How to Get and Keep the Attention of Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Professionals June 17, 2014 By Kimberly Ramsawak

Happy Holidays Chanchot!

It's just a few short days until Christmas and I can't believe how this year has flown!
While you're shopping for last minute gifts, making your home guest-ready for the holidays or just taking this time to chill out and relax, I just want to tell you how grateful I am to have you as part of our fast growing community here at Tourism Exposed.

I have loved hearing your stories which have inspired me to create more material on Tourism Exposed like the 3 Apps You Must Download Today to Find a Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Job and How to Get a Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Job Without Experience, just to name a few.

Thank you Chanchot and I look forward to helping you even more in 2015.

Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year.

To Your Success,
Kimberly
Tourism Exposed
www.TourismExposed.com

1748 Gordon Lane
Tobyhanna PA 18466
USA

ผมได้รับ e-mail จาก Kimberly ตามข้อมูลด้านบน ทำให้นึกถึงผู้ที่สนใจจะมีอาชีพด้านธุรกิจท่องเที่ยว หรือผู้ที่อยู่ในธุรกิจท่องเที่ยวอยู่แล้ว รวมถึงผู้ที่มีส่วนเกี่ยวข้องกับการท่องเที่ยวทั้งภาครัฐและเอกชน ได้อ่านและทำความเข้าใจในบทความของ Kimberly ที่ให้ความรู้ด้านการท่องเที่ยว อย่างมากมาย ถึงแม้นผู้เขียนจะอยู่ใน USA แต่ถ้าเราทำความเข้าใจและนำมาปรับให้เข้ากับประเทศไทย ก็จะทำให้ธุรกิจท่องเที่ยวเรารุ่งเรื่อง และมั่นคงไม่เป็นเหมือนเช่นปัจจุบัน ที่ตกต่ำจนน่าใจหาย ประเทศไทยเป็นประเทศที่รวยทรัพยากรท่องเที่ยวประเทศหนึ่ง ไม่ด้อยกว่าประเทศใดๆในโลก แต่เราอ่อนเรื่องการบริหารจัดการ เราไม่รู้จักการบริหารจัดการอย่างเหมาะสม จนทำให้ทรัพยากรของเราถูกใช้ไปอย่างไม่เหมาะสม ขาดจิตสำนึกและการวางแผนที่ดีทั้งภาคเอกชน และภาครัฐ พร้อมกันนี้ได้นำบทความตอนหนึ่งของ Kimberly มาให้อ่านเป็นตัวอย่าง ถ้าสนใจของแนะนำให้เข้าไปที่ เวปไซด์ และลงชื่อสมัครเป็นสมาชิกซึ่งไม่มีค่าใช้จ่ายใดๆทั้งสิ้น

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How to Get and Keep the Attention of Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Professionals

June 17, 2014 By

In Part 2 of how to break into the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, we talked about where the best places are that you need to be in order for you to meet and connect with professionals in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry and how to separate yourself from other job seekers.

Now let's talk about how to stand out and what to say to make a good impression, either in person or via email, so that you start a relationship with important people who can help you break into the travel, tourism and hospitality industry and gain exposure.

How do you get the attention of a travel, tourism and hospitality CEO, Vice President, hiring manager, potential mentor or someone who is doing what you want to do in the industry?

People in positions of power, those who can point you in the right direction and who can open up doors for you, are busy people by default. They get dozens of emails, phone calls and overall requests on a daily basis.

What does this mean for you?

It's harder to stand out and make a good impression. And it's easy for you to get overlooked or ignored.

If you know how to get busy, powerful people in the travel, tourism and hospitality to notice you, talk to you and help you, you'll have a major competitive advantage over every other industry job seeker out there.

Saying the right thing either in person or via email could lead you to the perfect job opportunity. It could save you months or years of knocking on doors or sending out resumes, hoping and praying for a lucky break.

