Valerie Wilson Travel
Ben Shubitz is a self-admitted workaholic who averages about four hours of sleep as he forgoes shut-eye to attend to his clients’ needs, even while on vacation.
With that work ethic, it’s no surprise the New York native raked in about $10 million in revenue this year.
And it’s no surprise he’s not satisfied with that number.
“The current plan to increase business is to always remember to ask existing clients for referrals,” he says. “I have my staff in the habit of always asking clients if they know of anyone who could benefit from our services. This is the best source of new business for us.”
His business mix is 70 percent corporate travel and 30 percent leisure getaways. About 65 to 70 percent of his volume is international travel. Shubitz’s niche is professional service firms, including law firms, modeling agencies, banks, fashion companies and other clients with a high net worth.
The challenge with this customer base, says Shubitz, is that they change plans about four times before a trip takes place and usually one or two times before returning. If those obstacles aren’t enough, he also tells us most of these trips are booked at the last minute.
“I do not believe there is a secret to my success,” Shubitz tells Luxury Travel Advisor. “The formula is simple — give your clients what they want and deliver above and beyond their expectations for each trip.” We say he might just have the right balance to be a great advisor. “I have a passion for technology but I also see the importance of personalized customer service and I believe that is one of the things that they see where I excel the most,” he says.
Growing up outside of New York City in Westchester County, Shubitz was drawn to a career as an advisor when he attended the University of Vermont and spent time abroad attending “Semester at Sea,” a program that lets you travel around the world on a ship and study the various countries and cultures you visit.
In 1991, he started working in sales for a large New York-based travel agency; over the 12 years he was there he became VP of sales and was directly involved in agency management. In 2003, he started Professional Service Firm Travel and subsequently became an independent contractor in association with the mega-agency, Valerie Wilson Travel, a move he has been very happy with because he feels his voice is being heard. “Valerie Wilson Travel is a wonderfully friendly place as well as a very well-run business,” says Shubitz.
“I feel [my colleagues] respect that I have seen all sides of the business, from managing a full-service travel management company to growing my own, successful and profitable book of business,” he adds. “They know I care about the success of Valerie Wilson Travel, and when I challenge them to improve or try new technology, it’s because I care.”