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Jennifer Doncsecz, Media DarlingJune 18, 2007 By: Mark Rogers Travel Agent
This home-based agent knows how to make the most of an opportunity
Jennifer Doncsecz, president of VIP Vacations Inc., knows an
opportunity when she sees one. When her
out at Sandals and Beaches' 2005 STAR Awards, coming in at first place in the
nation for group sales, Doncsecz wasted no time in taking advantage of her
company being in the spotlight. "As soon as I returned from the STAR
Awards, I contacted every local press person I knew," she says.
Doncsecz's efforts yielded immediate results—CNN Headline
News picked up the story and did a profile on VIP Vacations Inc. Then
Doncsecz's local paper, The Morning Call,
It was only a month after receiving the award when RCN TV
called, asking Doncsecz if she would come in and host a monthly segment called
"Ask the Travel Agent." "Viewers call in questions live and
often I open the show with hot topics and great deals," says Doncsecz.
The rollercoaster ride didn't stop there—Doncsecz is
travel correspondent for Fox News, raising the profile even higher for her and
"The STAR award was measured against brick-and-mortar
agencies and not simply home-based ones," says Doncsecz. "Winning
that award was a defining moment for my company."
VIP Vacations Inc. has also been named STAR Awards Best of
the Best for several years and this past year was chosen number one in the
nation for group sales.
It's hard to believe Doncsecz started in the travel business
a mere 15 years ago. While attending a marketing and sales seminar, the
instructor said to Doncsecz, "You have such an honest face—you're going to
need to sell something you love." Doncsecz took the advice to heart and
walked into a travel agency cold and was hired on the spot. After six months,
she became pregnant with her first child and the travel agency, impressed with
her sales record, helped her transition into being a home-based agent. A year
passed and it dawned on Doncsecz that, "I can do this on my own." She
then founded her own home-based agency, VIP Vacations, Inc., which now employs
13 outside sales agents.
Doncsecz's Words of Advice
"I tell my agents, 'You have to love travel, but you
have to really be good at sales.'" To that end, Doncsecz encourages her
agents to attend seminars on public speaking and sales techniques, with the
agency picking up the costs of the seminars.
Doncsecz also hosts an annual weekend retreat for her team,
and invites speakers to come and make presentations to her agents. "It's a
very motivational weekend and a real team-building experience," she says.
As president of the company, Doncsecz sets a standard for
the sales team of always putting the client's needs first.
"My mindset from the beginning was to be a resource to
my clients and establish a clientele that needed a personal touch," says
Doncsecz explains that VIP Vacations Inc. found a niche in
the wedding and honeymoon market and began to focus on that about four years
ago. "None of this would have happened if it hadn't been for the support I
receive from Sandals and Beaches Resorts and Unique Vacations," she says.
"Five years ago, the only supplier that would come to my house and
encourage me to sell their product was my Sandals rep."
Doncsecz has advice for agents. "You have to value
yourself—take pride in what you do," she says.