Getting and keeping the attention of travel, tourism and hospitality professionals does not mean that you need friends-of-friends to introduce you to someone. With the right strategy you can reach out to industry insiders even if you don't know anyone in common.

Unfortunately, most people go about talking to or emailing influential people in the industry all-wrong. They end up ruining potential relationships before they've even started.

Today, I'm going to show you how to get and keep the attention of travel, tourism and hospitality professionals and start a relationship with them the right way. And I'll be providing actual conversation guides and email templates on how to specifically do this.

Approaching Industry Professionals In Person

We already covered the 4 places that offer the best opportunities to meet professionals in travel, tourism and hospitality. Those places are important for you to attend so that you can learn through the people you meet, what's happening in the industry, which companies are doing well and which companies are hiring.

But at one time or another we've all been to places, events, or meetings where we don't know anyone and there is a professional we really want to connect with. We don't know how to make that initial approach and introduce ourselves because we either become tongue-tied or intimidated and we don't know exactly what to say or how to start a conversation.

What to Do Before An Event

What most people don't realize is that the majority of the work in trying to connect with industry professionals is done before the event even occurs. Most events have an attendee list on their registration page. See if a person is on the list that you would want to connect with. Look them up via their LinkedIn profile to learn about them prior to seeking them out at the event. In planning for the event do the following two things:

1. Practice a short introduction about yourself. Notice I said the word "short." Sharing too much information about yourself with a potential connection you just met can be annoying, so condense your background into literally about a minute long sound bite. The key points you should cover are your career goal, recent professional background and an explanation on how your background prepares you for new opportunities.

2. Prepare yourself for conversations with travel, tourism and hospitality professionals. Spend time researching and reading about industry news, trends and recent events so that you'll be prepared to spark conversation and ask for their thoughts on topics that are interesting to both you and them. Taking the time to learn about issues and current events in the industry will give you the information you need to ask intelligent questions and join conversations already in progress.

What to Do During An Event

You're now ready to engage as soon as you meet someone, with conversation topics, questions and stories, stored in the back of your mind that you've developed from your pre-event research.

Below are some conversation guidelines to make sure the conversation doesn't lose steam and gently gets you to the goal of having the travel, tourism and hospitality professional give you their business card willingly:

1. Small Talk: Every conversation should begin with a little bit of small talk because you can't just go directly into asking industry professionals for their business cards right when you meet them. It's rude and too abrupt. The problem is that most industry job seekers keep their conversation with industry professionals at the small talk level where they don't get past the basic introductions.

2. Common Point of Interest: Telling the CEO of your dream company that you love their work or admire their approach to business will not invite stimulating conversation past a simple "thank you." Your goal is to really start inquiring in ways that are relevant to how you might be able to add value.

The easiest way to do this is to determine a common point of interest or CPI. The CPI, allows industry professionals, no matter how high they may be up on the ladder, feel more comfortable talking to you. The CPI will also help you avoid those awkward "how's the weather" type of conversations.

The key to determining a CPI is to ask engaging, open-ended questions, such as "What did you think about the latest book on…" or "When was the last time you…" or "What is your favorite industry event?" In other words, questions that don't elicit a yes or no or one word answer. It's all about guiding the conversation away from how are you to who are you. When you ask engaging questions a CPI is almost always discovered.

3. Wrap-Up: Simply and politely end the conversation by saying how nice it was to meet them and then exchange business cards.

To summarize, first engage in small talk and get a rapport going. Then find out what the person is up to, what's important to them and what you have in common. Lastly, direct the conversation in ways where you think you could add value. Remember, there are three things that you can give that are deemed valuable to people you're trying to connect with and bring into your community.

No matter what you want to learn or know, finding the CPI, or the common point of interest, sets you apart from the rest of industry job seekers and makes it easier for you to then continue the communication with industry professionals after the event.

Reaching Out To Industry Professionals Via Email

What's the best way to reach out to travel, tourism and hospitality professionals that you're unable to initially meet in person through an event or reconnect with those that you did meet at an event?

