Island Routes Introduces New Tours
Grupo Xcaret Xpert
What to Know About the Xcaret Agents Program
Can Las Vegas Survive a Hospitality Worker Strike?
Hotels and Resorts
Get Free Nights at Sensira Resort & Spa
Sensira Resort & Spa
Greater Miami & Miami Beach Specialist
Travel Suppliers With the Best Commissions for Travel Advisors
Partner With Palladium and Sell as a Specialist
It's already February and if you started the year making resolutions, how are they going for you? If you haven't, or if you want to revise resolutions that typically don't work anyway, here are 5 tips from travel agents on what you should really do this year to help your business:
Live in the Past
Past clients, that is. "The biggest source of revenue for me is from past clients," said Margie Lenau. "If you can keep them happy and ask for a referral from them, your bookings should increase. Stay in contact with them through emails and learn to use social media to your advantage. You can always be in the front of their mind when they are ready to plan their next vacation."
Focus, Focus, Focus
Jacob Marek suggests that agents focus on specializing in a niche and developing useful content. "Move away from merely selling travel," said Marek, Jacob Marek, Founder & Chief Explorer of IntroverTravels. "Selling travel is so easy a robot can do it, and just offering great service is not a differentiator. Everyone says that, and if you're not offering great service, then you're in the wrong business."
He hopes that travel professionals begin to see the value in telling a unique story, focusing on an ideal client, and developing a specific niche as the best way to compete against OTAs.
"Create a compelling brand, and your ideal client will be magnetically attracted."
Agents should jump both feet into social media," said Denise Lorentzen, CTA, Owner and Travel Consultant at Dreams Travel Consulting. "I really think it's the best way to leverage yourself as an expert."
[READMORE] READ MORE Meet Marianne Delulio: TravelPulse's Featured Travel Agent for February [/READMORE]
However, in addition to Facebook and Twitter, step out of the box and go live on social media. "Live video (Periscope, Facebook live, Instagram live) is the fastest growing social media channel and also the most under-utilized by travel agents," said Christine Hardenberger, Modern Travel Pros.
"Live streaming allows agents to get in front of their target market and deliver their message in a much more personal way. It is predicted that by 2020 80% of online business will come through live streaming. It's easy and doesn't take much time."
Sounds easy, but surprisingly some travel agents aren't doing it as much as they should. "One of the best things a travel agent can do this year for their business is to actually travel to a destination they book a lot or want to book a lot," said Greg Antonelle of MickeyTravels LLC. "When you have first-hand knowledge of a destination: how the hotels are, what the weather is like, the restaurants, entertainment, etc., it goes a long way in providing credibility in the services you provide.
As travel agents, Antonelle says that everyone can't be experts on every destination in the world. "Specializing, and then visiting these destinations, allows us to speak from experience, as opposed to merely from research," he said. "Visiting the destinations you book the most is essential for being great at what you do."
Lisa Iannucci has written many travel articles for national magazines and newspapers. Over the years, her travel articles have...
the latest travel news, advice, updates, upcoming exclusive deals and more.
CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC
Five Years Later, What Have We Learned From United's Dr. Dao Dragging Incident?
On the Pulse Interview with Palladium Hotel Group Executives Pilar Arizmendi-Stewart & Gabriel Rodriguez