|Vice President—Content/Editorial Director, Ruthanne Terrero|
There’s a flurry of activity as the temperatures cool down and many around us head back to school. How can you harness this positive energy to refresh your travel advisor business?
Plan holiday season getaways: If your clients want to vacation over peak December and January travel dates, consult with them now so they’ll get what they want, especially if they prefer connecting rooms for family members or specific suites at specific hotels.
Review your client list: Are there customers you haven’t heard from since their last vacation? Get in touch now and have in hand a trio of travel options that will appeal to them, based on the records you have on their likes and dislikes.
While you’re at it: Do you have clients who have taken your best energy this year, calling you repeatedly for the last-minute trips that never panned out? Do these same people make your staff miserable when they get in touch? If they’re not adding significantly to your bottom line, remove them from your database and explain to your team they’re no longer a top priority.
Review your advisor list: How is your team functioning? Do you have an advisor who was brimming with potential when you hired him or her, only to become an average contributor to your business? Spend some quality time to see what’s keeping them back. Then bring all of your advisors together for a brainstorming session on how to develop new business. This might seem crazy if you’re all incredibly busy, but the dividends always pay off when a team feels collaborative and creative.
Rate your manager: Do you get great feedback from your ideas or do you get a glazed-over nod from your supervisor when you come in Monday morning with new suggestions? Is there room to advance in your agency or do you feel stuck? If so, it’s time to have an honest conversation with your manager about your ambitions. If you get that same dull expression, look around. Nearly every agency in the country is looking for great advisors now and working from afar is no longer a challenge.
Reconsider your supplier list: Do you have vendors who don’t appreciate your business even though you are constantly using their services? Call your local sales rep, or, if that’s the person who’s just ho-hum about you, connect with the corporate office to determine what you can do to have a more reciprocal relationship. While you’re at it, ask about planning some cooperative promotions with them that will bring in more sales to you both.
About those suppliers: If you have a sales rep who is always there for you, who solves every issue that arises for your clients, write a praising note about them to the corporate office detailing their great qualities. It will go a long way and will strengthen your business in the long run.
Map out your own travel plans: Don’t get stuck behind a computer every day of the coming season. You need to see the world so you can sell better. Plan long weekends and an actual real getaway somewhere far away so you can enhance your personal travel portfolio.
What does your office look like? Bring in the dumpster and ditch the brochures from last year and clear off your workspace. Encourage others in your office to do the same. Buy a big bottle of spray cleanser and wipe down all of your surfaces. It’s time for a fresh start.