Even if you are the best of planners, the next few weeks are going to carry you along like a rogue wave and spit you out on the shores of 2018 before you know it. Keep ahead of the game with these tips to enhance your travel agency business.
Hone your closing skills: You work too hard to lose a sale because the customer didn’t hear the words that made them commit to the trip. Role-play with team members to practice using catch phrases that subtly signal the client to put down their credit card. Corner the best sales person on your team to get them to reveal the words they use to seal the deal. Ask them to share their mindset as they’re confidently closing; that’s often the biggest secret to those who aren’t natural-born sales superstars.
Help the client decide: Here’s an editor’s tip. Need an executive to decide on promotional copy? Give them a few paragraphs to edit up front to get their creative juices going instead of handing them a blank slate to start with. So rather than asking a customer what they want to do on their trip, provide a list of choices to get them on track to discuss what they really want to experience.
Brides and Grooms: People are going to get engaged this December, so prepare a short list of all-inclusive resorts you’re confident in suggesting for honeymoons. Be ready to answer questions about whether they are in hurricane-afflicted areas as that’s likely to come up.
Fabulous FITs: Travelers are seeking off-the-beaten-path European destinations, so research the capital cities of the lesser-traveled countries. Keep it simple for honeymooners who typically want to rest after the wedding day rush; for them, urban resorts with spas and rooftop pools are a good suggestion.
Hot, Hot, Hot: Europe remains a bestseller, so get your clients to commit now to give them the most options in 2018. Under-the-radar locales are still in style, but pent-up demand exists for favorites such as London, Paris and Rome, too. Ask your go-to suppliers for new ways to experience the classic cities.
Live Like a Local: Destination immersion is the new norm, so collect information on the local land operators you’ve learned about from trade shows, webinars and promotional e-mails. Ask your agency network for a list of vetted destination management companies so you’ll have a litany of experiences for that client yearning for something fresh.
Wellness Watch: Boozing it up and acting wild is a thing of the past for most vacationers who now want to return home healthier and emotionally enriched. Explore hotel and cruise options that provide this experience. Convincing a client that traveling is good for their health could be the nudge that gets them to commit.
Edit Your Client List: Get rid of the bottom fishers who fight you on price, question your worth and steal your time. If someone specifically came to mind as you were reading this, start with them.
Reward Your Loyal Clients: A small acknowledgement can prevent a person from feeling that they’re being taken for granted. Useful travel gifts, invitations to private VIP client functions or sometimes just a considerate, consultative phone call will make a customer feel valued.
Reward Your Loyal Staff: What are the touch points that make them happy? Is it more freedom, more cash, or simply that they have a career path with your company? Analyze their needs and communicate to them that you’re keeping them in mind as you plan for next year.