Write and send out emails to them requesting an informational interview.

We've all heard about "informational interviews" but few of us do it. What is it? How does it work? And how can you use subtle techniques to make an informational interview help you?

An informational interview is an opportunity to meet someone you're curious about in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry and learn from them, ask them questions about their job and get the inside scoop on the industry overall.

For example, maybe you're curious about what a Hotel Sales Manager really does or you want to know what the culture at a particular company is like.

This is what an informational interview allows you to do.

But what is it that makes a professional in the industry respond or not respond to your email request? How do you get this person to care about you? How do you make sure that your email isn't going to annoy them or take up their valuable time?

How to Set Up an Informational Interview

If you want to meet with a potential mentor or boss, you don't just email the person blindly, barely knowing anything about them. When you do this you're basically saying, "Hey, you don't know me at all, but can you meet with me and give me an hour of advice for free?"

How far do you think this approach will get you?

I want you to know how to write an email that will begin a relationship and leave a lasting impression. Here's the first step of that process: Doing your homework.

Google them. See what comes up. Spend some time on their social media accounts to find out what's important or interesting to them. See who is interconnected between you and them on Facebook and LinkedIn. Go out and buy their book and read it, if they have written and published one. Investigate what events they go to or view what groups they belong to on LinkedIn.

You now have a frame of reference in which to base your email content and develop a CPI.

Now here's the second step of the process: Writing and sending the email request for an informational interview.

The time of the travel, tourism and hospitality professional you admire is valuable. Show that you respect their time by being mindful of what you ask of them and how you ask it. Your email must always include a specific reason as to why you're contacting them. By having a specific reason, you will eliminate the need to use the vague question, "Can I pick your brain?"

Informational Interview Request Email Templates

Template #1

Subject: Would love to chat about your work in the tourism industry.

Hi ______,

My name is ______ and I'm a 2010 grad from ____. I came across your name on LinkedIn, where we have a connection in common (_______).

I'd love to have a quick 30 minutes of your time, buy you coffee, and ask you a few questions about your career successes. I'd especially love to know how you made your choices after graduating from _____. I'm in the process of shifting my career focus from ______ to a niche of ______ and would value your advice.

I can meet you for coffee or at your office, or wherever it's convenient.

Would it be possible for us to meet?

Thanks,

Your Name

Template #2

Subject: Temple University Grad: Would love to chat about your work at NYC & Company.

Hi ____,

My name is ______. I'm a 2010 grad from Temple University and I came across your name on our alumni site.

I'd love to get your career advice for 30 minutes. I'm currently working at XYZ Company, but I have always wanted to work in New York City in the destination marketing area of tourism.

Based on my research, NYC & Company is the premier destination marketing organization in NYC. Do you think I could ask you what motivated you to choose NYC & Company? I'd especially love to know how you made your choices after graduating from Temple.

I can meet you for coffee or at your office, or wherever it's convenient.

Would it be possible for us to meet?

Thanks,

Your Name

These two emails show that you are someone who does your homework and takes into the consideration how important the travel, tourism and hospitality professional's time really is. Both of these emails followed some important guidelines for making a good email first impression.

  • The emails are brief and concise.
  • A CPI is immediately explained in order to establish instant credibility.
  • A specific request is made of the industry professional, in which they could simply say "yes" or "no" to (don't make the industry professional do the work by making them figure out how they can help you or what you want).
  • Pointless questions were not asked of the industry professional up-front.
  • The job seeker didn't write a lot of detail about themselves.

Most people wait for an event to meet professionals in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry but it's far more effective to be proactive and not be afraid to send out an email. The majority of job seekers in this industry are not doing this and this act alone will set you way ahead of your competitors.

Remember, by doing the hard work up front, you will reap the major benefits down the line later. If you write and send out 100 emails and 10 informational interviews come out of it, the work alone will be completely worth it. As you send out more emails, you'll become more comfortable and confident with the writing and you'll start to get response rates that are much higher.

