So now you’re a travel consultant – here are some tips on how to let others know what you are doing!
- We draw a circle around ourselves – we all have family and friends and acquaintances that we can contact and let them know that we are a travel consultant and would be happy to help them with their travel plans if they aren’t already working with someone. Reach out to these individuals and let them know that you can assist them!
- Are any of the above your cheerleaders? Have those who want to see you succeed tell their contacts about you as well. Once you have clients, ask them if they will refer you to people they know. This is one of the fastest ways to build your business!
TIP: I always thank people for sending me referrals and also have a referral program. I have a monthly drawing for everyone who refers someone to me who books. When they book, I put the name of the person who referred them in a bowl. Every referral counts as one slip in the drawing. Every month I draw a name and give away a $25 gas card (you may want to do them quarterly if you are just starting out).
- If you are working another job while you are building your business, make sure that it is alright that you let others know what you do after hours. Some companies frown on this so do check before spreading the word at another company.
- Do you belong to any groups or a church?If so, talk with individuals there and also let them know that you could put a group event together; either a land trip or a cruise.
- Start thinking about a niche to specialize in. Now, this might take up to a year or so to decide, but once you do and you learn as much about that specific type of travel then you will be seen as an expert in that area. You can then give informational talks on that subject and will gain new clients through this as well. How to find and develop a niche is a topic we could spend a lot of time on so that will be a discussion at a later date!
While you are letting others know what you do, make sure you are also on webinars and taking some classes with the cruise lines and tour operators so you can learn about different locations and different vendors. You can always get back with someone when they start talking with you, but you want to have at least a base of knowledge to start with.
- Put together a database of your potential clients immediately and stay in front of them with an e-newsletter or with TPI’s e-marketing.
When you first start in travel you want to make sure you are putting together your database to stay in touch with potential clients. So, gather people’s names, e-mails and phone numbers. You’ll get their addresses once they become a client (if you can get this as well that would be helpful, but sometimes you won’t be able to until they trust you as the true professional you are).
In an Excel spreadsheet (you can use Outlook or other sources to store this info, but I have found that if you use Excel you can upload the info into other programs) store all this information. You can use the e-marketing program that TPI has or use Constant Contact to create a monthly newsletter about travel. Always ask permission to send them your e-newsletter. One thing to remember is – you don’t sell travel, you want to be front of mind when someone starts thinking about travel or decides to go! So, stay in front of your clients and prospective clients.
Think of the “why” people would use your services. They will use your services because of you and because of what you offer. So, always be professional. Always ask if they are currently using an agent and are they satisfied with their services. Stay in touch with them and ask permission to do so. Listen to them, don’t do all the talking. Give great customer service and ensure them you will be there for them if they need you while traveling. Always do what you say you are going to do. These few things can set you apart from everyone else!
Wish you much success in building your business!
– Valerie Gossett – Owner of Premier Resources Travel, Sales & Travel Mentor
Cruise & Vacation Specialist