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Archive for the Category "Become A Travel Agent"

Using Travel Agents Improves More Than Vacations Mar 11

ASTA reports a new study showing that more people are using travel agents and vacation satisfaction is higher when booking with an agent.

In an age of online shopping, people are starting to realize one area where they should skip the “do it yourself” approach…and that one area is vacation planning.

Not only are travelers are using travel agents more, but they’re also seeing the benefit of working with the experts. “The study found that those travelers who use travel agents are happier and more satisfied in general their lives (83 percent for those who do use an agent versus 77 percent for those who don’t).”

Read the full story at ASTA Unveils New Survey Showing Value of Using Travel Agents

With more and more people looking to travel experts for their vacation needs, there’s no better time to become a travel agent. Imagine if your business was the first thing someone thought of after they decided to go on a vacation or cruise. With a career as a KHM Travel Group home-based agent, you can build that instant connection.

Ready to join an industry on the rise and help people have better vacations? Become a travel agent with KHM Travel Group at www.KHMTravel.com today!

There’s No Better Time to Become a Travel Agent Jan 24

Travel Agents are Here to Stay

When we came across the When to Use a Travel Agent article from the Huffington Post, our immediate answer was “Always, of course!”

Anytime people travel, whether it’s a short weekend getaway or a more lengthy stay in a popular destination, they can use the help and expertise that only an experienced and ASTA-certified travel agent can provide.

When you become a travel agent with KHM Travel Group, you’ll see that people need travel agents for all types of vacations. This particular article mentions the following times where a travel agent is a “must:”
•    International travel
•    Honeymoon travel
•    Large group and corporate travel
•    Cruise travel
•    Theme park travel

Our independent travel agents would agree with the suggestions above and after adding other ideas like family, corporate, and even luxury travel, the list would probably become quite long.

Any vacation that someone books without consulting a travel professional can quickly become a nightmare when flights get missed, transportation isn’t arranged, and the accommodations don’t quite look like the website photo shown. Not to mention, a travel agent could have saved them some precious vacation dollars.

Travel agents can make sure a trip is just how the traveler dreamed and becoming a travel agent is easy when you’ve got a great host agency supporting you.

Take a look at the When to Use a Travel Agent article and then let us know in the comments what qualities you would look for in a travel agent who was planning your special vacation.

How To Use Travel Incentives as a Niche Nov 15

How To Use Travel Incentives as a Niche

As a travel professional, you need to look at all the opportunities that are out there to promote your agency. When settling on your area of specialty, have you considered travel incentive programs? If not, you might want to carefully consider if this highly profitable specialty could be your niche.

When looking at small to medium sized businesses, most organizations do not have in-house resources for travel, yet they are looking for ways to incentivize their employees. Travel incentive programs work for businesses, employees, and their families. More and more companies are beginning to follow the latest trend of offering travel incentives instead of cash bonuses or rewards. And you can be the link to help them with this highly effective program.

Statistics have shown that a much-needed vacation, a new travel experience, or inclusion in a corporate event at an exciting destination are far more effective than offering cash. Cash may get used for bills or spent in minutes, while travel memories can last forever. Even more exciting is the travel adopter generally experiences as much as a 4:1 return on this investment, increased cash flow and profit…and most importantly a more engaged workforce.

Did you know that most businesses struggle with an engaged workforce and less than 25% of American workers operate at their full potential? Disengaged workers are costing the US economy 300 billion dollars or more annually. Disengaged workers that have been surveyed also have feelings of being overwhelmed, undervalued, and suffer from burnout. A well-defined travel incentive program will ultimately increase overall performance, and better yet, an employee who becomes more engaged ultimately leads to better sales, profits, and customer service for that organization.

When looking at specializing in incentive travel for businesses, think of these ways that businesses can benefit from well-defined travel incentive programs:  
• Travel rewards can be used for sales or production quotas.
• New hire travel incentives may eliminate the need for costly recruiters.
• Offering a vacation to reward employee anniversaries or tenure is far more effective than a tangible item like a watch or cash.
• Offering travel certificates or a family vacation can be extremely effective for employee recognition.
• Travel programs for executive retreats, corporate business meetings or trade shows at luxurious resorts can be enjoyed by both the attendees and their families.
• Travel can be used for consumer incentives and even as a sales closing tool.

