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Episode 149 – Bounce Back From Corona with Dan Salmon (part 2)


The Corona Virus (COVID-19) have affected us in so many ways like how we conduct face-to-face conversations, in our business, and most especially, how we travel. When COVID-19 became a pandemic, borders were closed and our travel are restricted to flatten the curve of infection. Our guest today, Dan Salmon, was one of those who were hit the most. He is the founder of Never A Wasted Journey, a high-end luxury travel agency and he’s a long time member of the Big Business Events. Join Ross Temple and Dan Salmon as they talk about how Dan is bouncing back from the effects of COVID-19 to his business. Listen to learn more!

Show Highlights:

  • How Dan’s company is performing with sales during the pandemic
  • Why building relationships can help you grow your business
  • How Dan was able to gain new clients and keep existing clients happy in these times
  • How setting a routine can help you focus working at home
  • The support Dan received from the Big Business Events community
  • How Dan was able to grow his business to 1.5 Million holidays per year

Links Mentioned:

Big Business Events Members Network
Never A Wasted Journey
Dan Salmon’s Facebook Page

Transcript:

Please note this is a verbatim transcription from the original audio and therefore may include some minor grammatical errors.

Ross Temple:

For yourself Dan, what key points and what have you done, what have you had to do for yourself to keep you through this period of unknown and ups and downs? And as you said, the unknown happening. How do you kept yourself on track and kept yourself progressing and moving forward?

Dan Salmon:

Yeah. So I’ve been … don’t get me wrong. The first couple of weeks, it was nice, it was a slow pace, I’ve been doing this. And then I keeps saying that I love working. Obviously, I had to focus on the business, I couldn’t get sidetracked. I’ve been … there’s so many people out there who I know, who are other agents who are sitting back, waiting for business to come in. It’s not the way it works. I think I was constantly keeping touch with my clients, if I had a quite couple of hours, I’d go through my list of my clients, give them a call not even talking about holidays.

Just generally talk and see how they are in this situation, and kind of building these relationships further and just generally show them that I do care, I’m interested, I’m still here keeping company, [00:01:54] radars as well. And it’s definitely not about sitting around, thinking it’s all good, they’ll pick and then pass over. It’s kind of a complete opposite.

So it was really kind of you’re spending those days to speak to the clients, get all the bits behind the scenes, tell him which I wouldn’t normally do and again, preparing, getting social media posts kind of ready for the next coming days ahead. Getting everything looked into, keeping up to date as well. They call it updates, which were changed on a daily basis and have been a headache, but it’s what I’m here for. I think people need that support and need that help.

It’s just using that time wisely really, to really prepare, look at how I can kind of cut cost in the company at the moment, just while we’ve seen the sales have slowed down, but there’s no one going to sacrifice my kind of service or the kind of thing that I offer. So it’s just getting ready. And now we’re at a stage where kind of inquiries are flying through the roof for me and people are all getting in touch looking to go away. And they won’t speak to these agents who have been quietly been doing nothing or sit around, they’re still dead, there’s nothing coming in. So I think it’s about being proactive and just doing the most you can to kind of build for the future rather than dwelling with what’s happening at the moment.

Ross Temple:

Yeah, definitely. One thing to always say to people is about stop waiting and start creating.

Dan Salmon:

Yeah. Definitely.

Ross Temple:

You said that being proactive, being out there, you know. The business isn’t going to come to you, the brand isn’t going to be built by itself. And we’re in times of what’s been going on and in the general environment before this even happened. Surrounding yourself with that network, surrounding yourself with support, it’s gonna pull you up, push you forward and get you to level. And keeping that motivation there is priceless. And you’ve mentioned another thing there already Dan, it’s about having the systems and processes in place, because you know, you’ve got a list of your clients, you built the relationship with your clients.

Dan said something really, really powerful there. He didn’t get on the phone and was like, “Book your holiday. What holiday you want to go on next?” He built the relationship. He reached out to them, got to understand them, and that builds that level of trust and likeability. And one thing we were [00:03:56] to people. It’s so true. And what Dan has really suggested for you all there, in one key note. Build relationships. Don’t worry about trying to go over that sale. Try to close that individual, that business, whoever it is you’re working with, depending on who your market is. Build the relationship. Get to know them. Get them to know you. And then when they’re in that place, you know, business will happen naturally.

