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Five Travel Agent Myths – #2: Clients Expect Too Much

This week we are going to look at five common myths that many travel agents believe. Do an inventory and decide if you are harbouring some of these fallacies as cherished truths.  If so, you might need a serious attitude adjustment to prevent your next travel planning exercise from blowing up on you!

Myth #2 – Clients Expect Too Much

Clients can be demanding. They have impossible budgets and unrealistic expectations. They blame you for every mishap and seldom give you credit for the miracles you pull off. Right? Not so fast. One of the first things that a good travel counselor learns to do is to set the expectations of the client. Training your client is a basic part of establishing a relationship that will last many years. The travel consultant is the expert in the relationship. The task before the travel consultant is to demystify travel for the client – to explain how it works, to provide insight into how to achieve real value.

From the outset, a good travel consultant will take charge of the relationship. A well-trained client will expect only what the travel agent has led them to expect. As the expert, the travel agent should guide and direct the traveler, steering the client in the right direction, making recommendations and explaining rationales for the selections made. The corollary to the myth that Clients Expect Too Much is its sister myth: Clients Know What A Travel Agent Does. In fact, most clients have no idea how a travel agent works or even how best to work with a travel agent. Teaching a client how to work with you, what information you require to do your job and the need for open and honest communication will save both you and the client much unnecessary pain in the relationship.

Finally, let no good deed go unnoticed. Most people, including your clients, only know how to evaluate a situation when it is poorly done. They take good craft for granted. If you grabbed a suite from a full sailing for a client, or wrangled a special reservation, or found a special deal for a client, let them know you did it, and how you did it. Don’t let your good work go unnoticed.

Educate your clients. Let them know about the procedures you use, the resources you have at your disposal and the relationships that you (your agency/consortia) have built over the years. If you do not explain your work effort to the client, they take what you do as a given. Don’t brag…just explain. You are good at what you do, make sure they know it!

Tomorrow: Myth #3: The Sales Process is Difficult
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