Great question! Most all travel suppliers that work with the travel professional community employ sales staff, usually referred to as BDMs, Sales Reps, etc. Their job is to facilitate those all-important RELATIONSHIPS between our host agency and the supplier and provide support to in many ways:
1) They can offer sales support and collateral when you are planning a big event or cruise night or attending a trade show or have a big group booking.
2) They can connect you with the right contact within their company for any needs that they can’t facilitate.
3) They can guide you towards boosting your sales with their company by sharing demographics, sales tools, etc.
4) They can intervene and try to assist if/when there is an issue with a booking or a client trip that is the fault of the supplier.
We maintain a list of our current BDMs on the Preferred Supplier Spreadsheet that lives in the GTN portal, along with their emails or phone numbers. It is okay to reach out to the BDMs on your own for simple requests, like brochures and demographic/sales assistance (please run any requests for co-op funding through us first), but we kindly ask that you CC us on any email correspondence – just so we can be aware of any conversations and make sure your request is being processed in a timely fashion.
In the event that you run into a service issue/failure with one of our suppliers, please let us know about it ASAP and we will intervene on your behalf with the correct person (and certainly keep you in the loop). Keep all relevant paperwork and email threads and be sure to document who you have spoken with, when, and what was said. The more specifics we have, the quicker the process of figuring out the issue…and how to fix it!
And please remember…our suppliers are our PARTNERS and should be treated with respect and professionalism! How you interact with anyone at a supplier partner – from the VP of Sales all the way down to the newest reservations agent – reflects on GTN as an agency, so be polite and patient…you will get the same in return.