How would you define training? Is it certification programs from such organizations as ASTA, CLIA and The Travel Institute? Is it a 45-minute webinar from a travel supplier or a fam trip? Is it a deep, immersive and interactive eLearning experience like what we do at TravelAgentAcademy.com? It is, in fact, all of the above.
The travel agency business today, and for that matter, for decades, hasn’t had a default certification to separate one agent from another. There are numerous designations that are recognized within the industry and by your peers, but there isn’t a single one that has any recognition outside of this industry.
We can only hope that this will change at some point, but it will take a concerted and integrated effort to make that a reality, which is something I just don’t see happening. Today’s marketplace is highly fragmented—from the more than 70 percent of agents who work from home to the various marketing networks and other groups that compose the agency distribution channel.
So where should you focus to make the most out of training and any corresponding designations? First, pretend you’re a dating app that utilizes human intelligence versus artificial intelligence. Your training should initially center on how to ask the right questions—beginning with determining why your clients are planning to travel
I’d encourage you to read the book “Start with Why” and watch the TED Talk of the same name, which will help you align your thoughts and processes to deliver at a level you may not have thought possible in the past. It will create a paradigm shift in how you view your role as an agent, as well as your approach to clients and business in general.
After you have established why your customers plan to travel, it’s time to get to the question of how. You can answer both the “why” and “how” questions by taking advantage of the tools that are available to you at TravelAgentAcademy.com, as well as through supplier and destination training programs.
You can then showcase your expertise by taking advantage of the tools at AgentStudio.com—the website and marketing platform for travel agents.
“Your training should initially center on how to ask the right questions—beginning with determining why your clients are planning to travel.”