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You’ll Never Walk Alone – Simply Sales with Scott

You’ll Never Walk Alone – Simply Sales with Scott

Weathering the Storms Creates Strength


Written By: Scott Koepf, Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) – Cruise Planners


Many years ago I had the opportunity to play Billy Bigelow in the Rogers and Hammerstein classic, “Carousel.”  If you are not familiar with the show, it contains some of the most beautiful music written for Broadway, but the story is quite strange.  Billy is really a tough character to play, as he is extraordinarily self-absorbed without any real endearing attributes. However, his emotions are laid bare as the curtain closes with the song, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” 


It really is the classic tearjerker set-up that ends the show; and I have seen many parodies ripping into the cheese factor of that song.  However, it still brought me to tears almost every night.  Yes, I am an actor and a softy at heart, but when you just take in the song, it really is the ultimate motivational message.  There is no doubt that each of us in this business is, as the song describes, walking through a storm.  I will spare you all of the perfect storm analogies; so let’s just say that there are always going to be challenges for those in leisure travel sales. No matter what issue is affecting your customers, it all comes down to the same result:  fear.  Therefore, the job of the professional travel agent today is not primarily providing information, direction or advice, but overcoming fear.  The best definition I have heard for fear is the following acronym: 







You’ll Never Walk Alone – Simply Sales with Scott


It is not prudent to ignore any underlying fears your clients may have, but it is important to focus on the positives and the benefits that travel will bring your clients. In some ways, this ‘storm’ may cause us to get back to the fundamentals of what you are really selling.  Great travel agents never really sold ships, destinations, tours, or resorts; they sold the emotional fulfillment that those things provided.  Leisure travel is an emotional purchase, such as romance, family bonding, escape or adventure.  However, now before you can get to those, you have to overcome the primary emotion that is keeping your clients from fulfilling those emotional needs: fear.  


The best way to do that is by overcoming it yourself!  If you carry fear into your day, it will be extremely hard for you to convince others to let go of theirs.  So we come back to the song that still says it best: 


When you walk through a storm

Hold your head up high 

And don’t be afraid of the dark…  



You’ll Never Walk Alone – Simply Sales with Scott


Our country and our industry goes through cycles and it has been proven that those who become more proactive with a positive approach during the storm will be the most successful on the other side.  Overcoming fear is not easy and you will have to work harder for every booking but it will be worth it no matter how tough it is.  The best advisors will not only survive the storms, but will be better because of them.  The main point that the song makes, however, is that you are not alone.  And so it is in our industry.  You have suppliers who want you to succeed and will help you in many ways.  There are also excellent associations and companies that you can affiliate with that provide the community we all need.  To succeed in this wild and unpredictable industry just do what the song tells us to do as it reaches the sob-inducing climax: 


Walk on

Walk on with hope in your heart 

And you’ll never walk alone, 

You’ll never walk alone.