The following is Part Seven of the series “The 7 Characteristics of Top Travel Agents“
Great travel agents charge research fees. As one very bright agent told me recently, “I’m not auditioning to be anyone’s travel agent.” Call it a deposit if you like. Apply it to the client’s travel if you want. Perhaps only charge new clients a fee. But charge a fee up front.
No client who has a $100 service fee with you is going to take your research and book elsewhere. Charging a fee places you in the same professional ranks Read the rest of this entry »
The following is Part Six of the series “The 7 Characteristics of Top Travel Agents“
Top travel agents understand that value and cost are two very different things. Cost is only a component of value. Too often, however, travel agents let the cost of a travel package become the centerpiece of their presentation. Recognize that clients will always attempt to drive immediately to the “bottom line.” Don’t let them take you there. If the value is present, cost is always a secondary consideration. Years after the client returns home from a journey, it is the experience of the travel, not the cost, that they will remember. Top travel agents will not deprive their clients of the best travel experience the client can afford.
It is also true that a “good value” means different things to different people. A top of the line luxury product is a good value Read the rest of this entry »
The following is Part Five of the series “The 7 Characteristics of Top Travel Agents“
Top travel agents train their clients. At the outset of the relationship, these agents set expectations. They explain to their clients the services that a travel consultant performs and how the client benefits from those services. Educating the client becomes an ongoing project. By demystifying travel the agent provides the client with base knowledge from which to more confidently operate and feel empowered.
More importantly, however, a good travel consultant will also establish, up front, the role and responsibilities of the client. Read the rest of this entry »
The following is Part Four of the series “The 7 Characteristics of Top Travel Agents“
Each of the top travel agents in our study recognized an important and subtle truth – they were not selling travel, they were selling themselves. They were selling their expertise. They were selling their knowledge and insight. They were selling their affiliations and associations, and access to their relationships.
Think about the importance of this understanding of the role Read the rest of this entry »
The following is Part Three of the series “The 7 Characteristics of Top Travel Agents“
Top travel agents form solid relationships with their suppliers. These are not agents that bounce around from supplier to supplier looking for the “best deal.” Instead, our group of elite agents found suppliers that they trusted with their clientele. The relationships formed by the agents were developed over time and encompassed tour operators, hotel properties, local tour guides and receptives, private drivers and concierges. The agents we interviewed went the extra step Read the rest of this entry »
The following is Part Two of the series “The 7 Characteristics of Top Travel Agents“
Each of the top travel agents that we interviewed for this series had a niche. That is not to say that they only booked one type of travel or only a single destination, but there was at least one type of travel on which they were the absolute experts and they did it very, very well. It might have been a destination like Hawaii, or a theme like safaris or river cruising, but these top travel agents had made expertise Read the rest of this entry »
What makes a travel professional successful in their travel planning practice? TRO’s research reveals 7 characteristics shared by top travel agents. Some traits are emphasized by the agents we interviewed more than others, but this distillation of common characteristics may well assist you in forming the basis of a marketing plan for your own practice.
The first characteristic of each of the top travel agents, without exception, was their passion for travel. These are people for whom travel is not Read the rest of this entry »