If you’re just starting to climb that ladder, here are a few bits of free advice from the experts.
Starting a career in the travel industry? Here are some wise words from the travel agency veterans who are already in the trenches working hard to please their clients. “You must specialize, either in a part of the world or a type of travel. So maybe that is Africa and safaris. Or maybe that is just in expedition cruising.”— Sheelagh King Co-Owner of J.W. North Signature Travel and Luxury Incentives, A Signature Travel Network member.
“Verbally go over all the trip details with your clients. Do not expect clients to read every document you send them and if they do look over the details it will usually be on the flight when it is too late to ask questions.” — Linda Marshall, an affiliate of Travel Experts, Inc. “Something that I learned early on in my career as a travel agent was that it is, was and always will be about the people and the relationships. Each trip is planned with detail and love as if it were a trip we are planning for our own family. Meeting and getting to know folks and planning vacations specific to them is simply magical. It is important to treat every client with the utmost importance and attention. No matter how much the vacation costs or what your commission is, each client is very important. Sometimes we get very busy and it can be stressful, that's the point where you have to take a step back and remember the ‘why.’ Our ‘why’ is our love for Disney and seeing that same love in my clients!” — Greg Antonelle, MickeyTravels.
“Understand the pros and cons of remaining independent vs. joining a host agency – then make your decision. Then, make sure you register for and utilize booking platforms that will make your job easier, such as VAX VacationAccess. That will give you the ability to conveniently research, market and sell using a leisure travel marketplace that’s exclusively for travel agents. It’ll give you an advantage over others. — Lynn Clark (VP, Agent Engagement) at Trisept. Clark also suggests that newbies differentiate based on your passions and destinations you are most interested, etc. In other words, don’t try to be all things to all people.
“Organization is key. Keep track of your client profiles and booking information on software like Xcelerator. It will let you integrate all the systems’ leisure travel agents need on a daily basis, including business management and customer engagement tools, as well as well-established connections to industry-leading suppliers. That way, agents can organize, automate and synchronize sales, marketing and client services on an easy-to-use dashboard.” — Lynn Clark (VP, Agent Engagement) at Trisept.