As a travel professional, consider approaching businesses and offering travel vouchers or even cruise certificates to organize, promote, and manage a sales contest or to organize and book a corporate training event or meeting.

Begin by querying organizations in your area to find if there are any corporate headquarters located near you. A key point of contact would be anyone at the Executive Level including the President, VP, Sales or Director of Human Resources. Simply ask them these very pertinent questions.

1. Do you want to motivate your employees?
2. Would you like to strengthen your relationship with your employees?
3. Would you like to entice your employees to achieve higher performance?
4. Would you like to increase your employee retention?
5. Would you like to increase sales or production numbers?
6. Would you like to attract and retain talent within your organization?
7. Would you like to improve your competitive position?

If you find any business that meets these objectives, this could be a potential travel incentive client for you today and in the future. Think how this can also lead to referrals and repeat clients. Remember that travel is a huge motivator for both the employee and their families. Travel incentive programs give organizations a properly structured way to incentivize their employees and provide you with a solid and profitable travel client!

Interested in starting an exciting new career as a KHM Travel Group Agent? Visit www.KHMTravel.com or call 877-220-9260 ext. 2200 to learn more about our unique and comprehensive travel agent program that can be the gateway for you to start your own business, earn money and travel the world!

 

FAM’s Over…Now What Nov 06

FAM’s Over…Now What

For professional travel agents, FAM trips are useful tools to boost your product knowledge. But what you do AFTER the trip is vital to making the most of your FAM experience.

The first step is to organize all of the materials you brought home.

You probably collected business cards from resort staff members or tour operator representatives. On each card, jot down a quick note of the place, date, and circumstances of how you met each person. This will help you jog your memory if you need to make contact later on.

Sort through all of the brochures, manuals, or other promotional items you acquired. Keep some for client distribution, and others for your own personal reference. If you picked up resort maps, fact sheets, or other similar items, it is useful to scan these and save copies to your computer.

Review any notes that you took during your property tours, and decide how you want to store them for future use. You may want to write your thoughts and observations on the applicable pages of your own reference copy of a property brochure or training manual. Another option is to use note-taking software, such as Evernote or OneNote. These programs allow you to organize and categorize your personal notes, pictures, and other media. The key is to make the information easy to find when you need it.

Lastly, download any of the photos and videos that you took from your camera to your computer. Once again, organization is important. Sort them into folders that are labeled by property name and the date of your visit.

Now that you have organized your materials, it’s time to put them to use. You want to share your knowledge and experience with as many clients, and potential clients, as possible.

One way to do this effectively is through social media. Add photos to your personal and business Facebook pages. Place each property’s photos in its own unique folder.  You don’t need to use hundreds of images. Carefully select specific photos that highlight the property’s main features and room categories. Label each picture with a brief description so that viewers know what they are looking at.

Another way to share your experience is via a travel blog. This allows you to share more detailed thoughts and observations. You can add in tips such as specific types of travelers that would enjoy a property, differences in room categories, or other useful information. Add in a few key pictures, and don’t forget to include a link back to the complete album on your Facebook page.

If you think a specific client would benefit from learning about your trip, make an effort to contact them directly. Send an email with a personal invitation to view your Facebook album or blog post. Or call to tell them that you recently visited a property or destination they would love, and offer to meet up with them to share your experiences.

Finally, make an effort to follow-up with any of the key contacts that you made during the trip. Send an email or card thanking each person that gave you a guided tour or conducted a training session. Ask them any follow-up questions that came to mind after your visit. Send them a link to your Facebook page or blog, so that they can see how you are actively promoting their products. This will help you to establish a useful network of professional connections. Also ask the suppliers to add you to their email lists to be informed of any specials, booking incentives, or news about the properties and ships you toured.

Taking the time to properly follow-up after your trip will help you to turn your FAM experience into increased sales and greater client satisfaction.

Are you ready to go? KHM Travel Agents can look under “Meetings and Events” in their Agent Portal to view upcoming FAM opportunities. Not a KHM Travel Agent yet? Visit www.KHMTravel.com to learn more about the training and support available to start your own home-based travel business.

KHM Travel Agent Career Benefit: Money Matters Nov 01

KHM Travel Agent Career Benefit: Money Matters

There are many advantages to beginning a travel agent career with KHM Travel. As much fun and enjoyment as a travel agent career may provide, the bottom line for any business venture should be, well, the bottom line!

