“I have been told I am infectious when I am passionate — and I am passionate about travel,” says Teresa Chilton, travel consultant at All-Travel. It is Chilton’s enthusiasm for selling vacations that has marked her success in the industry, and translated to $1.2 million in annual revenue. At a company like All-Travel, which brings in $20 million annually as a whole, this is no small feat.
After 34 years in the industry, 15 of those at All-Travel, Chilton says what she likes best about working at the agency is the encouragement she receives from Eric Maryanov, president and CEO. “He is probably the most invested person I have ever worked for. He encourages us to take on new projects, is very forward-focused, says ‘thank you’ and ‘good job’ and means it.” Chilton says she also enjoys working with the team in the office, noting that they are great resources of knowledge and encouragement and always willing to assist her clients while she is away, giving seamless service and attention.
Chilton primarily sells luxury cruises and customized land vacations, but what is unique about Chilton’s clients is that they are a very diverse group. “I really do have clients from all walks of life, from trash collectors to senior VPs, and from all around the world. I think my biggest set are the empty-nesters and retirees. Many of my empty-nesters are still working, some of whom have been with me since they were honeymooners, or their kids were still at home and they traveled as families. I have enjoyed experiencing life changes and celebrations with so many people around the world,” she says. Chilton also has several sets of clients that travel in small groups of two to five couples, and shares that she has just finalized a Mexico cruise for a group of 36 guests from China. “They found me on the Internet, so our presence on the World Wide Web has been invaluable,” she notes.
Chilton says she believes she is very much like Maryanov, whom she says is a trendsetter in his own right and who not only recognized the power of the Internet very early on but embraced where the market was heading. “I realized very quickly that making connections online is very different than having someone walk in the door. So I learned to make online connections with clients as if they walked in my door. I also learned to focus on the communication preferences of each client. Some prefer the one-on-one phone chat, as if they were sitting at my desk, while others prefer the quick email or text.”
Future plans to increase her business include working events in Fresno and surrounding communities. This year, All-Travel participated in the 2017 Central California Women’s Conference and the Oakhurst Fall Festival. “As strong women in our industry, we feel these events [were] a great way to introduce ourselves to our communities and promote luxury and family travel,” says Chilton.