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Guest speaker excites Lee VCB’s Team Tourism Summit

By Staff | Oct 15, 2009

Energetic keynote speaker Cindy Novotny presented a positive message to those in attendance at the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau’s annual Team Tourism Summit at Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa Friday.

With Destination Teamwork as her theme, the Master Connection Associates founder and managing partner listed several telling points to alter an existing sales approach during a poor economy.

The Summit began with County VCB Executive Director Suya Davenport leading a sing-along and dance moves to Gloria Gaynor’s hit “I Will Survive” re-written as “Just Don’t Survive…Thrive.” The melody highlighted the Bureau’s 2009-10 integrated marketing plan for industry partners to gain new co-operative opportunities for visitor outreach efforts. T-h-r-i-v-e stands for teamwork; heart; repetition; innovation; value; and efficiency.

Novotny’s follow-up message reiterated the fact that “success ultimately depends on the continued positive approach you take with your customers.” She suggested the following decade is the age of the individual.

“This is the decade of individual brand,” she said. “The year 2006 was the best year this industry has seen in 30 years. In 2007, everyone woke up fat and happy. But, the mantra became ‘everything’s great until 2008.’ In March of that year, everything started to crumble. Wall Street started to crumble.”

Novotny continued with stories of her past and based her conclusion on certain statements.

“You will never be ahead on a team, if the whole team doesn’t work together,” she said. “You need disruptive innovation. That is what is going to put your business back on the map. The point is your destination already stands out. You need to be the CEO of sales. Past successes means nothing. Think of yourself as a free agent and push harder.”

Other focal points included create a stimulus plan for your business and destination; value messaging; creat a sense of excitement for your destination; create a story that gives adventure to the listener.

“The adventure has to tie into that, and it has to start with you,” said Novotny. “We can’t ever let our nerves show, our discomfort, or our angst about the industry. We must always be smiling. You never know who’s watching. You never know who’s listening. The key is focus. Focus in the direction of what you are trying to do. It is the passion that burns.”

The speaker’s ‘buy in or bust out’ technique featured several motivating factors including love the pressure; always be selling; over deliver; live the brand; do not hoard information; do not play favorites; do not play politics; walk away from bad business; do not dump rate; and make your customer a hero.

“The cream rises to the top,” said Novotny. “Never over promise but always over deliver. It’s all about teamwork.”

MCA is an international consulting, training and developing company dedicated to help organizations improve their bottom line and results. Its specific purpose is to provide quality sales, leadership and customer service training as well as development, marketing and strategic planning consulting.