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Getting Clear on Your Ideal Client

By: Sandy Saburn, CTIE[/caption]

When people are considering getting into the travel industry, they often think the most important thing they need to know how to do is book travel. They assume that if they know how to do that they will be in great shape. After all, they know lots of people who travel, right? All they need to know is how to book it and they can start making money.

The truth is that booking travel is probably the least important thing you need to know to be a successful travel advisor.

If you want a job working in a call center, then yes, booking travel is critically important.

If you want to have a travel business where you work with price-sensitive shoppers who only care about getting the best deal, then knowing how to book travel is probably the most important skill you can have.

But if you want to have a business working with clients you love who value your expertise, respect your time, and appreciate how much easier you make planning their vacation, then there are many more important things than “booking the trip.”

So, what is most important?

Knowing how to get clients in the first place. Client attraction is the number one struggle for most advisors. Even those who have lots of clients will often share that most aren’t their IDEAL client. They are just people who book with them.

Simply put: Without clients you don’t have a business – you have a hobby.

And without clients none of the other things really matter.

Here’s a secret of why so many travel advisors struggle to get clients: they don’t know who their ideal client is.

They think anyone traveling is their ideal client. Nope.

They think their family is their ideal client. Not usually.

Most commonly they think their ideal client has to live near them. No way. You can serve clients that live thousands of miles from you just as well as you can a client who lives just down the street.

The critical first step to being a success travel advisor is to really know your ideal client.

And yet, almost no one talks about this. People buy travel franchises thinking they will get a business in a box that will shortcut their time to profitability. Unfortunately, what they learn is how to book travel, not how to get in front of their ideal client.

Others sign up with the least expensive host agency they can find thinking they are all the same and they will learn how to book travel and that’s all they need to know. Yet then they can’t find clients.

Bottom line: if you want a successful travel business you have to get clear about who your idea client is. It’s your business and it should be driven by your passion. And it’s never too late to figure that out and start marketing to them!