Best Deals vs. Expert Advice
Best Deals vs. Expert Advice
Staff writer – March 24, 2018
A Travel Agent’s Guide to Specialization, Balance, and Happy Clients.
In today’s consumer-driven society, it’s easy to believe that price is the only factor to consider when planning a trip. Everyone wants the best prices on everything, and thanks to the internet, it’s made shopping around a lot easier on consumers. Unfortunately, it’s made things tougher on travel agents. Customers want the best price, but as travel agents already know, it’s not about the cost; it’s about the experience. In order to provide clients with the best possible experience, you need to be an expert.
Our guide will help you create a niche and find a balance between the best deals for customers and the personalized services that will keep your clients happy.
Why travel agents should specialize
There is a very simple answer to this hot-button topic. Travel agents should specialize because experts and specialists in all fields make more money, have more respect from colleagues, and end up with the most loyal and focused clients. The main problem travel agencies face when they try to specialize is that they limit or focus on the wrong things. Instead of focusing on destination specialization, focus on client specialization. When you specialize on types of clients, you’re not limiting your destinations or the packages you can offer, you’re choosing to cater to a specific type of traveler. Food-lovers, adventure-seekers, romantic types, and sports-lovers all have different needs, but they can all be sent to countless destinations to find their next unforgettable experience.
1. Specialists automatically establish their value and separate themselves from the generalists. When you use your own passions to specialize, it gets even easier because it’s a subject you’re already excited about. Clients can tell you “get” them right away, and they’re more likely to trust your word and suggestions.
2. Marketing is essential to any business, and when you specialize, your marketing dollars are more focused and effective, meaning you’ll spend less to get more targeted responses.
3. Referrals really do matter, and when you’re a known expert, people will be more comfortable referring clients to you. Many times, when you market yourself effectively, those referrals may come from complete strangers who just happened to see your compelling ad and shared it with a friend.
4. Happy clients always come back. When you treat a client right, and their trip was just as perfect as you promised it would be, they’ll come back to you first when it’s time for another trip.
5. Specialists can offer better experiences. When you understand your niche market, you can find events and exclusive experiences that other agents can’t. You understand your clients, the available entertainment, and the nuances of the destinations to help fine-tune the experience in ways a general travel agent simply cannot.
6. A network of connections keeps your options open. A specialist will have a much easier time cultivating a solid network of connections to help predict trends and jump on board early to maximize return on investment.
Specializing opens the doors for happier customers, repeat business, and more profits. However, you’ll still run into those clients who want you to battle with other agencies for a better price. At that point, you must impress those clients with your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your creativity to show them that you can provide them a personalized, exciting, and memorable package with exclusive opportunities that the cookie-cutter packages can’t. Clients want to feel special, so show them you’re listening by using your expertise in your niche to truly wow them, and you’ll have a client for life.