Working as a home-based travel agent with KHM Travel Group provides several financial advantages:

Unlimited Income Potential – Whether you are pursuing a full-time business or supplementing the earnings from another job, there is no limit to the amount of income you can earn in your travel agent career. It is up to you to decide how much time and effort you can invest in your business!

Higher Commission Rates – By combining the purchasing power of a nationwide network of home-based agents, KHM Travel helps you to qualify for higher commission percentages than an individual agent may receive. Commission levels for many major travel suppliers are at the industry maximum!

Cost Savings – Operating a home-based business cuts down on many employment-related expenses. Eliminating your daily commute saves money on gasoline and tolls, and you may find yourself spending less on work-related clothing and dining out. A tax professional can also advise you of potential tax deductions related to operating your vehicle, maintaining a home office space, and other business-related expenses.

Travel Discounts – Qualified agents may be able to take advantage of hotel, resort, and cruise discounts offered by travel suppliers. KHM Travel regularly schedules familiarization trips, often at reduced prices, so that agents can gain firsthand knowledge of the products they sell.

Want to learn more about starting a profitable career with KHM Travel? Contact us at 877-220-9260 ext. 2200 for more information, or visit www.KHMTravel.com and let the adventure begin!

How to Sell All-Inclusive Vacations to Cruise Clients Oct 23

How to Sell All-Inclusive Vacations to Cruise Clients

Cruising is a popular way to travel, and many agents build successful businesses around cruise travel. But what if your cruise clients are ready to try something different? If you are ready to tap into a new source of potential income, consider these reasons why you should offer all-inclusive vacations to your cruise clients.

Familiarity
There are many similarities between cruises and all-inclusive vacations. Clients will appreciate that their resort price includes meals, daytime activities, and evening entertainment … just like a vacation at sea! They can also add on tours, excursions, and spa treatments to customize their experience.

Value
An all-inclusive vacation provides the added benefit of having beverages, including alcohol, included in the package price. Some resorts offer additional bonuses such as resort credits, included excursions, or a gratuity-free experience. Make sure your cruise clients appreciate the value of these inclusions.

Convenience
Booking an all-inclusive vacation wraps airfare, hotel, and transfers into one, easy-to-plan package. Using a tour operator streamlines the process, with representatives available to offer assistance at the destination airport and resort. Your clients can just relax and enjoy their trip, without having to stress about the logistics.

Flexibility
Cruise ships operate on set schedules, limiting your clients to specific departure dates and trip lengths. All-inclusive vacations can be planned for almost any date and length combination, offering your clients greater scheduling flexibility.

Unique Experiences
Staying in one location for a longer period of time offers a different travel experience than the shorter time spent at most cruise ports. Your clients will appreciate opportunities to explore their destination in depth, experience more of the local culture, and perhaps participate in tours that wouldn’t be possible due to a ship’s scheduled itinerary.

Many frequent cruisers are looking for a new and different vacation experience.  Presenting the benefits of all-inclusive travel will help your clients to view you as a trusted expert, and ensure that they will return to you again and again for all of their travel needs.

Not a KHM Travel Agent yet? Visit www.KHMTravel.com to learn more about the training and support available to start your career as a home-based travel agent.

10 Tips for Networking Effectively Oct 16

10 Tips for Networking Effectively

Once you have chosen and joined your networking groups, you are on the road to building a strong prospect list. But joining is only the first step towards making that group work for you. It is important to effectively “work your group” to build relationships, get referrals, grow your prospect list, and ultimately gain more clients that will result in repeat business. Let us share with you 10 tips on how to effectively utilize your time at any networking event.

1. Obtain a membership roster.
When you join a networking group, try to obtain a roster of all the members and their email addresses. This way, you can email a letter of introduction to the members and also share with them your desire to get to know them and their businesses. You can also use this opportunity to gain permission to put them on your email list to receive your monthly agency newsletter.

2. Develop quality relationships.
Think quality not quantity. In other words, attending a networking event and coming back with 50 business cards really doesn’t do anything for your business. All you have is 50 business cards. However, attending the same networking group and coming back with 5 business cards, from individuals with whom you spent time, got to know, and began building the foundation of a relationship, is far more effective. Remember you are not attending a networking meeting to just sit or eat. You are there to get to know others.