Now that doesn’t mean sit back and wait for everything to happen as Dan said, you do have to be proactive. So be out there, have the systems and processes in place. You know, if you got new generating leads, how are you looking after those leads? How are you nurturing those leads? Are you just putting them, sitting them in the corner? Because that’s not going to happen? How you’re engaging with the people that are interested in you, your business, the products, and services that you offer.

Dan Salmon:

Yeah. Definitely.

Ross Temple:

Okay, fantastic. So Dan, what recommendation would you give to those who are in the same industry as you at the moment? Because, you know, you’re very well-respected leader in this industry. You are an authority and you know, whatever you say … that I know, I heard you said that. Some fantastic results, and you know we, as you know, Big Business Events we’ve got clients all over. And there’s a lot of people in the travel industry who know of you, yourself, and the brand. So what word of advice would you give to those in the same industry as you?

Dan Salmon:

Yeah. I would say, just be flexible at the moment. And obviously, I know it is a hard time, but I think I’m finding personally, that the inquiries are now starting to come back in, and on now it’s been a tough summer specially in the travel industry. And really, it’s a shame because it’s been no faults for our own, we’ve all got … been put the hard work in. And again, it’s not about feeling sorry for ourselves.

I think it’s the same for every industry. And [00:05:44] and just got to look for the future. And really, it’s just being flexible for that client. So if somebody is wanting to look at changing their dates or I don’t know, canceling their holiday, don’t take it as a personal attack or think, “Oh, God, here we go.” Just literally do whatever they want.

The client in my eyes is near enough always right. I’ll say near enough, because it’s their own occasion, but got to let … you got to do what the client wants to be in situation. I’m kind of speaking to clients at eleven o’clock at night at the moment cause they’ve got general worry. If that means you’ve got to pick up a corporate speak to them for hours, do it. I think that they’re worried, you’ve got to put yourself in their shoes. And again, just be fair to them.

There’s so many agents out there who obviously, aren’t refunding or aren’t letting people change. Just be as flexible as you can. And as I said, by doing that, I’ve now got so many new clients through that of all this, and my existing clients couldn’t be happier that they’re ready to book when it’s possible, when they’re going to go on bigger and better holidays.

So I think, yeah, speak out. Try and see it through. I know it is tough with maybe not as much kind of question or whatever it may be coming in at the moment, but I think we are all kind of slowly starting to pick up and I have no doubts that next year is going to be a boom year in travel.

Everyone will want this holiday. Everyone’s got a lot of making up to do. And I think after months of lockdown, everyone just wants to get away in general. So we’ll come and just try and see it through. It may be you’ve got to show up and you’re not getting your foot forward coming through, whatever it may be. If you could look at maybe homeworking or anything, that’s what I’ve done. I’ve worked from home. So for me, I haven’t got the expense of a shop. I haven’t got the expense of a staff. And then I can really focus on kind of working out of the hours and giving those clients the best service that I can.

Ross Temple:

Nice. Some really good points there. So you’ve made the transition of working from home now.

Dan Salmon:

Yeah.

Ross Temple:

How have you set up your working environment to keep inspired and to keep focused really. Cause I feel that’s a really, really good point. And you’ve mentioned that, I think a lot of people have had to go through that transition of being in a working environment whether they’ve got an office or somewhere else or wherever they work from as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, or maybe people are making that transition from being employed to go into working by themselves, being that business owner they’re looking to become. How have you set up that working environment? As it, that is a hot topic.

Dan Salmon:

Yeah. And well, two things really. I’ve set a routine. So I’m not going to be thinking that I’m working at home now. I’ll wake up at 11 o’clock, get busy, start the day. It’s getting up sticking to the same kind of hours. I’m up at six o’clock and straight away, I’m on my emails and I’m getting prepared for the day ahead.

I’m getting more social media posts up, so that when everyone’s waking up, everyone’s grabbing their phone looking at it before they get out of bed or the train, whatever it may be. That obviously, straight away and think “Oh, Never A wasted Journey.” I’m in their mind. And so, it’s just setting that routine and not being lazy. Obviously, there’s so many distractions now, I could sit and watch for hours now, it’s this device faults. So it’s keeping that bully out of the way and just focusing on the work.

Obviously, it’s all fun and fancy to keep myself occupied, make it [00:08:49] to this, I don’t usually have. And by the same time, you do need to take a break for it. I think if you just stayed in your office at home constantly all day, you could probably get cabin fever. It might get you a little bit … you might find yourself a little bit down. So when the weather is being good, I’ve been taking an hour after lunch, going out for a nice walk, spending some time with the kids. And it’s all about that really. Focusing hard on the business, making the most of the time you’ve got and not getting lazy, but at the same time obviously, stepping away from it and little break when you need to be, and then getting right back into it refreshed again.

