There are always new things to be learned by our newest 30Under30 travel advisors. Sometimes it’s a matter of looking at old processes in a new way or coming up with an entirely fresh way of selling travel.
We learn in this issue that Millennials might not go for packages that don’t reveal the pricing of each component. That’s because this age group grew up being able to Google virtually anything, which means they’ll do that for any price quote you give them. And, as you know, they’ll also question a travel advisor’s knowledge without hesitation because they can always fact-check their qualms online, says Elise Angelopulos of Tzell Travel Group. Drawing on her past career in public relations, Angelopulos uses different pitches for different clients, but she always makes sure to personalize it to the individual.
That personal touch helped Nicole Thurman of World Travel Holdings to win over a client, who was extremely detail oriented, by being patient despite his many, many questions “and engaging in frequent correspondence to demonstrate that I could deliver what he was looking for in his travels.”
Anna Tallman of Cruise Holidays of Kansas City gets back to basics by sending out birthday cards to clients with a personal message and a $25 credit when they book within a month of their birthday. She also sends handwritten “thank-you” notes and a small gift any time she gets a referral from a client.
Millennial travel advisors aren’t convinced that social media is the ultimate answer to selling travel. “Personal connections and word of mouth are still very important,” says Kristen Elfritz of Humble Travel Service. She stresses that this is especially true for younger travelers taking their first big trip.
Elfritz pitches to her clients as if she is a party planner describing an event that is about to unfold. It goes something like this: “I bring your ideas to life and give you the security of knowing you have a professional backed up by a team of the best suppliers and hoteliers in the industry in your court for any and every travel need,” she says.
Travis Wallace of Prosperity Travel Service has his own elevator pitch. It’s super short, but it gets the job done.
“Travel in style” is his mantra and it’s printed on his business cards. He says he knows from his peers that young travelers want to vacation in style and for them that means Wi-Fi, smart TVs and contemporary furniture in a hotel room, as well as adventurous excursions and authentic cultural events.
Brianna Spinnato of Custom Travel has her own lingo to entice clients, which is, “It’s time for a new adventure.” That means they need to stop waiting for the right time and place and travel now, she explains. “By pulling the trigger on a vacation, clients will end up happier and feeling more fulfilled than waiting for that one perfect trip.”
A note to those who submitted their profiles for 30Under30 this year and were not chosen. Please try again next year. This year’s 30Under30 drew more submissions than ever before and it was excruciating to select the winners. Use the year ahead of you to try new things so you’ll have a new story to tell us in 2018 and know that we are rooting for you as you bring fresh ideas to our industry, which has welcomed you with open arms and appreciates your commitment.