Dear Tammy: It’s just about March, and clients are already asking me about 2018 travel! Unfortunately, rates are not out yet, so do I just push them off and tell them to call again later in the year?
Of course not! You never push away a potential client who is bringing business to you.
The fact is that some people actually prefer to plan their vacations way ahead of time. It could be for budgetary reasons. Maybe they do not have all of the money at once, so they like to make payments on their trip, which makes it more affordable to them. Another reason that travelers like to book so far ahead is because of children’s school schedules. They know that destinations often fill up when children are on vacation, so they are trying to think ahead.
Either way, don’t hang up that phone!
Believe it or not, most destinations really can’t book that far out but you can always negotiate. Recently, I had a couple who wants to go to Tahiti in November, 2018. They booked the trip in November, 2016. That is two years out, but if hotels really want the business, they take care of it and book the couple.
The general manager of the resort accepted my reservation for the couple. However, I wanted to book it with my tour operator, GoGo Worldwide Vacations. So I called GoGo and had them call the InterContinental Le Moana in Bora Bora for me and book the reservation. Done!
I beat out the onlines that could not book it yet because it was too far out. I utilized my tour operator and received the highest commissions. Best of all, I looked amazing to the client that could book and budget their trip and the resort loves me and appreciates the business.
Keep in mind that you can book most cruises into 2018 and some even into 2019, so if your clients aren’t sure what they want to do, cruising is always an option.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t turn away business.
There are always ways to negotiate everything you need to make a sale. Think out of the box and tap into your resources who can help you to close the deal. You end up with very satisfied clients who tell their friends and family what a great job you did booking their vacation.