By: Julie Payne
Trust is fundamental in all partnerships, both personally and professionally. Just as in a marriage or friendship, trust is equally essential in business. The definition of trust is a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. Your business partners need to know that you will deliver what you promise and that you are genuine in your actions.
Relationships are built on trust. In the tourism industry, suppliers and tour operators travel together and build lifelong friendships and business relationships. As these relationships develop, trust is built over time. Through your eyes, tour operators may see the potential in your destination or product. Your actions are a demonstration of what you represent.
Understand the expectations of your partners, and exceed them. Tour operators and receptive operators are trusting that, upon arrival at your hotel, restaurant, or attraction, their valued customers will receive the best service and be treated as special guests. This is why they picked your destination. They are trusting in your relationship to deliver the best possible guest experience.
Support is a continual effort. Part of this honored trust is providing support as needed. Problems arise in this industry; hotels are overbooked, attractions are crowded, restaurants are not always prepared, and traffic and equipment failure can affect timing. However, providing support in a difficult time only builds trust further. Your clients need to trust that you are available during both the calm arrivals and the stormy ones.
Timing is everything! Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is trust. Trust is earned, and that happens over time. Continued meetings, marketing, conversations, and most importantly, actions, are the keys to building and maintaining trust. Respecting a tour operator’s time and understanding their needs will continue to add to that circle of trust. Building trust reaps countless rewards.
Julie Payne, CTP, CTIS, is project manager at RLB Marketing LLC, a business development firm specializing in strategic planning for the hospitality, entertainment, travel, and professional services industries.