Do you find you're always trying to grow your client list as a way to increase your sales? How about taking your existing list of customers and trying to grow the quality of business that you exact from them? Here are some best practices for doing exactly that, which I've learned through some of my more recent meetings with successful travel agents and consortia leaders.
Inside Sales: Have you ever been too busy to reach out and touch a client who is due for another vacation? If so, you're missing out on money just sitting there waiting to be spent, and the odds are that another agent will benefit from a relationship you've already forged and nurtured.
One way to maintain your alliance with your clients—and
retain their business—is to develop an inside sales force. This could be as
simple as having one well-spoken individual in your agency perusing your
clients' past-trip files and getting in touch by phone or e-mail to ask them if
there are any travel needs you can help them with. Over the past year, Vacation.com, which has 5,100
travel agency locations in the
Ancillary Sales: Can you offer your client additional
products besides travel? Anastasia Mann, owner of Corniche Travel in
Corporate Sales: Do you have a small to mid-size corporate client for whom you regularly book travel? If so, why not hold a leisure travel fair for the employees of that company in their cafeteria one Friday afternoon? Your preferred vendors will gladly ship you brochures for the event; perhaps you can even create a special offer with the supplier for just this group in order to incentivize them to make a decision now about traveling. Be sure to have several of your agents on hand who have traveled to the destinations you are promoting so they can speak enthusiastically about their trips. There's nothing like hearing about a dream vacation first hand.
Leisure Sales: Maureen Jones, owner All Horizons
Ruthanne Terrero, CTC Editorial Director [email protected]