Travel Agents

How to become a luxury travel rock star

You’ve learnt the business and done your share of Sunday shifts, so it’s time to start expanding your horizons. But just how does a travel agent build a business that can sustain a lifestyle and even take it to unbounded levels of success?

“A luxury advisor needs to see themselves as a business and an asset, and have the confidence to sell their expertise to unlock the potential in their client,” according to Savenio managing director David Brandon.

The luxury travel network has revealed the keys to building a future with clients who are looking for the very best in travel experiences.

Savenio sought insights from its stable of luxury travel advisors to glean their top tips on how they built their clientele:

Upsell

“Don’t assume your client can’t afford it.  Tell them about the options and help them understand the additional value they will get out of an upscale product. Once you offer a client the top level of product, it’s hard for them not to recognise the additional value.” – David Brandon

Learn about the product

“Going to product updates/seminars/conferences with luxury suppliers and hoteliers builds both knowledge and relationships, and I feel these relationships in particular are crucial to being a luxury travel advisor. Product knowledge is paramount however the relationships are the cream on top.” – Donna Phillips

Know your client

“More importantly, know what they would not like and don’t be afraid to say so. Take ownership, and just as you can say ‘I don’t think it’s for you’, you can also offer what you think might enhance their journey.” – Robyn Sinfield

Don’t talk price, talk experience

“Advisors need to experience luxury travel themselves, or at least some of the little touches that will enhance a client’s experience. That doesn’t mean you have to stay at the Four Seasons on every trip, but you should take the time to do site famils of the properties your clients will want to visit when you do. The more you understand what’s out there, the greater ability you have to say ‘have you considered…’” – Sonia Jones

Foster relationships

“Play the long game – it takes time to build up a luxury client base. Find influencers and provide them with unbelievable service and they’ll refer you to their friends, and make sure you network and get around with the people who have networks connected to your target clientele.” – Alex Prez

Over 90 per cent of Savenio affiliates say more than three quarters of their business is repeat and referral, and all agree the essential ingredient to building a luxury business is to maintain relationships with their clients.

“That means looking at clients not just as a commission today, but an opportunity into the future,” Brandon said.

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