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Client Matchmaking 101February 22, 2016 By: Vacation.com
Tammy the Travel Agent shows how to find clients that you love
This is the fourth installment in a series of fictional stories featuring Tammy, a new travel agent, as she learns more about the day-to-day challenges of selling travel.
As someone deep in the trenches of single life and all that it encompasses in this digital age, Tammy offers ideas to veteran agent and long-time married Marge on navigating the path to true client love and the different ways to find the perfect match!
Marge: Did you ever hear back from that prospective client? She seemed super into what you were putting out there.
Tammy: No, she never called back. I was really excited about this one too. Seemed like we totally clicked and there was a lot of potential to make the sale. Maybe I was too aggressive. Sometimes I feel our relationships with clients are a little bit like dating.
Marge: What do you mean? You want to bring the clients home with you?
Tammy: What? No.
Marge: I’m sorry, it’s been some times since I’ve been on the dating scene.
Tammy: I meant that it’s hard to find the ‘right one’ who comes without any drama and doesn’t have crazy expectations and demands. You don’t want someone who will use you once and then find out they have been communicating behind your back with an Online Travel Agency. You certainly want the clients who you can count on for years to come.
Marge: I can see that. Well, as our resident expert on the subject, what other insight do you have?
Tammy: Well, let’s see. Sometimes I meet guys at the gym, or I met one guy when I took a cooking class.
Marge: Hmmm. So you are saying meet clients who share your interests. That idea ties into the whole travel agent trend of specialization. When you go to that cooking class, I bet there are client prospects who would be interested in culinary tours. Or when you’re at the gym or taking a yoga class, maybe you could look for clients who might want to do a group trip to a destination spa.
Tammy: From personal experience I know that generally people don’t like being approached at the gym, but yes, I guess that is what I’m saying. I met a couple at a wine tasting the other weekend who seemed like a perfect fit for a wine tour river cruise.
Marge: Great! Where else do you meet prospects, uh, I mean potential life mates?
Tammy: One time I tried this speed dating thing. You know, you talk to a guy for a few minutes, the bell rings and ding you are on to chat with the next one. I’m not sure how that applies to our clients though.
Marge: I’ve got it! We beef up our travel show presence. Go to bridal shows, for example, to meet couples planning their honeymoons. Yes, we need to attend the right travel shows to promote our agency.
Tammy: I agree. The speed dating thing was kind of like an in-person version of Tinder. It would be great if we could ‘swipe right’ or ‘swipe left’ more often with our clients!
Marge: What are you talking about?
Tammy: You know, Tinder, the dating app. You look at peoples’ profiles and swipe to the right if you are interested and left if it’s a no thank you. Your potential matches swipe left or right for you too and if you are a mutual match you can communicate. I’ll show you on our lunch break…
Marge: God, I am so glad I am married! If only there was an online matchmaking service for clients.
Tammy: Actually, it’s sort of like getting online referrals. You register, including your interests—or specializations in the case of online referrals. Clients can then reach out to us to help them with their travel. If we want to accept working with them, then we sort of ‘swipe right’ and contact them back.
Marge: Yes, online referrals through a consortium, host agency, suppliers and even through some educational programs will definitely bring more clients to us.
Tammy: Totally. I also have met nice guys the old fashioned way, through friends.
Marge: Nice people usually are friends with nice people. We should ask clients for referrals more often and see if they would be willing to set us up with their family or friends. We could be a good lifelong travel advisor to any one of them.
Belong to an organization where members inspire each other
Connecting with people in person who have similar interests is a great way to meet the right kind of clients for your leisure travel business. And when you want to take that to the next level and explore the world of meeting your “client match” online, Vacation.com provides the perfect outlet to match your specialties and interests to those of travelers looking for someone to plan their next vacation. We drive travelers to our member profiles through significant investment in SEO, SEM and original content. Visit www.joinvacation.com to learn more.
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This article is brought to you by Vacation.com, and was produced in partnership with Travel Agent Central’s sales team. Travel Agent Central’s editorial team played no part in developing the article.