spent a little time in school studying cognitive psychology. There, I learned how emotions drive our actions by controlling how we process information through a part of the brain called the amygdala. We’ll call it Amy for short. Amy is the brain’s short cut to action. Amy decides if we have time to let our frontal lobe use all of that logic stuff to make decisions. If not, Amy routes everything to the action centers of the brain, letting us take immediate action based on our feelings. This happens all the time and our frontal lobe, our conscious thoughts, never even know about it.
Amy helps us connect emotions with actions, and she’s been doing it for millennia. She remembers that the last time we heard a particular sound, our friend was eaten by a bear, and now we fear bears. Now, when we hear that particular sound, Amy puts our feet are in motion like the Flintstones, literally before we even think about it. Amy knows that when she has that feeling, there’s no time to get that slow, logical, methodical frontal lobe involved. Amy takes the actions that feeling dictate.
Use feelings to talk to Amy to put your clients in motion and take action. Use words to elicit feelings to make sure people remember you. Connect with feelings to give clients what they want.
But “how,” you ask. “How do I talk to Amy and get that direct connection to the action center of the brain, I’m not a psychologist. That’s okay. Remember, I told you, you’re not a lot of things, yet. For now, use that cheat sheet, thesaurus.com, and META (OutsideAgents.com’s Marketing Exchange for Travel Agents) to discover ways to bring your words and images to life and make them real for your clients. With these tools, you and Amy will become best friends in no time as you continue to connect with the language of emotion and elicit actions from them. Over time, you’ll become the gateway to the feelings they want and the conduit through which they’ll find them. Oh, and you’ll sell a lot more, too!
The bottom line is that you can’t tell a client what to think. You can, however, intentionally shape the way your clients think so they’ll buy the experiences they want from you, tell the stories you helped them create, and come back to you time and time again.