Ross Temple:

Focusing on the task that matter, you know, minimizing in those distractions, and making sure that you take that time out to have a little break back from it, look at direction you’ve made from the day. The first real key point is, as a lot of people can get caught up in what they haven’t done, and that becomes overwhelming and frustrating for them, and that causes procrastination. The other thing is, you know, making sure that you prioritize work on those tasks and celebrate those little wins. And in that moment, you see how you are getting that progression and getting that momentum. So okay, fantastic. And Dan, you know obviously, you’ve been part of Big Business Events now for a number of years and … how many in total?

Dan Salmon:

God at least, I can’t … now? Four or five years now, and days keep flying by, really, it’s gone so quick.

Ross Temple:

You’re a valued member of the community –

Dan Salmon:

Thank you.

Ross Temple:

You’re a member of a gold circle.

Dan Salmon:

Yeah.

Ross Temple:

And as I said, it’s been fantastic seeing your journey develop and the opportunities that have happened for you based on your work ethic and your focus. How much of a difference has it made for you being part of the Big Business Events having that support, having that network and that coaching and support.

Dan Salmon:

Huge. Huge for me. I think obviously, I was probably quite naive when I started my business. I thought lots of the risks at certain leap of faith, but I didn’t have any support around me. So for me, I was kind of getting on with it. I thought I was doing well, but as I look back now, I’ve grown so much. And that’s really the Big Business kind of team you add and the rest of the team. They built my social media for me, so I’ve really got a presence. So that nailed. In fact, that’s where I’m getting all of my business from or the majority of my business from, whereas before, I started getting anything coming in.

So they built my social media platform, teaching me things that I probably would never have or thought of myself, add them in the use of your fans and then knowledge, but the best thing is you do actually share that as well. There’s a lot of stuff that I’ve learned, kind of sales techniques, and I’ve been on a lot of the courses. So again, social media, your sales proceeds. You just learn so, so much from it all. The people I’ve been put in touch with. So I’ll say you know, celebrities which have been fantastic to person in me.

You know, Anthony Joshua and [00:11:23] I could go on and on, but it’s meeting them personally, but also being able to then kind of get a photo with them, whatever it might be, a meet and greet. And then if you put that out with your company behind it, so it’d be Anthony Joshua [00:11:37] Thanks for Anthony Joshua, we now want to go and book our holidays with Anthony Joshua.

So it’s little things like that that they just build up and I could go on and on, but again, it’s kind of the awards I’ve won and kind of teaching me a way to run the company better, and my finances are better. The clients I’ve got now are all over the world compared to just kind of the Essex and local area. And again, the main thing for you can see the evidence. When I first joined, I had 50,000 return over a year, and now I’m selling over 1.5 million holidays a year.

So I think that speaks for itself really. Then now, it’s definitely all thanks to the team. If you may have a question if you’re in a group or a fellow business owner, and you can run something by them, I think everyone’s happy to help. And again, all of the courses. I’m looking forward to the ones coming up as well, but I can let’s say, can I more of learn a lot more –

Ross Temple:

Coming up. And a lot of good stuff coming up. So now … fantastic Dan. And you know, one thing you’ve really highlight there is you’re right, it’s such a sense of community and everyone’s there to help one another. And it doesn’t matter what level you’re at in business, whether you just started or whether you feel like you’re hitting that level of success that you want. There’s always that next level. And I’m sure you agree Dan, is you never quite know it all. You think, you do, and then –

Dan Salmon:

No. Hundred percent. Hundred percent.

Ross Temple:

And that’s life. That’s about life and that’s about business and about having that constant growth, it’s that wherever you feel we know it all, we don’t quite all know it all. And that’s all of us, everyone. And that’s all about learning, growing and get into that name.

Dan Salmon:

Definitely.

Ross Temple:

What skill do you feel you’ve really strengthened within yourself Dan, that’s been vital to your success?

Dan Salmon:

Yeah. So I think I’m quite of an easy-going person, I like to relate to people, but it’s mainly kind of switching off from the nice side to them and kind of learning how to close that sale, if you like. I think there might have been things before where I thought, “Hey you know what, yeah, we’ll let that one go.” Which now being hungry for more, it’s hungry to grow the business. And I’m not saying you got to be a monster and chase everyone down, but in certain way, it’s kind of clever ways, not what everybody thought of. And so looking at increasing your sales, getting more money and capital into the business.

