Follow our Guide below that will take you on your Fresh Start Journey starting
with Zero Clients, Knowledge or Experience and ending up at a Successful
100K Business within 2 years’ time! Your Business is all about you and what
you put into it – You’ll get there FASTER if you put yourself out there and
work for it or you could take a LEISURELY stroll, which is beneficial to all you
Part-Timers out there and arrive here in 3 to 5 years! It’s all up to you and
what works best for your Business!
When starting out everything may feel very overwhelming as there is so much to learn and retain, but don’t forget how exciting it is to start out fresh and put all of your new venture ideas into fruition! Your New Business is your Oyster so just go with it and go ALL IN!
Here are the 5 most important things to focus on when you take those first steps:
- Start your Training Immediately
- Choose your Business Name & Niche
- Set Up your Workspace
- Get Business Cards
- Decide on Launch Date
Tip: Giving a business card out a day goes along way!
When you start getting your first bookings, it’s really important to start forming great habits which will bring success to your Business! One of the best ways of forming great trust and relationships with your Clients is to really make them feel like you care about them and the holiday you are planning on their behalf. Take the time to get to know your clients and listen carefully to what is most important to them; not only will you be able to qualify your client and match them to the best possible options, but you will almost always guarantee the sale because of your efforts! Treat each client as if they were the CEO of an extremely large corporation – that’s the kind of special treatment each one of them deserves! You bet they are going to remember you and they will also let all of their friends and family know too!
Tip: Listen! Listen! Listen! Every holiday planning is different!
Don’t forget - It’s all of the little things that you can do for your clients that really show your value as an Agent! It’s that bottle of wine that you have waiting in their room at the hotel, arranging a special dinner so they can celebrate an occasion or preparing little gifts to give to your Group along with their Travel Itineraries. Whatever you decide to do for your clients is entirely up to you and it adds a little something to their trip that goes a VERY long way...they always remember! If you are just starting out and are not able to fund these little splurges, there are lots of other ways you can be memorable without spending a dime. You can call the Cruise Company, Resort or Hotel directly and see if they are able to help you do something special for your client (you’d be surprised how many do a little something without charging!), send them Birthday or Anniversary wishes with a lovely personalized email or even remembering their pet’s name the next time they contact you. It’s all these little things that set you apart and makes your clients’ feel that you see them as something other than another commission sale!
Tip: You’ll never know unless you ask!
There’s nothing more personable than making a direct phone call to your clients to make sure that they have everything they need for their trip, answer any questions they may have before departure and to provide any last-minute tips you may have. This is also a great opportunity to follow up with your clients after you send them a quote and when they return back from their holidays. It’s been proven that one of the easiest ways to get a new booking is to call your clients fresh off their last one! The adrenaline and excitement from their holiday are still flowing and a phone call from their Agent asking how everything went and where they would like to go next, it just goes hand in hand! Give it a try and you would be surprised how many repeat bookings you receive!
Tip: A welcome home card with a hand-written note goes a long way too!
One of the worst things that you could do as an Agent is not be available for a Client in need. We’re not saying that you should be available 24/7 and not set boundaries with your Clients; Absolutely Not! What we are saying is that you provide each and every one of your Clients the contact information that they need if something should arise. Who should they contact after your Business Hours? Have you listed your Business Hours so they know when you’re working? Do you have Back-ups in place when you go away on holidays or a long weekend? Do you have Emergency After Hours information available somewhere so they know who to call? Is your voicemail up to date with this information at all times? It is your responsibility as an Agent to ensure that your Clients are always taken care of so make sure that your protocols are put in place. When it comes to emails the same protocols should be put in place. You should have an Out of Office message for any hours that you are unavailable and expectations of when you should be returning messages. If you are in the office, try to get in the habit of never taking longer than 24 hours to reply back to a Client’s email. It may seem like a hassle to set everything up initially but it really shows your Clients that you care about their well-being, that their Business is important to you and you always want to make sure they are always taken care of!
Tip: Always let clients know your way of communication, even in destination!
In this Industry, relationships are key and could save you from a catastrophic situation! We work with lots of Suppliers and BDM’s, the lists are endless and you will never get to know all of them – the important thing is to take note of those that you do meet and start building your connections straight away. If you have preferred Suppliers or Hotels that you often send your Clients to, it would be in your best interest to get to know the BDMs and Hotel Staff so they get to know you well. If you have the chance to visit these Hotels or Resorts on your holidays, make a point to Introduce yourself and get to know them more personally. Once they remember you and know who you are, it is much easier to make requests for your Clients as you know they are in good hands on the other side. If something should go wrong, as they know you, they will make more of an effort to help you out with your situation.
