The book The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrew is about Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success and I am reflecting on how these decisions apply to our virtual tour business. I wrote earlier about the first Decision – “The buck stops here. I am responsible for my past and my future.” The next three decisions are somewhat interrelated as they are all about our actions.
The second Decision of the book came from King Solomon and was “I will seek wisdom. I will be a servant to others”. It seems strange that the man who is considered the wisest man ever would advise the traveler to seek wisdom. But there is truth in the idea that the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know. Our virtual tour technology provider, RTV, Inc. has a national conference that we will be attending in May. I will be teaching other virtual tour providers about how to market their virtual tour business but the real reason we are attending is to learn from other virtual tour dealers about their best practices. Even after almost 15 years as a professional photographer, Greg is always open to learn better ways of improving his skills and systems as a photographer.
The third Decision of the book is “I am a person of action. I seize this moment. I choose now.” This decision was shared by a Civil War colonel at a critical time in the war. Given the choice to surrender or charge, the colonel gave the order to charge and in doing so changed the outcome of the war.
Quitting is often a temptation but as the colonel in the book said, “When I am faced with the choice of doing nothing or doing something, I will always choose to act.” Most of us will never face a physical battlefield but we must make this same decision on a daily basis in the battlefields of our minds. Armed with this simple philosophy, we can usually win our battle at least for the day.
I have found a way to work my way through a quagmire is often not to focus on the big picture but instead to break my actions down into manageable pieces. I have a goal of making at least 100 contacts every week and that number can be overwhelming so when faced with the temptation to take a break or quit before the end of the day, I force myself to make 5 more calls. Usually, the 5 turns into 10 and the 10 turns into 20 but by deciding to do SOMETHING, I am often able to get over the hump.
The fourth Decision, “I have a decided heart. My destiny is assured” was shared with the traveler by Christopher Columbus during his journey to find the New World. Armed with little other than a dream, Columbus was passionate about his vision of an undiscovered land. This passion allowed him to push on despite months of travel with no land in sight…and despite the fact that almost everyone thought he was crazy to try.
Having your own business requires just this sort of determination – especially the sales part. Like I said earlier, I know that when I am calling for a new area, I need to make about 100 calls in order to book two or three tours. What that means is that I am going to get no one on the phone or get told NO about 97 times a week. I got an email last week from a business that said they were interested in doing a tour but needed to pass for now. I exclaimed my disappointment and Greg said, “I think sometimes you think everybody that shows any interest is a Yes”.
I realized at that minute that there’s a reason that he’s the photographer and technical guy and I’m the salesman.
He’s right…I absolutely believe that everybody that I talk to would benefit from what I am selling because before I call, I have researched their websites to see if a virtual tour would be a good addition to their marketing efforts. I know the value and quality of our tours so I am absolutely flabbergasted every time someone tells me “No”. If I did not think that way, I would become overwhelmed by the 97 No’s I get and I would want to quit making the calls.
But like Columbus, even though I may not see dry land, I have a clear vision of where I am going and I know without a doubt that if I put in the hours on the phones, the results and my destiny are guaranteed. There are many things you can’t control when you own your own business but you ARE in control of your actions and your attitude.
To learn more about us or to schedule a tour, visit www.VisionQuestVirtualTours.com.