Sales Quotas: A Good Thing | Travel Research Online


Sales Quotas: A Good Thing

Dear Stephanie,

Are there hosts out there without sales quotas?  What if something comes up and I take a break?

-Matt C.

Hey Matt,

The simple answer is yes, there are hosts out there without quotas.  However, as usual, I’m going to make the answer more complicated 🙂

A host agency is a business and they want producing agents, not hobbyists.  To that end, many have written sales quotas into their agreement.  Personally, I think it’s a great idea for both the host and their agents.  With a sales quota, the host agency creates a stronger agent network – one that is more knowledgeable and productive because they’ve created a barrier to entry.

Now, what you’re talking about – something unexpected coming up – is a completely different situation than the situation of a hobbyist.  You’re wondering what would happen if you had to take a leave of absence or you had to delay the creation of your agency, right?

If your host agency has a sales quota, its purpose is not to punish producing agents that run into unexpected life circumstances.  For most hosts, a simple call letting them know what’s happening will buy you the time needed to ride through the storm.

My advice would be don’t choose your host based on if they have sales quotas.  Even if you’re a beginner agent, the quotas I’ve seen are reasonable sales expectations for someone that is serious about their business.

If you’re still nervous, express your concern as you speak with prospective hosts.  Ask them what their policy is if you don’t meet the sales quota because of unexpected life circumstances.  I think you might be surprised what they answer.

For the rest of you, if you have any questions on host agencies, getting started in the travel industry, growing your home-based agency, etc. drop me a line:

Until next time,


PictureAfter a 6 year stretch as director of a national host agency, Stephanie Lee started Host Agency Reviews – a resource website with host reviews and articles to help travel agents start and grow their travel agencies. She was awarded the ASTA’s Young Professional of the Year and Travel Agent Magazine’s 30 under 30 award. As time marches on, the dates of the awards have been surreptitiously left out to avoid drawing attention to the fact she’s aging. She’s not.

You can connect with Steph on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

  5 thoughts on “Sales Quotas: A Good Thing

  1. Vacationagent says:

    Wouldn’t a “sales quota” conflict with the “independence” of an Independent Contractor?

  2. Steph Lee says:

    To be honest, I’m not sure if that grays the line between IC and employee. You’ve asked a really great question and let me see if I can get an answer for you from a legal professional instead of me pulling an answer out of thin air! 🙂 Stand by… (possibly for a while)

  3. Amber says:

    @Vacationagent: I would say “yes”!!

    If a host wants to tell you how much you must sell, and by what date, that leads me to believe the host is an employer. Otherwise, they won’t tell you what you have to do and by when you must do it.

  4. Vacationagent says:

    @Amber – I think so, too. After this article appeared, I started checking around with some hosts, though. There is a large, well-known luxury vacation agency with a very robust IC program and I see that they have added (during 2012 I think) some sales requirements. They also stipulate that they will not take you on as an IC unless you intend to sell “full time.” Makes me think hmmm…

  5. Kristy says:

    Steph Lee – Were you able to get any more information on the legality of sales quotas for ICs?


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