Diving Into the Importance—and Inconsistencies—in New Advisor Training

While almost all travel advisors associated with American Marketing Group networks acknowledge the importance of training new consultants, the current methods may not effectively prepare recruits with the crucial skills they need. To alleviate the current advisor shortage, agencies are prioritizing the recruitment and onboarding of new consultants. As for what agencies are looking for in these new hires? TravelSavers and Nest advisors were surveyed to shed some light on the qualities they are looking for in recruits and how they train them.

An overwhelming number of advisors—95 percent—say that training is essential or important for new entrants to the profession. However, agencies rely on diverse methods of developing their new consultants. Fifty-four percent offer a job shadow with colleagues and 53 percent use supplier training programs. Almost one-third employ industry webinars. Programs that provide training in a range of crucial advisor skills are less common. Twenty-six percent say their agency offers a specialized program for new advisors. Twenty-three percent use an industry program such as The Travel Institute. Fifteen percent depend on KORE, American Marketing Group’s comprehensive advisor education curriculum.

When asked about the most important elements advisor training should cover, 43 percent named booking travel. Forty-two percent said advisors should have a grounding in different supplier types such as air, hotels and cruise lines. Forty-one percent opted for customer service and one-third selected sales training. Knowledge in demand for today’s advisors finished further down in the survey, including technology (27 percent), compliance and fraud protection (12 percent) and marketing (5 percent).

Training that covers a range of skills is essential, especially given that many agencies are looking for potential among prospects rather than advisor experience. Forty-four percent are seeking candidates with a travel industry background and 33 percent are looking for people with client service experience. Other desirable qualities include a passion for travel (30 percent), detail orientation (29 percent) and communication skills (26 percent).

Once recruits are on board, they will enjoy multiple benefits in their new profession. The survey found 52 percent of respondents treasure the flexibility to work as much as they like from wherever they like. Forty-one percent delight in making people’s travel dreams come true. One-third appreciate the choice of niches to fit their passions and interests. Thirty-one percent love travel discounts and perks.

Advisors from TravelSavers, Nest and Affluent Traveler Collection affiliate agencies in the U.S. and Canada took the survey from March 21 to April 14, 2024.

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