We do encourage our advisors to charge a fee for expertise and planning services, although we certainly can’t require you to.
The typical flow is that you get an inquiry for a trip, schedule a complimentary planning call/appointment to chat about their desires and decide if you are a good fit for each other, explain how you work and charge your planning fee BEFORE you get into the nitty gritty of researching, bring back a couple of suggested itineraries to the client and then proceed to hone in and tweak those itineraries until you have exactly what the client is wanting.
The fee does several things…
- it protects the advisor from spending hours of research preparing carefully thought-out quotes and then having the client go silent (and probably book themselves online using your quotes as a guideline)
- It establishes professionalism, value and expertise
- It helps with cash flow since your commission won’t be paid until after the clients have traveled.
Think of it this way…the planning/service/design fee is the way the customer compensates you for all your hard work and expertise and the commission is the way the supplier compensates you for utilizing their product or service.