What about authenticity?

by Sunni Chapman

2018 is shaping up to be another banner year for us and we hope and pray it is for you too. I wrote the article below in early 2017 and I wanted to share it with you again because it reinforces the fact that you can never go wrong being true to yourself and following your heart...

It’s funny that so many travel professionals believe that clients will only buy what THEY want and not necessarily what WE are selling. Moreover, the consensus among agents is that we need to “try” to sell to everyone, thinking that if our target market is too small then our sales and profits will also be small.

I know some of you must think I’m bonkers when I tell you to do the opposite of what conventional wisdom says. Specifically, narrow your target market, and forget about price. See Italy Travel is a fantastic example because we are so focused that we ONLY sell Italian travel AND we also limit the clients we serve by eliminating those whose main criteria is to travel cheaply.

The simple truth is that we are thriving, growing and prospering. The fact that we are also helping many of you prosper brings joy to our hearts.

Our secret…we are passionate about Italy and we create itineraries that make our hearts sing because we know we are providing experiences that will truly make a lifetime of memories for the traveler.

Our other secret...we follow our hearts by being true to who we are which aligns perfectly with what the higher power created us to be. Staying true to oneself is what will make us real and will make sure that we never get tired of doing the “same” thing over and over.

I ask people…what would YOU do, every day, over and over without getting tired of it? They answer, go for walks, be with my kids, friends etc. What I meant to ask was what WORK would you do, day in and day out without getting tired of it or bored. Basically I want to know what makes you day-dream and doesn’t make you worn out and exhausted.

For me, life, living and work is all about emotion. (Watch my 5 minute video to the end and you will see these words come to life! Authentically.) I LOVE talking to people and sharing the emotions they experience during our trips. I LOVE talking about the people that make our trips possible and the authentic experiences that each and every one of our travelers experience between one moment and the next and between one city and the next. This is the true core of my business, my life, my passion and my love. Connections!

You may ask yourself, how do I get to where Laura is. My advice is that when you are working with your clients, put yourself in their place and find out what they want to experience. Then make that connection with them by being human, truthful, honest and real. Pull them into your world with well written copy, material that makes them interested in what you are saying and remember to always be authentic, be yourself. Trust me when I say that they will instantly know in their “gut” that you are the only travel partner for them.

If we are not honest and real, we will lose them in a second because they won’t be interested in a word you are saying and they will move on to someone else because time is precious for everybody. We all need to realize that we make a difference in the world EVEN though it’s easy to think, why would I make a difference in somebody’s life…when all I do is just sell trips?

But that is exactly it. You do make a difference because you help them make connections with themselves and with others they travel with or meet on their trips. Be yourself, then share yourself in order to connect with your client.

In the end you aren’t selling travel but rather you are sharing yourself and your passion for people. And for me, this makes my “work” the BEST part of my day.

Be well. Love and Laugh often!


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