TSAX chief urges agents to switch sell

TSAX chief urges agents to switch sell
By admin

Travelscene American Express chief Mike Thompson has taken the unusual step of naming a non-preferred wholesaler he doesn’t want his agents to sell as he made fresh calls for members to back the network's partners.

He urged consultants to turn away Scenic Tours bookings and to switch sell to one of Travelscene’s preferred partners.

Addressing the Travelscene National Consultant’s Conference in Alice Springs, Thompson said it was “vitally important” that agents increase their level of support for suppliers who have commercial terms with the network.

And that means selling away from companies like Scenic which has no formal deal with Travelscene.

“While closing the sale is obviously important I think equally important is the ability to direct and sometimes reposition the sale,” Thompson told delegates. “None of us like to lose clients and you’d rather sell them anything than see that client walk out of the door.

“Our challenge is to ensure – and unusually for me I am going to name names – that when a client comes into the door with a Scenic brochure that you don’t book them on a Scenic tour, that you use your ability and skills and I think the superior product range offered by our preferred partners such as APT, Insight, Trafalgar and others to get your clients on one of those tours.”

The level of support for preferreds is one of three key measures against which Travelscene head office is judged, he said.

“If we lose the focus and we don’t help you to promote our preferred partners we will certainly be looking for new jobs,” Thompson said.

“Our challenge is to incrementally, or more dramatically lift the level of support for each of our partners. So I do ask that you give me that support.”

Earlier in his address, Thompson briefly referred to “changes” that have taken place at Travelscene, with Jacqui Timmins replaced two months ago as general manager by David Padman. New Jetset Travelworld Group chief executive Rob Gurney also takes from Peter Lacaze in Monday, he said.

But what remains unchanged “is the importance of Travelscene American Express within the company,” Thompson told consultants.

“We are recognised for a vital and valuable contribution that we make towards the company but more importantly we are recognised as being the largest group of premium travel agencies in Australia and that’s not going to change.”

Meanwhile, he said a formal 10-year review of Travelscene’s alliance with American Express will take place next year. But he confidently predicted the partnership will continue.

“That alliance has been in place for nine years and it’s fair to say it goes from strength to strength,” Thompson said.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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