What are some keys to being a successful travel agent?
You may be looking for an agent or you may be in training to become one
and want to know some tools of the trade. In either case, the same
rules apply to both. You might have even heard that travel agents are a
thing of the past but nothing could be further from the truth.

What are successful travel agents’ habits?
Travel
agents’ success is due in large part to a resurgence in business from
the millennial generation. While it is true we can all use self-booking
sites, there is a social aspect to a travel agent that many young
travelers find appealing. For starters, it is nice to have someone else
do the research into potential destinations for you. Maybe your travel
agent has already gone there himself and can give you a first-hand
account of the area. It is this personal touch as well as having someone
be a personal advocate that young people find attractive when deciding
to book with a travel agent over self-booking.
Mobility
This
is the 21st century and the days of a travel agent merely being behind
the desk while describing exotic places to clients are in the past.
Being mobile lets travel agents do more in more places. For instance, as
a travel agent you can meet a customer at his favorite coffee shop and
discuss travel plans. You can even set up, reserve, and book his trip
all from your tablet with apps like Travelport Mobile Agent.
This
greater flexibility will make your life as an agent much easier because
you can meet customers on their terms. Maybe they don’t have a car or
just can’t get to your office during so-called normal business hours,
but with your mobile ability, you can still work with them if either you
or they need something unique. It is this willingness to embrace
flexibility that is a defining feature of successful travel agents.
Saving time
Another
key factor in your travel agents’ success and something you should
always consider is how well you can use your own time. Think about it
from your client’s standpoint: if an agent is not very good at managing
his own time or his own information then why should you assume they will
be more careful with your schedule or information? Nothing puts a
damper on a trip like an agent who planned your trip or vacation in a
haphazard way.
So
how can an agent get more organized, save time, and master
self-management? A big key will be if you are using analytic software
like Agentivity.
These programs do a lot of your traditional work for you by constantly
going through data to present reports, savings, and other tasks. Another
plus is that if you know how to use these tools, you will be more
proficient with similar analytic tools that can help save your customers
money as well.
Outside the box thinking
Your
client may be looking at a trip traveling from point A to point B and
thinking the only way to get there is by plane or a rental car. However
successful travel agents know that you need a wider variety of options
to make good travel choices. This is where you as a travel agent can
really shine. By offering your customers different packages than
traditional ones, it allows you to be more competitive.
For
instance, your customer may be thinking of travelling by plane and the
ticket is $200, but you come along and offer your customer a
non-traditional option like a train with a price of $100 for the ticket.
By having the ability to offer these kinds of outside the box plans and
options, it allows travel agents to be more competitive. So don’t be
scared to offer these packages since a lot of customers, particularly
millennials, prefer the road less traveled anyway.
Proactive professionals
You
might have a small travel agency and be thinking that it is harder to
compete than if you were part of a bigger group, but that’s simply not
true. Always present yourself as a tried and true professional. Take as
much pride in your office of four as others do in offices of fifty.
Also,
don’t give in to the lie that if you’re not big you can’t leverage the
same deals as your larger competitor. With solutions like TTS Consolidator,
agents who are not accredited with the International Air Transport
Association (IATA) can still offer the same affordable rates and prices
as their much larger accredited counterparts. Just because a travel
agency is small doesn’t mean that you don’t have the tools or the
ability to save your customers money or compete with bigger firms.
Focus on being a travel agent
Perhaps
you want to grow your agency, or are planning an ad campaign, or
updating your profiles but the fact is the more time you spend working
on your business, the less time you are working in it. Customers want an
agent who is dedicated to them, not thinking about their vacation
package one moment and planning a marketing strategy the next.
A
major tool for travel agents’ success is if you know how to farm out
your branding work to others so you can do the most important job of
being a travel agent, namely helping your customer get where they are
going. How can you do this? One way is through solutions like TTS Corporate Managed Services.
TTS
Corporate Managed Services is a branding and marketing solution geared
directly towards travel agents: they will make a company profile, update
users, help with your branding, and do some of your marketing for you.
It also saves you money as it enables you to not have to take time away
from helping customers while your marketing is being done.
Tools like those offered by TTS
make it possible for you to grow your agency and still serve your
customers every day. They make it possible for you to become a
successful travel agent, too.