Not only do successful travel, tourism and hospitality job seekers have the ability to reach extremely busy people in the industry and get access to their most precious resource, their time and attention, but they also can turn a one-time meeting into a long-term relationship. And over time, that's worth more than almost any technical skill or amount of experience.

The Art of The Follow-Up

Staying in touch with the connections you make is crucial to your career success in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. The connections you make aren't a series of one-time meet-and-greets. The connections you make form a community that you must continuously strengthen through regular contact.

But once you've connected with someone you admire, whether it's at an event, via email or in an informational interview, what's the secret to turning that one-time meeting into an ongoing relationship?

The secret is following up.

You see, the biggest mistake people make when connecting is simply not following up. Do you know how many people have asked to "pick my brain" then once we have a conversation, I never hear from them again?

If you're going to meet someone who you really want to connect with in the industry, why go to all that trouble…and then drop the ball by not following up?

I'll tell you why.

It's because when we talk to someone who is in a place where we would like to be, especially top-level professionals in the industry, in the back of our minds, we think, "There's no way I can help this person. She is a Vice President! She knows way more about (whatever) than I do! I should just get her advice, send her a quick "thank you" email and then not bug her again."

This is exactly the wrong way to think about and approach following up. Contrary to popular belief, a simple "thank you" message isn't enough. Everyone sends that! It's become a basic requirement. How do you go beyond that to actually make the travel, tourism and hospitality professionals want to help you?

Here's how.

Introducing the Maintaining the Momentum Technique

The Maintaining the Momentum Technique is a series of emails that you send over a certain period of time that helps you stay in touch with industry professionals you've met once and turn a one-time meeting into a long-term relationship. Here's how it works.

Email #1: The Thank You (send within 24 hours of initial meeting)

Hello NAME,

Just wanted to thank you again for meeting with me. I'm definitely going to get in touch with NAME OF ANOTHER INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL like you recommended. I'll keep you updated, and of course, please let me know if there's anything I can do to repay the favor!

Regards,

YOUR NAME

Email #2: The Value Added (send 1-2 weeks later)

Good Afternoon NAME,

I saw this article in the INDUSTRY PUBLICATION and it reminded me of what you said about IMPORTANT POINT YOU MADE DURING OUR INITIAL MEETING. No response needed, just thought you might find it interesting

Regards,

YOUR NAME

Email #3: Maintaining the Momentum (send 2-3 weeks later)

Hello NAME,

Wanted to give you an update: I did end up talking to NAME OF ANOTHER INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL, and you were right, NAME OF COMPANY is definitely a fit for me. I plan to learn all I can about NAME OF COMPANY before I apply. If there's anyone else you think I should speak to, please let me know.

Thanks again! I'll let you know how it goes.

YOUR NAME

How you can use the Maintaining the Momentum Technique

Once you have someone you've connected with once, it's important to maintain the momentum and build that relationship by constantly adding value.

Who can you help and what would be most interesting and useful to them? Send them that. Put them first, not yourself. When you repeatedly show that you're investing in them first, you'll separate yourself from everyone else trying to break into the travel, tourism and hospitality industry who rarely reaches out to anyone for advice or help, and only reaches out when they need something.

Stand out, and you will instantly have more credibility and higher-level connections with travel, tourism and hospitality professionals, who will want to help you.

By carefully using the Maintaining the Momentum Technique and revising it for your needs and circumstances, you can turn yourself from a frustrated industry job seeker, into a top performer who easily demonstrates why you're different.

In the end, when properly implemented, the Maintaining the Momentum Technique actually makes industry professionals want to recommend, help, or even hire you.

How Can You Apply All of This Today?

Now you how to really break into the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. You know how to truly connect versus just network with industry professionals, where to go to meet them and what to say to them either in person or via email.

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