3. Learn something about each person you meet.
Remember to also add those key people that you spent time with at these events to your ongoing prospect list. Also, send an email to those with whom you spent time. Try to include something personal in the email to jog their memory or trigger a connection with that new prospect and again build upon this new relationship.

4. Be an active participant.
Never miss a scheduled meeting or event. If you join a networking group, be sure to always be an active participant. And if you need to miss a meeting or event, always be sure to send a substitute in your place so you still have exposure.

5. Meet someone new.
At each scheduled networking luncheon and/or meeting, try to sit with someone new so you will put yourself in a position to get to know more people within your group.

6. Take on leadership roles.
Accept and apply for leadership roles within the organization. By doing so, you will not only increase your exposure, you will also gain respect from fellow members and build new relationships.

7. Support other members’ businesses.
Think about giving back to the other members. In other words, don’t let this be “all about you” and your business. Learn about other members’ businesses and strategize how you may be able to bring business back to them. It all goes back to the old adage…give and you shall receive!

8. Sell yourself.
Develop, memorize and practice your 60-second commercial, or elevator pitch. When you have the opportunity to stand up and introduce yourself, be prepared to sell yourself and the advantages of doing business with you.

9. Make a good first impression.
Are you memorable? First impressions can be lasting impressions. Think about how you dress and appear to others. Be professional, outgoing, and be prepared to step up when the opportunity arises and “sell yourself” to others. Remember people do business with people whom they like.

10. Be prepared.
Be prepared. Make sure you have plenty of business cards, your agency flyer, and your monthly newsletter to hand out at every meeting.

Putting these steps into practice will help expand your business within your community and enhance your professional networking skills.

KHM Travel Agent Career Benefit: Flexibility Sep 30

KHM Travel Agent Career Benefit: Flexibility

One of the ultimate benefits of beginning your adventure with KHM Travel Group is the amount of flexibility that your travel agent career provides.  Forget the feeling of being chained to a desk or a slave to the time clock!  As a home-based travel agent, you have the ultimate control over when, where, and how you want to run your own business.

Whether you choose to pursue your travel agent career as a full- or part-time endeavor, you are not limited to working specific days or times.  You can arrange your schedule to allow time for taking care of personal or family obligations.  You can even begin your travel business a second career, perhaps while working around a traditional “9-to-5″ job.

Although we usually say that KHM Travel Agents work from home, they really can work almost anywhere!  With a mobile device, tablet, or laptop, almost any location with Internet service can become your temporary office.  You can even travel to tropical destinations and still keep in touch with your clients.

One of the most exciting aspects of flexibility as a work from home travel agent is the opportunity to create a business that is molded by your own preferences.  You can choose the type of travel products that you would like to sell, perhaps focusing on a destination or experience that you love.  You also have the opportunity to create your own brand, and select how you would like to market your travel business to potential clients.

When it comes to flexibility, you just can’t beat the opportunities provided by a travel agent career!

Are you ready to get started?  Contact KHM Travel Group at 877-220-9260 ext. 200 for more information or visit www.KHMTravel.com and let the adventure begin!

How To Create Your Home Office Sep 23

How To Create Your Home Office

As an independent KHM Travel Agent, you will enjoy the many benefits of working from home.  You are able to set your own hours, with no rigid schedule to keep or time clock to punch.  Your commute time may only be as long as it takes you to walk the few steps to your desk.

You also have control over how you would like to set up your office.  Creating a comfortable and organized workspace is key to making sure that your time spent working at home is as productive as possible.

First, choose a location in your home to use as your office.  Even if you can’t devote an entire room to your business, try to find an area that can be set aside exclusively as your workspace — even if it is just a quiet corner or a converted closet.  Having a dedicated spot where you can work and make phone calls without being interrupted is ideal.

Next, assemble the key equipment necessary for your business.  The main things you will need are:

  • Work surface – A desk or table that allows enough space for your electronics and keeping any vital paperwork close at hand.
  • Comfortable chair – You may spend a considerable amount of time sitting, so make sure to choose something that is comfortable and provides proper back support.
  • Computer – You will need reliable internet access, and the ability to print is a bonus.
  • Telephone – You may choose to have a dedicated landline, a cell phone, or both.  Consider purchasing a headset or other device for hands-free talking, which will come in handy if you are trying to take notes during a call or keep busy while on a lengthy hold.
  • File Storage – You will need to keep track of paperwork related to running your business, as well as client information.

