Nowadays, the internet is accessible to almost everyone in the world. With that in mind, the internet has given a modern consumer a possibility to quickly and effortlessly acquire information about any destination in the world. It allows them to independently book every part of the trip, and we mean everything, from flight tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals all the way to theater and amusement park tickets.
Being a travel agent is hard in these times when people think that travel agents are not needed anymore. But it is our job to prove them wrong. We simply need to have incredibly high standards for everything we do and to do a lot more than we used to in order to provide valuable services so that we could stand out from the crowd. We never said it was easy, but everything changes and we have to adapt.
Here are 5 extremely useful tips that will keep your business growing and it will never go out of style. Keep them in mind as a reference. Also, here you will find some great tools and apps not only for today but for tomorrow and any other day in the future. Let’s begin!
Personalize Your Relationships
First of all, you have to be accessible to your clients 24/7. The job of a travel agent is a personal one which means that people who are planning a trip need to feel confident that their agent will be available to them if any questions, issues or concerns regarding their trip arise. Obviously, travel agents should have their phones with them all the time. It would be recommendable to improve communication skills, particularly writing, since it can enhance the experience you are delivering to your clients. Replying instantly to first-time inquiries as well as existing clients builds up the clients confidence in you.
Know the Product You’re Selling
The easiest travel product to sell is the one you’ve already tried or the one you are personally excited about. And we don’t mean it in the door-to-door vacuum-selling-kind of way, but as a real experience. You should grab any chance you have to get familiar with the product you are selling. Go out, talk to the customers and write down their experiences, visit travel shows/ expos, participate in various social events and product training. You should also track down company representatives, ask them detailed questions, let them know you are interested in getting to know their product. One more thing, don’t forget to socialize. Give out your business cards and also keep the ones you get, you never know when you will need them.
Create or improve your online presence. Your potential clients will go most likely online to search for travel agent services. With that in mind, the internet is the best and cheapest place to network and advertise. A professionally looking website that is easy to navigate will most likely stand out from the crowd. In addition to that, start using your social media accounts to share tips. Post important travel information, yours and your clients’ journeys and more. By doing that you would build a reputation and establish yourself as a leader in your business field.
Embrace New Technologies
Instead of not acknowledging or running away from new technology trends, travel agents should embrace them and use them to their full potential. Since travel agents are constantly on the move, going mobile is a step in the right direction. We bet you didn’t know that there are mobile apps that can replace your traditional office so you can work from anywhere in the world. These are the ones we use:
- Dropbox – keep all your files securely saved in the cloud and accessible from any device wherever you are. Bonus tip: if you want to send a large file to a client which email cannot handle the size, Dropbox is perfect for you.
- Adobe Spark Page, Video or Post – create professionally looking brochures videos, landing pages, and graphics in no time. The apps are really simple to use, practically anyone can create beautiful designs on its own.
- PDF Converter Ultimate – make PDFs editable again. In case you need to make some last-minute changes to any uneditable document, simply convert them to editable file formats with this app in a matter of seconds.
- Evernote – easily organize all your notes, schedules, ideas, chores, reminders into one centralized place. You can even scan business cards so you would never be in a situation to lose them again.
- Buffer – schedule articles, quotes, status updates and images for any social media account. In addition to that, the app provides you with comprehensive and understandable analytics.
Nowadays everyone can use the internet in order to perform basic travel agent tasks like booking plane tickets, hotel rooms car rentals and the list goes on. By offering only those services, chances are that you wouldn’t have a business in a few years from now. That’s why travel agents need to seriously think about the area of travel they can and want to specialize in. You should try focusing on a few destinations rather than all and become an expert on them. Additionally, you should be offering packages that average person wouldn’t be able to find on their own.
We truly hope that these tips brought you at least one step further to becoming or staying a successful travel agent. As you already know, in this fast changing world, customer relationships, adoption of new trends and the usage of your personal experiences to create unforgettable trips is a must. We believe that after reading this article you will find it much easier to sell a travel service.
My name is Sandra Rodgers. I run the Cometdocs blog and post on it regularly. I love yoga, travel, photography, cooking foreign cuisine traditional meals and I’m a major tech enthusiast. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter.