This isn’t going to be one of those posts pitting the iPhone against the Droid or whatever other neat hand-held device you might claim is the best. If you have any of those devices, at least you’re headed in the right direction.
This post is directed at any travel professional who isn’t carrying some sort of smartphone. You know who you are. You’re hanging on to your favorite, little, phone that handles calls and texts perfectly. Listen, I know how you feel; it fits in your pocket or your purse, the battery almost never runs out and it is easy to use. Your husband / wife calls, you answer. Your kids text and you text back. Hey, it works. Trust me, I get it.
However, in today’s fast paced, business environment, your phone needs to be doing so much more for you, especially if you sell travel. Here are three things you could be doing, as a travel agent, with your smartphone.
1. Email: you need to be able to send and receive emails while you’re on the go. Having to sit in front of a computer to actually send and receive email is so 1998.
2. Internet: You need to be able to browse the internet, check supplier sites, the weather in other locations and access Google and Bing. Oh, and you should be buying Tripology leads, on your phone, as soon as they come in. There, I said it. Commercial over.
3. You need to be able to update your facebook and twitter statuses. If you’re not posting fun and interesting comments and pictures from your world travels, I promise your clients are getting this kind of stuff from other travel agents. When it’s time for their next trip, whom do you think they’ll call?
4. To that point, your phone should be your camera. Take pictures and videos of everything! Guess what sells travel? Pictures. You should have a hundred really neat shots on your phone that you can email, post, show to your clients and potential clients.
5. There are a million apps from which to choose. Scan business cards, check a flight’s status, read and write reviews of hotels and restaurants, etc. etc. I could go on for hours.
If you are an active, professional seller of travel, a smartphone is not an option. It is a required business tool. This isn’t a joke. This isn’t about old-school vs. new school and this has nothing to do with age. It’s about being open for business when you’re not at the office. It’s about being able to get information, irrespective of your location. It’s about being professional.