The topic of specializing is one that gets thrown around travel industry conferences and events like a beach ball in a giant stadium. Should you specialize? Yes. Absolutely. Every single person who becomes a travel agent should specialize. Why should you specialize? I’ll answer that question extensively in a bit.But before I do, I want to address why people who become a travel agent hesitate to specialize. One of the reasons people don’t is because they are passionate about all types of travel and it feels too restrictive to limit the travel options they sell. The problem with this argument is that it’s based upon a false understanding of what picking a specialty is. Yes, if you pick a destination as your specialty, you will be narrowing down the places you send your clients. But if you pick a specialty based upon a TYPE of traveler, for example, food and wine enthusiasts, you don’t limit your travel destination options at all.Another reason people don’t want to focus on a specialty is that they want repeat clients who like to travel to new places (not the same place over and over) and they feel if they pick a specialty, they will lose those relationships. And the argument made above is the same argument here. If you focus on a type of traveler – you can have repeat clients and send them someplace new every time.A final reason people resist picking a specialty is because they are afraid to turn away business. This argument is based on fear and the rest of this article shows you how you will make more money if you take the plunge. So let’s go ahead and answer the question, “why should I specialize when I become a travel agent?”1) Experts Make More Money.It really is that simple. When you are an expert at something, you establish your value right away. You separate yourself from a sea of plain vanilla.Think about this example. Let’s say you made a weight loss pill. That’s a highly competitive market. Your pricing would be based upon how the rest of the competition prices their weight loss pill. But let’s say you decide to focus on a specific market for your weight loss pill – women. There is still nothing different about your weight loss pill, but you put on your label, the weight loss pill for women.Now, let’s notch it up again. You decide to narrow your market even more and make it a weight loss pill for brides-to-be. Again, there’s nothing different about your weight loss pill, but you put on the label, the weight loss pill for busy, brides-to-be who want to look fabulous on their wedding day. Do you think a bride-to-be would be willing to pay more for your weight loss pill than a plain vanilla one? You bet she would. Do you think she would pick yours over others, DESPITE a higher price? Yes again.Rather than just looking at a hypothetical example, let me share with you my own experience. The year I decided to focus on my specialty and turn away all other business, my sales tripled. So, from experience, I know that experts make more $$$.2) Marketing Becomes More Effective (and Easy!).Rather than waste all your time, energy and money on marketing to anyone and everyone that comes your way, when you have a specialty, you know how to narrow in on your target market. When you do narrow your target market, marketing becomes far easier and sales become so much easier.I have a client who resisted claiming a specialty, but he finally decided to go for it. His specialty is planning travel for gay, professional men over 40. Since he has “come out of the closet” with his specialty (no pun intended), he has joined 2 new networking groups – a gay dad’s group and a gay chamber of commerce, and has doubled his ezine list size in 4 weeks. He’s working on new business and feels great. All that energy he used to lose trying to market to everyone has been channeled to his target market and it’s working.3) People Send You Clients.Referrals rise significantly when you have a specialty. And this is great. But there are also perfect strangers who will send you clients. When you have a specialty with a clear and compelling message around it, you will make such an impression on people you meet. It’s human nature to want to help others. With the right message around your specialty, you will get clients calling you recommended by people you don’t even know. This happened to me several times.YOUR ASSIGNMENT:If you have been resisting picking a specialty, consider doing it sooner rather than later. It is the single best path to making more money today. Not to mention that it makes your marketing a LOT easier. For help in pinpointing your specialty, check out GTN’s Travel MBA Program, where I take you through a step by step process of picking your specialty, and then help you with ways to market it.