Training sessions on how agents can leverage their personal brand in business, increase their sales closing average and how to manage corporate travel were key topics during Results! Travel's annual National Meeting, recently concluded in Newark, NJ, September 11-13. Presentations were also offered on marketing to Millennials and ASTA’s travel industry advocacy.
“We want to make absolutely certain that our members are effectively using our marketing, corporate travel and destination-related programs to their full potential, as well as marketing their true expertise in these areas in order to significantly and positively impact their businesses," said Results! Travel vice president and general manager John Risner.
Highlights from the workshops and presentations include:
- Leveraging Your Personal Brand in Business: Each agency has a brand, whether actively or passively managed. This workshop by Kathleen Crandall challenged members to consciously identify their brand, considering brand image, brand voice and brand promise. She also offered insights into using their brand consistently across all platforms, including social media.
- Increasing the Sales Closing Batting Average: Mark McMullen provided members with tips and insights to help them close more sales. McMullen worked with participants on identifying the qualities of a “good closer” and offered his expertise and guidelines for being successful at closing sales.
- Corporate Travel – Managing Above the Line for Bottom Line Results: This workshop offered insights into how business travel has changed and how agencies of all sizes can take advantage of the changes. Evidence was offered that smaller agencies are better positioned than mega-agencies to help small businesses travel more effectively.
- Marketing to Millennials: Members learned that studies show Millennials love to travel – 70 percent want to visit every continent in their lifetime and 75 percent want to travel abroad as much as possible. However, Millennials will not make a major purchase unless they have access to peer reviews, this presentation noted. Key points: Travel agents and agencies need to encourage conversation about their agents/agency and respond to comments; seamlessly integrate technology, atmosphere and expertise to appeal to millennials; and create adventure and reward Millennials in order to build lasting client relationships.
- ASTA – “What Have You Done for Me lately?”: Paul Ruden, ASTA's senior vice president of legal and industry affairs, detailed how local and state governments add additional tax burdens on travel agencies. "You are in a jungle. You are the hunted and the lawmakers are the hunters because you run a successful business," Ruden said, noting that in the past year, ASTA defeated $182,860,694 in aggregated tax proposals. He urged each member to support ASTA.
- Puzzling for Profits: This workshop detailed a Results! Travel agent incentive program designed help agents learn more about supplier partners and their products. This “game” to increase sales will effectively provide opportunities for agencies to earn additional profits and for individual agents to earn prizes.
The meeting also featured specialized training workshops on various Results! marketing programs – including a new email marketing program officially launched in June. Also examined were destination programs and working with Independent Contractors. A full trade show was also featured.