There are many other items that can be added to help keep you organized:  A calendar or planner to keep track of appointments, a memo board on the wall to plan out projects, a spot to keep reference material from suppliers.  You may also consider shelves or bins to hold brochures and marketing materials, although these don’t necessarily have to be stored directly in your main workspace.

Your office décor doesn’t need to break the bank.  You may be able to find used furnishings at a thrift store or for sale online, or you could repurpose some items from other areas of your house.   Start off with a smaller space and basic equipment, which you can add to or upgrade as your business grows.

Once you have the basics in place, don’t forget to add a personal touch to your workspace.  Have some fun with it!  Display pictures from your travels, frame certifications you have earned, or add other decorative items that bring a smile to your face.  Being happy in your office will help you look forward to sitting down at your desk each day to work, and you will be off to a great start in your career as a KHM Travel Agent!

Not a KHM Travel Agent yet?  Visit www.KHMTravel.com to learn more about the training and support available to start your career as a home-based travel agent.

How To Handle Competition Sep 16

How To Handle Competition

Competition – a dreaded word in any business. Most people don’t like to deal with “competition” as it means there may be someone out there that could sell the product or perform the function better. Competition in any form can be healthy. It keeps you sharp, on your toes, ensures you are always trained, and it encourages creativity and innovation.

Since the travel industry is not immune to competition, the key to overcoming it is to earn the competitive EDGE. It all starts with being “pro-active” and knowing how to deal with each competitive situation with confidence.

First you have to identify your competition. Once you recognize who your competition may be, it will be easier to strategize how you will overcome and win in each situation. Here a few examples of potential competitors.

Other Travel Agents – It won’t take long before you run into a client who may know or have used a travel agent before. Instead of looking at another agent as competition, view it as opportunity. Another travel agent is one more person out there that can sell the “value” of using a travel professional. Educating the public is important and you can’t do it all by yourself. Get to know the travel agents in your area, learn about their specialties, and you may even be able to send each other leads. But more importantly, learn their strengths and weaknesses so you can capitalize on them.

Travel Suppliers – It is no secret that the travel suppliers who train agents and pay commission can also be your biggest competitors. The best way to combat losing business to travel suppliers is to “nip it in the bud” from the very beginning. Let your client know that the supplier you are using sells directly to the consumer. Be sure to explain to them that suppliers always encourage the consumer to use a travel professional if at all possible. Since not all consumers know and understand the value of using travel agents, suppliers have to be prepared to work with travelers that call and book direct. Being aware of this issue and educating your client from the very beginning will ensure that your client will feel comfortable using your services.

Online Booking Engines – It’s a fact that online booking engines have been around for awhile, and will probably be your biggest competition. However, they can be one of the easiest competitive situations to overcome. This is where educating your prospect and selling yourself effectively will help beat the online booking engine almost every single time. Follow these few simple steps and online booking engines won’t even be an issue.

First, build a relationship before you start selling. This is key because online booking engines don’t have the ability to build relationships. And generally travelers want to work with people they know and like.

Second, educate your prospect on the history of online booking engines. A decade ago, the online booking engine was a viable option when storefront agencies started to close their doors. But now the world wide web of travel has become so populated, that it is a confusing place for any consumer to navigate. The consumer gets faced with far too many options and pictures and they can’t even tell what’s real and what’s not. Booking online has become an extremely overwhelming process for the traveler. This is where you can step in as a travel professional.

Finally, sell the value of using a travel professional versus booking it online themselves.  You will save your client time and money, and offer them sound advice based on your training and/or firsthand experiences.

Competition is basically a confidence game. And that confidence begins with YOU. Once you find your niche and get trained, your confidence will grow. Don’t be afraid to let others know how confident you are about your industry and the product that you sell, which is yourself. You will find that confidence is contagious and your prospects will want to do business with YOU! And more importantly you will be able to welcome and deal with the healthy competition the world of travel will bring you.

Not a KHM Travel Agent yet? Visit www.KHMTravel.com to learn more about the training and support available to start your career as a home-based travel agent.