Chase Seehausen of Chicago-based Paul Klein Travel hasn’t even been a travel advisor for a full year and is already surpassing his and the agency’s goals for himself. When he began selling travel eight months ago, Seehausen targeted a half-million dollars in sales by the end of the year, and he tells Luxury Travel Advisor he’s on pace to reach upwards of $650,000.
Seehausen believes he was picked as his agency’s Trendsetter because of “how quickly I learned the ins and outs of the industry.” Pretty impressive for someone who joined Paul Klein Travel with no experience in the travel business.
“I have also been told I’m great at talking to clients and building relationships with our industry partners,” he says.
One key to picking up all the tricks of the trade was utilizing the office environment and the experience of everyone working there. “I really love how much combined experience the office has. There are probably only a handful of countries that someone I work with hasn’t been to,” says Seehausen. “It does wonders to be able to ask for advice, get the tips, and hear honest perspectives about a destination.”
While this combined knowledge “truly makes a world of difference,” nothing compares to firsthand experience, Seehausen says. “I find that nothing gives you more confidence in a sale than seeing the products and places in person. It’s [also] important to keep an eye on budding destinations. Everyone wants to be one of the ‘first pioneers’ into a destination before it goes ‘mainstream,’” he notes.
Seehausen primarily books luxury FIT trips, which he calls his “niche,” although, he adds, “I’m pretty versatile and do enjoy booking cruises, small groups, and even the occasional budget trip to challenge myself.”
His clients are just as diverse; they include multigenerational families, honeymooners, young couples and beyond. Seehausen says it’s also important to be completely open with clients. “I really think it makes a difference if you take the time to explain things to clients,” he notes. “No question is off limits, even if it may seem like the answer is obvious.”
Regardless of the type of trip, he always has one goal in mind — to create a seamless, worry-free itinerary. “Travel can be stressful, and a part of my job is taking that stress off of the traveler,” Seehausen tells us.
One tip he offers his clients is to learn about the history of a destination before visiting it. “I am a huge history buff. When the opportunity presents itself, I try to encourage clients to look into a brief overview of the history of wherever they’re going. Knowing this before arriving really adds a level of perspective to a trip and can really enrich everything you experience,” he explains.
Seehausen’s last trip was to Iceland. He visited in the low-season winter period, and while he says he wouldn’t do that again, he does say it was an incredible destination. “Iceland Encounter is a fabulous ground operator [and] Reykjavik Luxury Cars is my go-to for transfers.” Some of his top hotel picks include Hotel Borg, Deplar Farm and Ion City Hotel.
Next on the docket for Seehausen are Japan, Switzerland, Estonia, Bhutan and Chile.