The travel market is an intense industry with travel agencies and diverse other companies all vying to provide the best experience. Thus, the idea of specialization has been popular with travel advisors as a way to separate themselves from the pack and add value for consumers. Travel agents need to adapt to and thrive in today's environment, in which travelers want personalized attention, good value, and the convenience of the internet.
Here is how to keep your travel business thriving:
Upselling is an important skill for travel agents.
People don't know what they don't know and they especially don't know what they might want. The true success for a travel agency and travel agents is when they sell their customers and clients simple extras, from accommodation or flight upgrades to excursions and sightseeing tours that they actually do want but didn't know they wanted.
According to Pat Johnson, owner and manager of Flair Travel Planners, "When people call they have an idea in mind or have seen a price somewhere, but they really don't know what that includes or what it doesn't. Just presenting them the options for the different types of rooms available opens opportunities to upsell."
2. Speak the client's language
Consider your interactions with clients as conversations. And the most successful salespeople understand human nature.
Become an expert at identifying your clients' communications behavioral style, how you can adapt their behavior and choosing what words to use when speaking to clients.
According to Drew Daly, vice president of sales performance for CruiseOne and Cruises Inc., "The last thing we want to do is have an agent go through the sales process from A to Z and come back to the table with the right product, but then, just by the way they're communicating, not match the customer in a way that could result in not getting the sale."
3. Be needs-focused, rather than product-focused
Sell a vacation as an experience, not as a product.
When a client daydreams about their vacation they probably aren't picturing a specific logo or brand. Guide them through the sensations they'll experience on their trip. Your client has to already imagine themselves on vacation.
Personalize your destination knowledge by offering unique destination experiences.
With requests for customized and personalized vacations rising sharply, it's about your eye for detail to give the client a unique experience. Agents and outfitters today are arranging customized wine tastings, visits to artisan workshops, and private after-hours tours of the British crown jewels and the Vatican.
Make the client feel important by giving them access to special/private events. Organise a VIP access to an event or restaurant, or give them behind-the-scenes access. Clients are even going so far as to request on-site photography sessions to create Instagram-worthy content.
The travel industry is constantly changing. These tips will help boost your sales.