Ross Temple:

Yeah.

Dan Salmon:

And again, just in general, just kind of your marketing ideas, it could go on and on, but It’s just different things I’d never have thought of myself. And they just added to me, added to my business, and it’s just helped to grow and barker.

Ross Temple:

It was great to see you be on South domination where –

Dan Salmon:

Yeah.

Ross Temple:

It’s that intense few days around your sales ability, sales processes, and gain the confidence to shout out for everyone that’s watching him. You will notice that is a very likable guy. He’s, he got lovely [00:14:15] anything to help, and it was quite good to see that actually after the few days, just motion. And that’s very good point. You know, in sales, [00:14:23] or that you’re being pushy or in their face. It’s about understanding the process of communication that influences your client in the right way where there is a level of rapport, a good relationship and ultimately, that comes to a decision that’s made that suits you as a business and your client as the most important person within that business.

Dan has market that very, very well. And as he says, these results speak for themselves. And so, you know, some real good points you made there Dan, and it’s a fantastic ways you’ve summarized you know, your experiences, what you’ve been through and most importantly, how you’ve bounced back, because all through that, you know, with what you’ve achieved and the brand itself and you as an individual and you mostly put … you’ve got that winning attitude where … you know, Dan doesn’t let anything, he doesn’t have anything holding back. He doesn’t let anything push him down. He’s always looking to bounce back.

This is really what this is about, why we’ve created this bounced back series, is to speak to entrepreneurs and business owners who have that nice grip, that nice determination and mentality of where nothing can stop them. You know, business is what … and you’ve chosen business. You’ve chosen this path that isn’t walked along by the masses. It’s chosen by those who are serious about creating results, success, and fulfillment within their life. And as you consider it Dan, you know, Dan, Dan has a happy client. Dan loves what he does, and he’s achieved great success for himself, for his family, he got a beautiful family.

Dan Salmon:

Just going to say one thing Ross, actually on that. And talking about bouncing back, I had a client once come in and he spoke to me and he said, “Look, I want to look at this very ticket, I want to look at this very ticket.” And we spent probably two hours of just going very bookings. And they’re only probably worth about 10, 20 pound each, but I gave him the time, he said, “Thank you very much I didn’t end up on a sour note, you won’t … went away.” He had been to five different shops that day testing everybody out, and he came back about 200,000 pounds probably the next day.

So it just shows you that was his test. He wanted to say who was going to give him the best service. So you never know what’s out there. Never leave anything on a bad note. Never feel sorry for yourself cause you really do not know what it there on the corner.

Ross Temple:

That’s amazing. That is an amazing story. And you know, for those who are watching this and will be watching this, leave a comment, leave a comeback what you just learn from the lesson that Dan has to share with you of that. That is something powerful there to be learned within business. So Dan, look, it’s been fantastic speaking with you.

Dan Salmon:

Thank you, Ross.

Ross Temple:

Where can people find you?

Dan Salmon:

Yeah. So www.neverawastedjourney.com, and again, I’m on Instagram at never_a_wasted_journey. And again, I’m on Facebook. So just put the name in there, you’ll see me pop up, and if you had any travel plans, please do, or even general questions. Just bear me in mind, pick up the phone and give me an email. And I’m more than happy to help.

Ross Temple:

Dan, I can’t wait to see the next level of your success. It’s been fantastic being alongside you on the journey so far. And there’s so much more I know that you’re going to achieve, and you know, build relationships for what you’ve done.

Dan Salmon:

Thank you, Ross.

Ross Temple:

And having that bounce back mentality. For those of you watching this. Thank you for watching this, and Dan shared some fantastic tips for you, he’s really summarized some great points, some powerful points that make all the difference in your business. Please reach out to me. Dan has invited you know, yourself to reach out to him. Be sure to follow Dan, he’s a you know, a great guy, great friend, and really makes a difference to his marketplace. And that’s the aim of business, to solve the problems to your marketplace, to be that value provider and you do it to the best of your ability and your [00:17:58] business. But Dan, thank you again, and great to –

Dan Salmon:

Thank you, Ross.

Ross Temple:

I look forward to seeing you soon. And for those who –

Dan Salmon:

Okay. Stay safe.

Ross Temple:

Stay safe, and thank you for joining us. 

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