Get Us in Your Inbox
I think it’s a sad sign of our times that the word “diversity” comes with so much baggage depending who’s using it. Whatever your feelings about the term, there is no debating that today’s businesses operate in a diverse marketplace, where a wide range of customers value different marketing messages, products and services. As you can read in this issue’s cover story, “Diversity Matters” (page 12), travel advisors who want to succeed simply need to accept this reality.
Agents who are looking to grow their business should be excited about the awesome influence that marketing to a diverse clientele can have on their success. A 2017 study by research firm McKinsey & Company reveals that companies in the top quartile of gender diversity are 21 percent more likely to show above-average profitability, while those in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity are 33 percent more profitable.
Diversity in your business starts at the top. It might take some extra effort, but there’s great benefit in working with people who are different than you. Intellectually, we gain more from being challenged than by being appeased. Differing points of view can broaden your vision.
Next, take a look at your clients: Are most of them from the same socioeconomic, racial or cultural background? There’s nothing wrong with having a strong base of customers, but perhaps you’re doing all your fishing in the same pool and not reaching out to enough potential travelers. With a more strategic mindset developed around the concept of inclusion, you could open up a whole new revenue stream.
Finally, carry that inclusive attitude into other parts of your life. Carefully consider new ideas — even ones you don’t initially agree with — and always treat others with respect. Working on having a truly open mind will make it easier for you to value different perspectives. Embracing diversity is not always as simple as it seems, but its rewards are well worth the effort.