The best travel agents have two things in common – they work hard, and they have happy clients. But you need more than three clients to be successful.
For long-term success as a travel agent, it’s super important to keep your original clients happy – whilst also gaining new ones.
It’s one thing to have a loyal base of clients – but for a travel agent to be truly successful they need referrals, knowledge, and a few extra tips and tricks. Travel Market Report spoke to a group of travel agents and rounded up the most useful info.
Here’s how you can stand out from the rest – and guarantee your success.
1. Take advantage of a good mood
Whenever a client’s sporting a post holiday glow (that you planned and booked) is when it’s the best time to ask for constructive feedback and reviews.
“I ask my clients if they would recommend my services in my welcome home email, and I also ask for Facebook reviews,” Heather Christopher, owner of Heather Christopher Travel Consulting in Gettysburg, PA, told TMR.
2. Send thank you notes and show your appreciation
The post holiday glow worked in your favour and you have a glowing Facebook review, as well as someone to refer you to their friends and family!
But don’t think the buck stops there – make sure to show your client that you’re extra grateful.
“Any time I receive a referral that books, I send the referrer a thank-you note in the mail with a Starbucks gift card,” Terrah Van Meter, a travel consultant at Legacy Travel in Dallas, told TMR.
“I know it seems small but people love it.”
3. If you’ve got it, flaunt it
You know you can plan a great trip – so plan one for yourself! As soon as everyone sees you having the time of your life they’ll want to come too.
This can be done via social media or even by simply showing your clients your best holiday snaps.
Sekita Ekrek, Marketing Director at First in Service Travel in New York City, posted about her safari trip on Facebook and told TMR:
“A mom [sic] I know was liking and engaging with my posts, and finally said ‘I want to do what you did.’ “
4. Use social media to your advantage
“I follow a lot of healthy living and lifestyle bloggers, both on their blogs and Instagram,” Christopher told TMR.
“A few months ago, I noticed that an influencer mentioned she hadn’t planned her honeymoon yet so I reached out and offered my services complimentary in exchange for using my hashtag (#hctclients) along with tags and social media mentions where appropriate and on her blog.
“She was extremely agreeable and grateful for my assistance.
“I gained over 250 followers on Instagram from her alone but more importantly, I’ve gotten 10 new clients from it – and not just leads, clients that have paid my service fee and are booked/in the process of booking.”
5. Be yourself
This goes for in real life and on social media: clients won’t relate to you if you’re always trying to sell something to them.
“I receive a lot of leads via Facebook every week because I post passionately about my travels. I don’t post things that sound ‘salesy.’
“I post about staying up to date on my training and education, and most importantly, I try to stay approachable,” Van Meter told TMR.