Continuing our “Five Secrets to Success” series, Luxury Travel Advisor spoke with Lila Fox of SmartFlyer. Fox, who was featured in our December 2016 Trendsetters issue, joined her agency with no travel-selling experience, and pulls in over $2.5 million just four years later.
A theme throughout Fox’s “secrets” is flexibility. She suggests opting for whatever form of communication the client prefers, and not to stick with one type of client.
- Find a niche in social media—Such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., and be consistent, interactive, active, approachable, interesting, and authentic sharing tidbits from not only your travels, but from your own life / lifestyle. People like to know more about the people behind a business.
- Be available and extremely responsive—Mold your form of communication to not what is best for you but what works best for the particular client whether that’s via text, email, telephone, or a combination.
- Differentiate yourself from others in your particular market—In a city such as New York or Atlanta, there are so many agents so you must, in my opinion, find something to differentiate yourself from the pack in order to stand out. In my situation, I started a travel agency in an environment in South Louisiana where there are not many agents at all so it was easier to stand out – no one was really doing what I was doing, or ‘selling’ travel the way I was selling travel – out of my home and on the road, via social media and storytelling. The number of agents here is completely out of my control, so I do owe that one to luck as the timing and market were just perfect to get my name out there when I started four years ago.
- Diversify your clientele—More than half of my business from a revenue standpoint lives within just a handful of high net worth business executives where I’m assisting with not only their business travel needs, but their leisure needs as well. The rest of my business is what I call the ‘bread & butter,’ upper mid-range to high-end leisure travel predominantly for couples. I like being diverse because if one of my large executive clients were to go away tomorrow, I would still have a solid client list and enough work to last through a low spell. I don’t have an eggs-in-one-basket view; I’m more of a low-risk gal when it comes to that.
- Know that you’re replaceable—I’m not naïve enough to think that just because I have a client today, that I’ll have that client tomorrow. That keeps a fire in me to keep doing better.
Make sure to keep checking out Luxury Travel Advisor for more Secrets to Success from our featured advisors!