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Travel Agents: The Key to Getting It RightApril 16, 2010 By: Jacqueline Johnson Travel Agent
Thank you everyone for the overwhelming response to the last article, “Travel Agents: A Necessity in the Bridal Market.” I have added you all to my database, so I will always have a professional travel provider on tap when needed. A few names and contact information have also been posted on my website, which also explains why a professional travel service provider is as important as the selection of the wedding gown for engaged couples planning a honeymoon or a destination wedding.
Meanwhile, here are the answers to some of the questions raised.
What happens when the couple’s planning date is a year away but my goal is to book business now?
On average, the wedding takes place 12-14 months after the engagement, and here, as the old phrase goes, “knowledge is key.” But it is certain that they are going to get married and will either have a destination wedding or honeymoon, making them sure-shot customers. When the wedding date or honeymoon is at least four to six months away, you should obtain e-mails or contact information to update the couple every two to three weeks. The updates should be simple, clear and concise.
It’s worth a reminder that a wedding is a very stressful time in the lives of those who are undertaking this life-changing event. They have both sides of the family to please, and she is never quite sure if the dress chosen is the best fit, since everyone has an opinion. You should be professional and, with a demeanor that exudes calm, knowledge and patience, present them with updated information without harassing them.
One among every three brides knows other couples who are planning to get married. Get their contact details and send out a congratulatory note while offering your services.
Do not be fixated on the wedding. Think of additional trips this event can generate. Recommend a “girls” weekend at a spa, a quick destination getaway, etc, and a golf weekend for the groom-to-be, or just a weekend of fun with his buddies. If it is a destination wedding, think outside the box and see if the hotel offers an incentive to the couple for a weekend visit.
I worked very hard to provide information and then they booked on the Internet. What went wrong?
Developing a rapport or relationship with prospective clients is key to the expansion and profitability of your business. Make sure you have a proposal outlining your business objectives. Do I charge upfront for my service, or at the end? How much information will I provide at no cost? Do I come across as a calm person to a couple, or do I fail to convince them because of lack of knowledge or my body language?
Unfortunately, I could not answer all questions, and will take the rest up in the forthcoming newsletters.
Recommended Service Provider
A wedding or honeymoon is a once-in-a-lifetime event (even for repeaters!) and you as an agent must get it right for your client. My choice today for a hotel and staff that do “get it right” is Round Hill Hotel & Villas in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Many of you know the fabulous and very gracious Josef Forstmayr, managing director of this venerable property. His staff is second to none, and they are experts at welcoming guests who want to experience the ultimate romantic vacation.
Every conceivable diversion is included in their strategy/package to add passion and fun to the lives of lovers, honeymooners, and those planning on a destination wedding.
Contact Wedding Coordinator Rochelle Smith (876-956-7050 [Worldwide] or 800-972-21599 [U.S.], [email protected]) to book a honeymoon or wedding.
With its proximity to the Montego Bay airport, sweeping vistas of the Caribbean Sea, lush vegetation and exquisite surroundings, Round Hill Hotel & Villas exemplifies the uniqueness of Jamaica. A farewell gift is always given to the couple as a memento of unforgettable Jamaican hospitality and style.