A strong host agency backed by a quality consortium, coupled with hard work and a strong commitment to quality service is Nancy Scorby's formula for success as an independent agent. Scorby is president of Scorby Travel and Cruise in St. Charles, Illinois.
Scorby, recently named Agent of the Year at the annual OASIS Sales Meeting held in Las Vegas, is a veteran of the travel business, and has partnered with OASIS since August 2010.
In an interview with Travel Agent, she attributed much of her success to good customer service and the valuable support she receives from OASIS.
The Outside Agents Sales Integration System, or OASIS, is a division of Smart Travel Group of Boca Raton, Florida, and a member of the Signature Travel Network.
“Oasis has helped me to grow my business in many ways; good relationships with quality vendors, website support, easy marketing and access to the Signature Travel Network, to name but a few,” says Scorby.
“I believe that it’s all about personal service and making sure my clients are getting the most for their travel dollar," she notes.
Scorby started in 1980, "back when we had to learn how to hand write airline tickets and MCO's. To this day, I'm still learning; new destinations, resorts, vendors, or a process to facilitate the selling."
"I wanted to be a flight attendant, but decided I didn't want to move to St. Louis to work for Ozark Airlines. A very good friend of mine was opening her own travel agency, so I offered to work for free to learn the business. My own version of an internship. My mentor, Sue Wehrli, is still in the business and going strong. She really taught me and many others about good customer service, hard work and the need to travel as much as you can," Scorby said of her motivation.
"I've worked in store front agencies, as well as a large corporate agency - but always on the leisure side of the business. It finally dawned on me that as long as I was working hard in this business, I might as well be the one who benefited the most. OASIS has helped grow my business."
Currently, Scorby says she has a good mix of leisure clientele and group business. "My groups range from multi-generational families, destination weddings, church groups to college groups."
"Its all about personal service. I've never focused on price, but making sure my clients are getting the most for their travel dollar. Clients that have not worked with me before, are always amazed with my documents; no e-mail documents from Scorby Travel," she says.
Scorby believes that by "partnering with a great host agency, you have all of the training and pricing options that any brick and mortar agency can offer."
She also says her business has grown by word of mouth. "I do participate in social media, but the bulk of my business is driven by referrals. Its important to have a good website, so that potential clients can find you, and learn about your business," Scorby said.
Underscoring the importance of the OASIS - Signature relationship, Scorby notes that the recent Las Vegas meeting where she was named Agent of the Year was held back-to-back with the Signature meeting.