We recently named the Top “Secrets to Success”—the most common tips that Luxury Travel Advisor’s Trendsetters suggested. For this article, we’re listing the most unique secrets: ideas that few (or only one) advisor had, which could be a fun way to change things up.
Honorable mentions include: maintaining diversified clientele; keeping a calendar to help keep on top of your events and clients; and using a motto to remind yourself what your goal is in being a travel advisor.
And without any further ago, the Most Unique Secrets to Success:
5. Find a Niche on Social Media
Find which social medium you prefer (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,” according to Lila Fox.
For more help on making the most of social media, Covington Travel’s director of social media Beverly McLean named her top tips to help turn you into a travel advisor sensation, where she states: "In fact, one could argue that social networking is partially responsible for the resurgence of travel agents’ popularity." Make sure you aren't losing out on staying connected with the industry and your clients by forgoing social media.
4. Know Your Ships/Sailors
It may sound simple but it’s a great way to ensure your clients have a great experience, especially those who sell a lot of luxury cruises. “Having first-hand knowledge of hotels and their staff is a wonderful asset,” Julia Shore says. “It’s a good idea to keep a file on those you know first-hand as well as the ones you are introduced to at your agency. There is so much happening in the cruise industry lately that it’s difficult to keep pace. That being said, we must have current information about the ships our clients prefer and be able to provide them with better options. It is so helpful to have onboard experiences with ships staff and leave with some positive interactions that you can pass on and that they can remember.”
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Upsell
No one wants to be overcharged, no matter what their income is, so being ethical is key (“Clients appreciate it when they know you are looking out for them,” Alyssa Schaier says). With that being said, don’t “sell out of your own wallet,” Christa Craig says. “Be confident in suggesting things that you know your clients will like even if they are expensive, as long as they are good value.” In Joanne Kruger’s experience, “Listening is the bottom line to all successful sales. Some clients like the best room in a 4-star hotel; others just need to say they stayed at a 5-star, so they opt for the least expensive room.” Susan Moynihan learned early that it never hurts to pitch an expensive hotel fearing that the client/s won’t want to spend the money.
2. Know: Your Worth/You’re Replaceable
This is sort of a combo. Travel advisors play a huge role in their clients’ lives but you must continuously prove why you're so valuable. “We sell travel but first but foremost we are selling ourselves,” Melissa Pugh says. “Make sure you understand how important you are in this process.” You make their dreams come true.
It’s also important, however, to understand that you need to continue working to keep those clients. Fox says “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.”
1. Focus on You
There is a lot to be concerned with when selling travel and/or running your own agency but the simplest way to be successful is tune out everything else—all the other advisors and agencies—and focus on you. “Running your own business is a high-risk endeavor, and I need all of my wits about me to make it work,” Moynihan says. “Spending time comparing myself to others is a surefire way to get distracted by fear and insecurity, so I try to avoid it, and keep it in perspective when I fall into that trap.”