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Work-Life Balance in the Travel Industry

By: Sandy Saburn, CTIE[/caption]It is wonderful to be busy talking to clients and booking trips, but when you get very busy it is easy to take shortcuts on your processes and procedures. It’s human nature. You think, “I don’t have to fill in that box now, I’ll go back and do it later.” But really, how many times have you actually gone back and filled in that box? And how many times have you intended to fill in the box, but forgot what was supposed to go in it? I’ll confess that happens to me more than I’d like to admit.Of course, when you are super busy you have to adjust how you work, but there are some steps you should never skip. Specifically, these three:

  1. No matter how busy you are, qualify the client. It is really tempting to skip the qualifying process and jump right to booking – especially if the client seems to be in a hurry. But you still need to ask questions of the client about what they want so you make the best recommendations. So, no matter how tempting it is, don’t skip qualifying!
  2. Ask clients about their timeline. You can’t deliver stellar service if you don’t understand the client’s timeline. They may be “in a hurry” to book and that means they want to get booked within a week. Or to them they may think “in a hurry” means by the end of the day. You need to know what their timeline looks like so you can follow up in a timely manner and meet their needs – or if those needs are unreasonable, address that.
  3. Follow up, follow up, follow up. One of the top complaints I have heard from clients is that the agent never followed up after the quote. The client interprets that as you not being interested in working with them. Meanwhile, you might think you have given the client everything they need, and they will call if they want to book. Don’t wait on the client to call you! Call them after the quote. Expect the booking!

Just as there are things you should always do, here are three things not to do!

  1. Don’t assume your clients will remember to call you in the first place. If you have been sending out a weekly email newsletter (AKA ezine), you have been prepping your clients to book with you. But if you aren’t regularly communicating with past and prospective clients, don’t assume they will remember you and call. Regular marketing will make sure you are top of mind.
  2. Don’t be seduced by “easy bookings” outside your specialty. Quick and easy bookings often turn out to be not so quick, not so easy, and not so profitable. Don’t take the booking if it’s not a fit. By referring the client to someone else you will make space for your ideal client!
  3. Don’t overwhelm your clients with too many offers. On any given day, your inbox is probably exploding with offers from vendors. Don’t share all those deals and promotions in your social media or via email. You will overwhelm and confuse your audience. Even worse, you may inadvertently push the client to book direct.

Keep these tips in mind to help make sure that this busy time is not just busy, but prosperous too!