Entrepreneurial, innovative and fearless are just some of the words to describe this year’s 30Under30 class. Some are agency employees, some independent contractors and others are agency owners. All of them are great sales people and all have interesting career stories to share. Here are some of their strategic tips for your perusal.
Gia Schiffino of Lux Voyage said she has been surprised to see the scale and sophistication of the luxury travel industry as well as the sheer range of experiences and services available. “There are no limits on how much you can elevate and personalize an experience,” she said.
The most valuable advice she’s received is to follow her instincts and remain authentic. “Authenticity is what makes you unique and it is seen as a way to connect with others to build trust, respect and create meaningful relationships,” she said.
Rachel Crowe of Avondale Travel said: “The best piece of advice I have received is to not sell myself short; that I am worth the fees that I charge.”
Tara DeThomasis of Jet Set Getaways has one key piece of advice for those starting out as a luxury travel advisor: “Never assume that someone won’t pay for a service or higher room category, and never assume that the answer is ‘no’ without asking first,” she said.
Katie Bellino Adams of Bell Adams Travel said that after a recent trip to Italy, she has been positioning Sicily as an alternative to the Amalfi Coast. “I fell in love with the Sicilian gastronomy, beautiful vistas, and Taormina’s old-world feel.”
Kari Eisenschenk of Forest Travel’s advice for other advisors is to make sure they stand up for themselves when and if they need to, even if it means losing business. “It is best to work with moral principles in mind, to be honest, kind, and always respectful. That should also be mutual. When I am working with a client and if we are not on the same page then it may not be a good match. And that is fine! Always stay true to yourself and everything will fall into place as it is supposed to.”
Olivia Clennon of Liv Travel says that being a travel advisor is challenging in all the right ways. “It’s a great career for passionate individuals who are detail oriented and have great customer service skills. This career is perfect for those with strengths in researching and planning.”
Wallis Fairvalley of Red Letter Travel has many clients who are honeymooners and so she has paired up with a few wedding planners in her area to reach more potential customers, which has led to a nice increase in sales.
Megan Huntoon of Travel Beyond plans exotic trips for her clients and says that problem solving is just as important as planning. That philosophy has allowed her to emerge from the pandemic with a strong resolve. “There are many things we cannot control, but what really matters is our resiliency and how we react to those situations.”
Nicole Janoff of Magma Global recently initiated the Magma Global TikTok to promote the agency’s most requested destinations. She recently planned a honeymoon for an Instagram influencer with 900,000 followers. “After she tagged Magma Global, we received over 150 followers on the Instagram account in the span of two hours. I encourage all clients to tag us because often it also leads to spiked interest in replicating their trips for others. It is a marketing strategy that costs nothing and has proven to be extremely successful.”