1. Specialize in a Niche or Destination
A generalist travel advisor will be competing with the internet. Rather, specialize and research your niche so that you can give value to your customers.
2. Personalize Your Services
Make your services, solutions, and recommendations personal! This is the only way to outcompete the internet. If your customer loves Italian gourmet food, then personalize your services by booking him/her into the best such restaurant in his preferred destination.
3. Think like a Billionaire, Even When Broke
Bringing poverty mentality into your business will kill it before it starts. You will be creating travel plans for both rich and poor people. Note that even the poor aspire to be rich. Create plans that reflect an attitude of wealth towards your customers.
4. You Are First and Foremost a Sales Person
True, you love travelling, and this is the reason you are in the business. However, to become a really successful travel consultant, everything you do, from personal branding to sales and marketing campaigns, should be aimed at closing a deal.
5. Know that Travelling is Part of the Job
Sometimes you will have to visit a destination in order to experience it before sending your customers there. Keep your expenses to the minimum…you are there on business!
6. Sell Experiences NOT Beautiful Graphics
Never overpromise a customer about a destination. However, if there is an experience you can prop up using colorful language, your sales experience should kick in.
7. Keep Off Simple Trips
With hundreds of travel apps in the market today, customers can book for themselves the simple trips. It is the complex, international trips and cruises where they need your specialized knowledge and services.
8. Pay More Attention to High Street Customers
In travel lingo, these customers are referred to as “those with more money than time”. These customers do not mind paying premium in exchange for your ability to handle every aspect of their trip.
9. Take Commission as Last Resort
A travel agent works for travel suppliers such as hotels and resorts. Instead of taking a commission for the customers you send to a travel supplier, get their net rates and mark them up for your cut. This way, you can get better cash flow and pricing flexibility. It also reduces the expenses associated with commission collection.
10. Self -Appraise
Are you meeting the goals you set for yourself? If not, formulate new strategies to give the most value to your customers and thus ensure your services and products are competitive in your selected niche.
11. Fine Tune Your Sales Pitch
What are the top 3 messages you give to your clients when they call? Have you memorized them? Are they optimized to convince a potential customer to commit to your agency services? Does your pitch portray you as a trusted travel advisor or one who is looking to make a quick buck?
12. Build Your Reputation
Get client endorsements, have your agency listed on BBB and broadcasted on national media, ask clients to write reviews and testimonials. You will also need a customer feedback platform so that you can improve where customers feel you lack skills.
13. Create an Insightful Website
Your website needs a good design, informative content and an easy to maintain and update framework.
14. Easy To Reach and Responsive
Integrate your smartphone with your email and chats so that when you are not at the office, you will immediately respond to customer enquiries. You can also use tools such as voicemail, social media, Google voice, Slack, and Skype to help you interact with your customers.
15. Continuously Improve Your Efficiency
Use technology to streamline your itinerary customization, leads conversion, quotation making, and emails reply etc.
16. Know When to Ask For Good Faith Deposit
As you get more experienced in selling travel, you will learn to make the judgment call when to ask for a fee.
17. Actively Look for Partnerships
Hire marketing agencies, get influencers to write articles for your website or mention you on social media or even buy prequalified leads. Strong business partnerships help your business grow to the next level.
18. Never Sell Deals. Sell Their Expertise!
You will never be able to beat the deals on the internet. Rather, sell your expertise and personalized services and see your business grow.
19. Meet Customers in their Comfort Zone
Busy business executives would appreciate striking a deal in their offices or country club golf course. Others would be intrigued by your invitation to have coffee as you discuss business while still others would want to chat with you over a morning jog. Welcome to the new travel consultancy…it is more personalized.
20. Think Outside the Box
This phrase is so cliché, but it is relevant here. If you can get your customer to spend $100 in a luxury train cabin instead of $200 on an economy class flight, your skills as a travel agent shine.
21. Have People Skills
Jack Ma, the CEO of the Alibaba Group calls it the “Q of Love” or “the Intelligence Quotient of Love”. Customers need to feel that you genuinely care about their wellbeing.
22. Become Internet Savvy
As a travel agent, you will be competing for customers with limitless online travel information. To stay on top, you will need to use this information to your advantage. By the time potential customers are coming to you, they have already scoured the internet for the destination and accommodation options available. You have to know more about your niche than the internet.
Use the above checklist to ensure you are doing what every other successful travel consultant is doing. After that, contact our travel consultants at Travel Agency Tribes for advanced travel agency strategies.
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