Get Those Incremental Sales!
By Mark Murphy
August 29, 2012 11:45 PM
Remember the “good old days” when you could sell an airline ticket, forego the hotel booking and never even consider booking a transfer? In reality, of course, they weren’t the good old days by a long stretch, since you were basically an automaton selling a commodity product. Heck, look at the state of airline travel today and consider yourself lucky if you’re still in the business.
When was the last time a client said, “Thanks for booking that great middle seat from Columbus to Charlotte! It was great.” They never say it because airline tickets are viewed as a means to an end. What they will thank you for is finding that special fare, upgrade or connection that gets you to your destination faster, cheaper and with less stress. They’ll also thank you if they have a problem on the way to their destination and you can step in and fix it.
The good news when it comes to airline travel is the fact that you don’t have to simply provide a service, collect a small fee and then move on to the products that pay commission. Indeed, there are many ways to earn extra money selling that great commodity today, and we’ve covered that area in next month’s issue of Vacation Agent. If you aren’t already a subscriber, you can subscribe for FREE and make sure you receive our ideas-packed September issue.
As you wait for that issue to come out, understand that there are a number of other ways to make money selling transportation tied to any traveler’s trip. Airlines are just the start. The September issue will delve into each of these categories and highlight the opportunities that exist.
If you think it is chump change to sell these additional options, then you’ll need to think again. The things you used to not even consider are the difference makers in profitability for many of today’s travel sellers. At one time you were tethered to a telephone and waiting on hold to make a small incremental booking that would have minimal impact on your bottom line. Technology has changed that by bringing efficiencies, and hence profits, to the simple act of an incremental sale.
Consider the number of clients you sell in any given year and what an extra $50-$150 per transaction could mean to your bottom line. Get really good at selling incrementally and that number could be even higher. Multiply the two together and you’re eyes might literally bug out of your head since that’s money that would flow right to your bottom line.
As the fall approaches and you begin to make your plans for a successful 2013 selling season, be sure to take advantage of the many different ways you can become more profitable by selling travel.
Mark Murphy is president and CEO of travAlliancemedia, parent of TravelPulse.com, Agent@Home magazine, Vacation Agent magazine, Travel Agent Academy, Virtual Travel Events and Agent Studio.