There were some key themes that emerged after spending a weekend with Travel Counsellors in Australia during their 10 year anniversary conference.
“The Australian business turns over just less than $60 million and we make $150k profit. The emotional support we give to this business far outweighs the profit,” Travel Counsellors CEO Steve Byrne said.
“We’re not in it for the money,” Byrne added.
The keynote speech was delivered by four-time Olympic medal winner and sprint cycler Anna Meares, who told the audience that for her 11 wins, she had 29 fails.
It was a personal weekend, with Counsellors sharing their stories. One agent told the story of packing a suitcase for his 84-year old single grandma client.
On that note, CEO Steve Byrne spoke to the character of Travel Counsellor agents.
“I think people respond to values. Customers want to buy from a business that stands for something. They don’t want to be told what to say or have preferred suppliers. They don’t want to be treated like a number.
“We’ve all worked in corporate and it sucks your soul,” Byrne said.
“It’s the individual relationship – if Travel Counsellors was a recognised brand name it might help with leads and first time enquiries.
“We don’t need to advertise. The best businesses are that good they don’t need to advertise.”
When presented with two itineraries, where one is the right fit but the other earns the agent more money, Travel Counsellors are trained to always deliver the right fit.
“We are interested in the lifetime value of the customer.”
“Most travel businesses are predicated on chasing new business not looking after existing customers. We have a completely different way of looking at the world,” Byrne said.
Image: Travel Counsellors