A travel consultant is an entrepreneur. All successful entrepreneurs use common rules to steer their businesses to great heights. If you want to run a successful travel consultancy, you’ve got to learn and live by these rules. Take a look below.
Successful travel agents love what they do hence the positive energy reflected in everything they do. They show up for work when everybody else is taking a break and nothing stops them from serving their customers. If your answer to the following questions is affirmative, then you are a motivated travel agent.
- Can you sell travel over and over again without it becoming routine and boring?
- Can you wake up at night to finish travel arrangements for your customer even when it’s not urgent?
- Do you continuously find new things to improve your travel consultancy?
- Are you sure you want to sell travel for the rest of your life?
When resolving stressful customer problems, you will need to think on your feet. You will use travel apps to improve your consultancy’s workflow while increasing your productivity and bottom-line.
Learn the Art of Negotiation
Convincing a customer to spend money is not an easy task. Your persuasion skills need to complement your travel industry knowledge when selling to a customer.
Understand the Big Picture
For your marketing strategies to work, you will need to have a vision. The vision will be where you want your travel consultancy to be within a set timeline. Your daily tasks should help to slowly steer your business towards your vision.
Update Your Skills Continuously
Attend industry seminars, enroll into travel webinars, read travel and technology books. The travel industry changes every day. If you don’t adapt, you will be out of business soon.
Have High Risk Tolerance
If your marketing campaign did not work as well as you planned, try another one. Pursue customers even if there is a risk of them not buying your travel products. Travel consultancy is not a business of the faint hearted.
Be Ready to Shift Priorities at a Moment’s Notice
Potential customers will not wait for you to make decisions. If a customer wants to be onboard a cruise ship in a week’s time, it is your job to make it happen. Excuses will lose you customers faster than you can say hello!
Establish Strong Networks
The travel industry is collaborative. You need strong networks with travel suppliers such as hotels, resorts, and government tourist desks. You will also need to have onboard other trusted travel advisors who can handle your customers when you have an increased workload.
Self-Belief and Discipline
Research your travel product and niche thoroughly. Once you are convinced that your product is the best, go out and sell it without self-doubt. Sometimes, you will have to defy the odds to make a sale
Know Your Niche and Product
To become successful at selling travel, you have to understand your target market. What makes your market tic? What are the emerging trends? What are the external factors that affect it? Who are your competitors and what are they doing that you can do better?
Cash Flow Management
You will need to run marketing campaigns, pay your expenses and still re-invest part of your profits to grow your business. If you are not very firm with how you spend your money, you will be left with no money to pay salaries.
You will have limited time, money and personnel. You need skills to use technology to make the best use of these resources.
Jack Ma, the chairman of the Alibaba group, has coined in a new phrase called the “Q of Love”. According to him, all the intelligence in the world will never help you get and keep customers. If you show true care and empathy for your customers, they will always come back to you.
You will be dealing regularly with travel suppliers, customers, and other agents. If you get a reputation for being unscrupulous, nobody will want to do business with you.
Quick Takeaway Tips:
- Only become a travel consultant if you enjoy selling travel.
- The travel industry is a serious business. Treat it like a hobby at your own peril.
- Plan your customer itineraries to the minute detail.
- Don’t wait for customers to come to you. Go out and get them!
- In travel, it’s all about the customer. The customer is king.
- Shamelessly self-promote. That is what every good salesman does.
- The positive business image will get you even the most risk averse customer because you are easy to trust.
- Personalize your travel products by understanding your customer needs.
- Technology will help you to even the playing field with large travel consultancies.
- If you don’t have the skills, hire them. A good team will help you deliver superior services.
- Let your customers know you as the go-to expert when they want great travel experiences.
- What is your competitive advantage? Use it shamelessly to put down your competitors.
- Always be accessible to your travel customers through customer feedback and engagement channels. This is the only way to build a solid reputation for your consultancy.
- Upsell your products by showing the customer how your travel product is better than what is available elsewhere.
- Take every chance you get to grab the attention of your target market. Competition in the travel industry is so stiff that you may only have one chance to catch your potential customer’s eye.
- Your workspace/office should communicate success, even when you are not very successful.
- Specialize. The travel industry is so wide that you cannot do everything.
- Even when a customer has already purchased your travel products, always make a follow-up.
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