Yesterday we discussed the importance of knowing what bird type YOU are as a Travel Agent. Today we look at what type of ‘bird’ your CLIENT  is and how to deliver your sales approach accordingly.

That was the premise of Paul Wiseman President of Trafalgar and Brendan Vacations USA opening address at the New York Times Travel Show.

Paul told a room of travel professionals that if they learned to speed read their clients key characteristics it would give them the advantage of confirming sales, faster!

What’s not to take note of with ideas like that!

Paul presented the DISC assessment tool that identifies that there are four key characteristics of people in the world – dominant, influencer, steadiness and conscientious, (DISC).

“By understanding a client’s key characteristic you understand what drives them, so you can modify your behavior and delivery to meet their expectations with the end result being- confirming the sale, faster.”

The characteristics can be best remembered by relating to the profiles of a bird:


Dominant is the Eagle – driven, competitive, assertive, direct, self-starter.

Influencer is the Peacock – influential, persuasive, friendly, verbal, communicative, friendly.

Steadiness is the Dove – dependable, amiable, deliberate, persistent, good listener, thorough.

Conscientious is the Owl– compliant, careful, systematic, precise, accurate, perfectionist, logical.

“By knowing what type of ‘bird’ your client is you then deliver you sales approach accordingly”, he said.


Here is an example of what sales interaction would look like with each bird type:


The EagleThe PeacockThe DoveThe Owl
Ask questionsAllow time for socializing and relatingPresent your case softly, logicallyApproach in a straight forward direct way
Be specificPut details in writingMove casually, informallyTake your time but be persistent
Stick to businessAsk for their opinionAsk specific questionsCommunicate in writing


Here’s what not to do when dealing with these personalities:


The EagleThe PeacockThe DoveThe Owl
Don’t be disorganizedDon’t be cold or tight-lipped.Don’t interrupt, listenDon’t be casual
Don’t come with the decision madeDon’t drive facts and figuresDon’t rush into a business agendaDon’t overpromise

In summary he states when dealing with an Eagle your focus should be on results and goals, with a Peacock focus on relationships, people and recognition, with the Dove the focus is on providing all the steps, security and the Owl the focus is on diplomacy and information.

Paul moved over to the USA to take up the role at Trafalgar over 8 years ago and now the company works with 5,000 active travel agencies in the USA who take well over 100,000 clients on vacations somewhere in the world each year.

Can you identify what kind of bird your client is? Do you agree with the suggestions in the article?