Even the best travel advisor can get stuck in a rut once in a while. However, it's important to make sure that rut doesn't become a full slump—and they best way to avoid this is to maintain good energy in the office. Low energy from a travel advisor can kill creativity, send clients packing (and not for a vacation) and bring down sales.
Luxury Travel Advisor spoke with Lindsey Prumers, founder and CEO of All Travel Guru, and Michelle Carbone, owner of Michelle's Travel Unlimited, to see how they keep their staff on their toes.
In this industry of constant change, we find that we must continually reinvent ourselves. Keeping advisors excited is to remind them that we evolve all the time and can adapt by defining exactly what consumers are looking for so that we can mold ourselves into the right advisors to fill the niche.
More and more, clients are looking for ‘experiences’ and seamless itineraries with all services provided. So, we analyze what this means and set out to create off the beaten track activities that are not your usual cookie cutter tours, creating new ideas and then nurturing relationships with the right tour companies/guides/operators to execute the experience. Brain storming and sharing ideas together and working as a team is the best way. This motivates and inspires our agents. Most people are independent contractors in the industry, which tends to make them feel they are working on their own but with the right leader, an IC can fit nicely into a more supportive group of professionals.
Keeping focused is part of the process or reinventing so becoming a "specialist" is a key factor. If you are a specialist then this means you need to focus and read, attend online seminars and, most importantly, attend FAM trips. In our office we truly support this and unlike other agencies, we fund the FAM trips for our ICs as we consider an integral part of keeping both focused and excited.
We have found that building relationships with your staff and acting as a team to help when they might be stuck or need ideas gives them the confidence they need to do a great job as well as gives your clients great service.
Getting excited about destinations they love and bookings they have made. Keeping the lines of communication open and encouraging an open dialogue about any concerns and what motivates them—i.e., if they work best having goals, bonuses or other rewards. Learning from each other's mistakes and ideas as well as being empathetic to them anytime there are errors since there's no point in sweating the small stuff is also important within a group.
We have started doing weekly yoga to decompress after busy Monday's and have started taking breaks to stretch and keep our bodies and minds clear! We also stay away from negativity when possible to encourage a happy environment. We love to take small breaks to share funny stories as part of a mental break.