7 Habits of Highly Effective Travel Consultants
Kelly Bergin, the VP of Business Development at OASIS shares the 7 habits she sees effective travel consultants doing on a regular basis.
Habit #1: Make Yourself Known
It is no secret that travelers are making their trip buying decisions closer and closer to their departure date. Make sure when they decide to take that trip that they think of you. Keep your website up to date, make sure you are posting on your Facebook business page at least twice a week, start a Pinterest account and post pictures, join a networking group at your local Chamber of Commerce or BNI chapter. Volunteering for organizations of interest is also a fabulous way to meet new people. Get out there!
Habit #2: Generate Leads
Once you know people and they know you, make sure you stay in touch. Send emails at least every other week and make sure it is of interest to the person that receives it. Send out direct mail about destinations, products, and promotions. Emails and print pieces must be of the highest quality to show professionalism. Remind your clients about passport expirations and always remember birthdays. Staying in touch is imperative to acquiring new clients and keeping existing clients.
Habit #3: Be Quick
Everyone wants instant information and they are accustomed to getting it. Make sure that your communication system is set up so that you receive client requests quickly and answer them even quicker. Have emails and office calls sent to your smart phone. People will not wait so make sure that you are very easy to contact.
Habit #4: Tend Your Garden
It is very important that your clients feel important and nurtured. Moving your client from shopping to buying is easier when you share information with them. Let them know as soon as the rate on their cruise has gone up or down, offer information on shore excursions and destinations. Send them alerts when the vacation of their choice has a new promotion for their dates of travel. Remind them to buy travel protection if they have not or to book shore excursions for their upcoming cruise. Things like this show care and professionalism. As the insurance company says…they will know they are in good hands.
Habit #5: Be a Consultant
Clients value personal and proactive communication and consultation from an agent. They want timely information and they want to receive it via their preferred method which can be a combination of email, text, and phone calls. Make sure you are comfortable with all of these and have a method to keep track of all communications. Make sure to speak their language and not “travelese”. Understand what matters most to your client. Is it the sightseeing or the relaxation or the food? Fulfill their dreams!
Habit #6: Be Proactive - Ask for Repeats and Referrals
Without R & R, and I don’t mean rest and relaxation, you will not have a travel business. Repeats and referrals are the life blood of any service business and consultant. Staying in touch with clients and prospects is critical, but most agents do not have time to do this effectively. Find a system that works for you. Make sure it is automatic and works while you are meeting, servicing, and selling.
Habit #7: Manage Your Leads
Be sure to have a system or program that organizes your clients’ information. Documenting communications with clients can be very helpful for present and future trip planning. It will become invaluable if a problem occurs. It should provide information about client preferences and desires. This system should also integrate with your marketing allowing for consistent out-reach which should include publications, email, and direct mail.
Habit #8: Sharpen Your Skills
As Abraham Lincoln said “"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe". There is always something new to learn about supplier promotions, destinations, and technology. Spend the money and the time to attend conferences, fams, and seminars at sea. Do not make your area of expertise too narrow. Stay tuned into the industry so you know what is new and what is becoming obsolete.
OASIS is a division of Palm Coast Travel, a member of Signature Travel Network. We can help you be a highly effective travel consultant. Please call Kelly at 800-613-8380 ext. 5120 to find out how OASIS can help you grow your business.