The month of December is filled with gold and silver streets, holiday lights, and gift exchanges. Days are booked with office and family gatherings, and the air is filled with joy, delight, and an ounce of anxiety that stems from the closing of the year. The end of the year marks a vital moment in human society; it is a time to celebrate our successes, learn from our losses, and plan for the year ahead. Many find this time hypocritical and with sound reason; after all, why does one need the beginning of a new year to become self-aware? Nevertheless, creating a set of individual and organizational goals is crucial to one’s progress both personally and professionally. So, here is a hypocrisy-free, critical-to-every-travel-agent list of New Year’s resolutions that could be addressed at any time of the year, be it winter, fall, or anytime in between:
Reaching out to clients
The beginning of a new year marks an excellent time to contact old and current clients and remind them of the services you offer. During the first week of January, you as an independent travel agent could, for example, draft a festive email wishing your clients a happy new year along with a deal for an upcoming cruise around Alaska. Even if some of the clients are not planning on going on an Alaskan cruise, they will keep your business in mind when planning any other travel arrangements. For more details on reaching out to clients, refer to a previously published BNT article titled “How to Keep Existing Clients?”
With the recent, devastating outbreak of terrorist attacks and natural disasters occurring worldwide, many individuals are hesitant to travel farther than several miles away from their hometowns. This reaction is understandable, but not reasonable. After all, such horrific events have always been a part of our world; the modern day simply grants access to learn and read about them through various technology and media outlets. An effective way to promote traveling, as well as to travel yourself, is to research desired destinations. When selling a package for a resort in Dominican Republic, for example, you may want to research weather patterns in the Caribbean, and inform your client of the best and safest months during which to visit the island. Factual research will instill a sense of certainty in the client and will increase the chances of the client buying the package, as well as bolster your credibility.
Making yourself stand out
The new year is equivalent to an increase in travel industry competition. Thus, making yourself stand out as an independent travel agent matters. To do so, it is first important to determine what makes you stand out. Your distinct travel agent attribute will usually fall into one of the following three categories: low cost, a specific consumer segment, or unique service. In other words, you must decide what will attract customers to your business, and your business only; you should either offer constant deals that discount the trips that you sell, focus on selling to a specific group of individuals (e.g. organize trips that are tailored to older people), or provide a service that can rarely be found anywhere else (e.g. have the ability to speak a foreign language with appropriate customers).
Happy Holidays and Happy Selling!
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