In response to my column on the benefits of offering travel insurance to your clients, I received the following note from Julia Aliseo, a home-based agent with Cruise Planners, American Express. Hopefully her enthusiasm and optimism can be an inspiration for all of you out there:
Julia Aliseo, Cruise Planners
Good morning Michael!
All is good and business is fabulous this year! It is amazing! With twenty-five years in the travel business, I thought if I were to be challenged selling travel, it would certainly be during the past nine months.
Michael, I created a plan to utilize the extensive sales training that I invested in over many years, to overcome the obstacles due to the economy that the travel industry warned us about. I did not wait for calls to come in. I did my best to encourage clients that NOW was the best time to plan a vacation, even if it was a year out. Offering insurance was a key factor in the bookings I have made and I am receiving many thank-you notes from clients that have opted to make plans because they have the need to have something to look forward to!
I think if agents are disappointed in their sales this year, they need to revisit all of the seminar information and training details from classes that they attended and think about implementing the great tools that were offered at those classes.
I want you know that I regularly visit Travel Agent Central and I think the insurance article you wrote can be so helpful to many agents. I suggest to use insurance to give prospective clients "peace of mind" when they hesitate to book a vacation due to the economy and their job security! If clients hesitate and wait to book too close to their vacation date, they will end up paying much higher fares, especially for cruises that are close to capacity, unless there are special offers where the sailings have availability. I strongly suggest that agents offer clients with these concerns the best fares available with a deposit and with specific travel protection that covers loss of employment, etc.
"Peace of Mind" when spending any amount of money today on "any" purchase is an offer that is hard to refuse!
Thanks again for the valuable information always offered at the Travel Agent Central site!