Cruise and tour suppliers, the smarter ones at least, realize just how challenging it is to be a successful front-line travel agent. As an agency owner, I am pretty certain I could not do an agent’s job as well as some of you do it. You folks are expected to bounce back and forth between left-brain and right-brain functions, which, leaves me half a brain shy before I even start.
This explains one reason suppliers spend so much time trying to get “top of mind” with travel agents. They know you are expected to master a world of destinations and navigate a sea of travel providers. One way they approach this challenge is to create agent rewards programs to capture your attention. As an owner I have seen some programs I could bless and others with which I have had major disagreements; but let’s save that for another article, shall we?
Occasionally, however, along comes a program, that combines a quality product with a well-conceived structure that I find easy to endorse. Such is the new program from AMResorts called AMRewards. As they say, it is “Agent Driven * Client Focused.” Maybe it is this balanced approach that appeals to me so much. And here are four reasons I feel this is one of the best programs out there and why you should enroll in the new AMRewards program today.
Goodies for you
The first not so crazy reason to sign up for AMRewards is the answer to the first question that most people ask when something new is announced: What’s in it for me? The answer is that you can earn FREE NIGHTS at AMResorts properties.
Actually, this benefit allows you to be selfish and selfless at the same time! While you are drinking in the seductive surroundings (and possibly a few adult beverages along the way) and wondering what the commoners are doing today, you are also expanding your knowledge in the most natural and enjoyable way. Not only are you living the good life, you are expanding your knowledge of the AMResorts portfolio. In turn this enhances your ability to sell more travel and thus make more money! How sweet is that?
Gifts for your clients
Last year, I wrote a series of articles for TRO called “Seven Steps To Super Sales.” Step six was titled “Stand Out With Special Touches.” Among other priceless pearls of wisdom scattered throughout, I seem to recall saying, “If you want to build a loyal clientele, and this is a must for long term success, it is not enough to WOO customers, you have to WOW them.”
However, coming up with a way to do that is sometimes easier said then done. If you enroll in the AMRewards program, you can use your points to provide your valued clients a romantic dinner by the sea, a relaxing spa treatment or any number of other amenities. When you bestow such gifts that are both substantial and unexpected, they create the wow response you are hoping for. Your best clients are golden and this program gives you the opportunity to treat them that way!
Greenbacks for bookings
Okay, I admit it. I only used the term greenbacks for its harmonious resonance with the other headings. You don’t actually get cash and anyway, cash is so . . . so . . . yesterday. But, and even better, when you register for the AMRewards program, you will receive a prepaid Visa card.
That is, unless you live in Canada in which case you will receive a dozen beaver pelts. Just kidding, eh. Canadians will receive a Scotiabank prepaid Visa card. At the time of redemption, the reward you select will be deposited to your card. No muss, no fuss.
Grab bag for marketing
The poor little caboose always finds itself bringing up the rear, forgotten and undervalued. Don’t make that mistake with this fourth and final benefit. Marketing is how you grow your business, right? At present, you can apply your points to three different marketing items with more choices coming soon. The first is a point of purchase display for your agency. Granted, if you are a home based agent this will likely only appeal to any little rug rats you may have scurrying about the house looking to build a fort.
The second and third items are two different styles of banners with your agency logo, website and phone number. One is a desktop banner and the other a larger banner, either one of which could be used for consumer events. They are both retractable and have their own carrying case.
Just to keep us both out of the hoosegow (a common term here in Texas for jail with a fascinating Spanish origin you should Google in your spare time), the obligatory rules and regulations for this program can be found here.
As Johnny Cash crooned in Folsom Prison Blues, “Do you hear that whistle blowing?” The train is about to pull out of the station. I am pretty sure all your competitors are either already on board or, at the very least, standing on the platform with their bags packed. My sage advice is to book your First Class seat on the AMRewards Express today before you get left at the station!
Terry Denton is co-owner of Travel Leaders / Main Street Travel of Fort Worth, Rowlett and Tyler, Texas. He is an inveterate traveler, proficient writer, avid golfer and, by his own reckoning, a fairly unremarkable person. Terry claims to have more degrees than a thermometer and less native talent than a first round American Idol reject. He and his business partner, Vince Ashwill, have managed over the past twenty-seven years to build a reasonably successful chain of Travel Leaders agencies spread across North Texas. As you can probably tell, he doesn’t take himself too seriously but he takes the challenge of building a team of successful travel agents very seriously. And last but not least, he writes an entertaining travel blog called TravelByTerry.com.