“If I could, I would clone her ‘agent DNA,’” says David Van Ness of All-Travel advisor Teresa Chilton. “I know an all-star when I see one. She is the real deal.” Van Ness further cites Chilton’s ability to both handle high-end luxury clients flawlessly without missing a detail and matching customers to the right ship experience or land vacation as qualities that give her an enviable repeat-client factor.
Chilton’s service is consistent, whether working with a client spending $100,000 on a trip or with a couple booking their first Club Med vacation to Mexico, says Van Ness.
“I answer the phone as if it’s the only client I’ve spoken to today,” Chilton tells us. “I listen and mirror their excitement. I want to understand past travel experiences and what they’re looking for now.” And while she’s very capable of upselling, Chilton believes not every client should be upsold. “I want that client to have the best trip of their lives and come back to me to plan the next one. I don’t look at it as totally transaction; it’s also relational.”
That mindset showed when she worked with a wheelchair-bound client for a custom trip to China, where it’s difficult to find vehicles that can handle wheelchairs. She ended up renting them from private owners and her efforts made all the difference. The clients dined with locals and visited the iconic sites in China, which included getting up on to the Great Wall. “After 33 years in the business, her advice is to continue your education, which she does by attending the annual Signature Sales Meetings and taking advantage of online vendor and destination webinars. Visiting places live doesn’t hurt either, she says, in fact, it makes you invaluable to your clients. “Your enthusiasm for travel is infectious and your clients will want what you have to share,” says Chilton.