Besides this, making great networking connections with like-minded people within the Industry works in your favour! You can share insight Travel Information and Tips with one another which in turn will just make your Business stronger. It is absolutely imperative to keep up with the trends of your industry and to be current with what is going on in the Travel World so you always stay on top of it for your Business and your Clients.
Never go anywhere without your Business Cards and always have them on hand to pass around wherever you are! You never know who you’re going to meet and how they could impact your Business!
Tip: Relations build better business with Suppliers!
If you really want to reach those high Commission levels and grow your Business exponentially, you have to continually keep working on your Personal Growth! It is so important to continue to take courses to take you to that next level as well as others to increase your knowledge and expertise! This is not to say ‘watch 100 webinars and you will be an expert in the field’ – this is to expand valuable knowledge based on Travel Courses, Webinars, Podcasts, Self-Improvement, Accounting, Business Coaching... really anything goes and it would be amazing for you personally as well as your Business to be armed with this information and skillset. Never stop learning or challenging yourself in this industry! Always strive for self-improvement and reaching those huge dreams – never settle for anything less and keep going!
Tip: Set commission goals i.e. make enough for a family holiday, earn enough to receive your IATA Card or even try to do a booking a day. Challenge yourself!
Within this Industry, it is so tempting to take the easy FAM trips close to home or the Caribbean destinations. Not to say that it is not important to visit these countries and the All-Inclusive Resorts, especially if you have a large portion of your clients that go on yearly holidays here. But it is really nice
to expand your firsthand Travel Experience to other destinations in the world and FAMs give you a great way to do this! When you go to further destinations, the FAM trips are usually longer in duration so they also allow you to gain more knowledge and see more while you’re traveling around. If you have your Bucket List destinations or if you have specific countries that you know your Clients would love, this is a wonderful opportunity to become an Expert and sell a new destination! When you return back, you’ll be so enthusiastic, have lots of travel tips to share and be so full of excitement that it will be contagious...your Clients will want to visit this gem next!
Tip: Story Telling is your best selling point on where you have been in the world!
As Travel Agents, it is absolutely encouraged to share our gorgeous holiday photos or places we would love to visit all over our Social Pages! It’s our Bragging Rights! What better way to showcase our Preferred Suppliers and all the beautiful spots in the world that we can help them get to. Photos are the best way to increase your engagement with your audience and they will start looking forward to what you have to post! So, get to editing and put out all those fantastic, breath-taking, silly, fun and lively memories out there for everyone to see! Watch your audience & engagement grow!
Tip: Go live on social media and see how much your clients will LOVE it!
You’ve heard us say it before but we can’t stress it enough – SHARE EVERYTHING! Let everyone know the information you have acquired over the years, the tips in various destinations, the inside scoop on new developments within the Travel Industry, absolutely everything! You are all bursting with this valuable knowledge which may seem like it’s not special to you but you would be so surprised at how much information your Clients would love to know from you! The more you share, the more you are respected by your Community and the more they look up to you as an Expert. You are always top of mind as they are consistently reading your Social Pages and the next time they need to go on holiday or someone is asking if they know a Travel Agent.... guess who they are going to immediately come to/recommend? It’s easy to get stuck in the mind-set that if we have lots of experience, we should keep it quiet so you seem more of an expert than your competition. Believe us when we say that this couldn’t be further from the truth in today’s world! In order to build up your Business and increase your revenue, you need to share everything you’ve got and then share some more!
Tip: Sharing travel tips builds your reputation in the community!
You’ve got this! When you’re starting out, it’s really easy to doubt yourself and be insecure with your first booking experiences. You’ve got to get over that and know that everyone goes through this when they start – we all had to go through all of the hurdles and managed ok on the other side, so will you. You’ll fall down multiple times and make an abundance of mistakes along the way but if you learn from each of those experiences, it will only make you a stronger Agent. Don’t be afraid of failing and embrace that you will never know everything in the Industry – it’s how you take those failures as learning opportunities and are always willing to research anything you don’t know that will allow you to be very successful in the Travel World! Try out new ideas and think outside the box; if you never try, you’ll never know!
Tip: Don’t be scared of mistakes, we learn from them!