Assessing Your Clients in 2020

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Do you have clients who are a joy to work with? They’re so easy and complying; there’s an easy rhythm to working with them. Because of this, they free up your time to work with the more challenging clients on your roster.

It’s possible you need to focus on these folks a lot more than you already are, even if they’re not the most demanding people you’ve ever met.

Here’s a tip from Chris Austin, senior vice president of global sales and marketing for Seabourn: “Now that we’re in the new year, make a list of your clients and how much money they spend with you. Then add in how much time you spend with them. There should be a direct correlation between the two. If there isn’t, reconsider spending a lot more time with them in 2020 to retain their loyalty.”

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Ruthanne Terrero

This might seem like a no brainer, but isn’t it true that it’s the client who is the loudest and demands the most attention, typically gets the most attention? It’s important to keep these easy-going, high-spending customers close and that you let them know how much you appreciate them. Not only will you lessen the risk of their leaving you for another advisor they meet up with on their next cruise, they’ll also come to you for their smaller trips, as well. So often I’ve heard luxury travel advisors lament that they’ve seen their best clients on Facebook or Instagram enjoying a vacation they didn’t book for them. The client often admits they didn’t realize the advisor did quick weekend trips. The truth is, a good advisor should know when their client wants to simply steal away for a quick getaway for some R&R and shopping.

This month, we feature Valerie Wilson Travel on the cover of Luxury Travel Advisor. My favorite part of the profile, written by Matt Turner, is this: 

“You might think when running such a large business, the Wilsons wouldn’t have time to work directly with clients anymore. And you would think wrong. All three still work with clients…Should a potential client reach out to any of the three, they will gladly take the call.” That takes incredible passion, to continue knee-deep in a business that requires a lot of personal attention. The best part is that even after one of the Wilsons brings in another advisor to help with the new client, they continuously check back in to be sure things are running smoothly.

Do you still stay in touch with the clients who got you to where you are? If not, take this dawning of a new decade to circle back with them to see where they are in their lives and if their travel needs have changed. A call from an agency owner or manager can go a very long way.

I spoke with Kimberly Wilson Wetty a few months ago and she had another great tip for luxury travel advisors: “When you’re in over your head, ask for help. Raise your hand to a colleague, go to the supplier and say, ‘I don’t really know the difference between these two rooms,’ or, ‘What’s the real difference with these two itineraries on a cruise ship?’” That’s great advice for newbies but it’s just as great of a tip for tried-and-true advisors. Asking questions is always a good thing.

The travel advisor business is a lovely one; there’s joy in making clients’ dreams come true and there’s great satisfaction in working with colleagues who have an incredible wealth of knowledge about traveling the world.

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