|Kimberly Wilson-Wetty (left), co-owner of Valerie Wilson Travel, Inc. and Kathy Sudeikis, vice president of corporate relations of All About Travel.|
LAS VEGAS, Nevada - As part of our ongoing coverage of the 2013 Luxury Travel Exchange International (LTX), Travel Agent sat in on a panel that included some of the biggest names in the industry sharing valuable sales tips with other agents in the field.
The panel, "Sales Best Practices: Learn From Your Peers," included industry giants Kimberly Wilson-Wetty, co-owner of Valerie Wilson Travel Inc.; Kathy Sudeikis, vice president of corporate relations for All About Travel; Alyse Cori, owner of Travelwize and Kate Murphy, president of Wings Travel Group. It was hosted by the very funny Lanny Zechar, senior vice president of acquisitions and agency relationships for Altour. The session focused on "wowing" your clients before, during and after their trips and on high-impact marketing.
"The best tips you ever hear are actually from your clients," says Murphy. "If you talk to them and actually listen to them, you will find that they will give you little hints. Find out about their lifestyle and document that information as much as you can."
Cori suggests getting to know as much about your clients personal life as possible and then calling them during special occasions in their life.
"Find out all you can about them," she says. "Maybe they like gardening, maybe they like wine tasting. Ask questions that strike notes in a person's life. Talk about their birthday, get to know their special dates and remember them. Call them during those occasions and you will usually get a booking."
Sudeikis suggests taking clients through every step of the booking process and their vacation.
"Walk the clients through every step of the vacation," she says. "Listen to what they have to say. Then you just start to work with them. Walk them through everything they can expect to have happen along the way from home to home. Give them two business cards, one that says thanks and one to give to their neighbor or whoever is watching the house for them. It's really just another way to get a business card in someone else's hand. It's really a great sales piece as well."
Wilson-Wetty told attendees not to be afraid to fire a client if they are being too indecisive.
"Tell them that it's time to make a decision," she says. "And then you simply have to tell them, 'I don't think we are a good fit anymore. You have exhausted my energy.' Many times they will say, 'I'm sorry, let's book,' but sometimes you just have to simply cut them loose."
Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for updates from the ongoing 2013 LTX, which runs through Thursday.