How do you control when a resort takes your client? I had this awful experience and it really put a bad taste in my mouth about my vendor relationships in our industry.
I had a resort actually tell a client that they could book directly with them instead of going through me. I was so upset. I don’t know how I stop this from happening again. Is it really going to keep happening? Can I trust a resort? I don’t know what to do.
First of all, it’s important to realize that every industry has rotten eggs. Unfortunately, you’ll find people who steal clients just because they are desperate for the business and some do it just because they are unscrupulous.
The travel agency industry is, sadly, a victim in this.
I, also, have been a victim. For example, one oceanfront resort in Jamaica has actually taken my clients. I’ve also gone through this with resorts who, once they have my client on their property, have then sold them a resort timeshare or booked them on another trip for a discount. Now, they don’t need me and I’m out of the commission (they say they’ll send a commission, but they never do).
Recently, I had a destination wedding where I actually have a recording where the resort is telling me that the bride can go to them directly and does not need to come through my company, Elite Travel. Unreal.
That being said, we really need to trust that we are working with reliable resorts who won’t take our clients.
Hopefully, we have built close relationships with resorts that want a stellar reputation in the industry. I’ve been in this industry a long time and when I run across a shady resort or vendor, I’m quick to dump them from my list. This is my reputation and I’m not letting anything tarnish it.
Here comes the Catch-22, though. How can you trust a vendor or a resort before you actually work with them? Then, if you work with them and they end up taking your clients, it’s too late.
So, who can you trust and how can you avoid it?
Tune into this column next week, because I’m going to give you some solid suggestions on how you can avoid having this happen to you.