Archive for the Category "Travel Agent Career"

Recent Study Shows U.S. Travel Industry on the Climb
Feb 13

The U.S. Department of Labor just released the latest numbers, revealing that the U.S. travel industry is on the rise.

According to the figures, the travel industry has shown faster growth than the rest of the economy’s job sectors and is now back to pre-recession levels. Read more at TravelPulse – U.S. Travel Industry Tops Pre-Recession Employment Levels

So what does this mean for you? When you become a travel agent, you’ll be joining one of the country’s fastest growing industries, supporting over 14.6 million jobs. That means greater income potential and more opportunities for you to be a successful home-based business owner.

Not only will you be a part of a booming industry, but you’ll get amazing perks that you can’t find in other careers. Working from home, enjoying a flexible work schedule, and traveling at nearly half the cost are just a few of these fantastic benefits.

Discover how you can join the exciting (and growing!) travel industry when you become a travel agent with KHM Travel Group at www.KHMTravel.com.

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!

 

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!

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.

How to Change Common Perceptions of Travel Agents
Sep 09

How to Change Common Perceptions of Travel Agents

As a travel agent, the way your customers feel about you is important. The more you show you care about them, the more likely it is that you will get repeat clients that will provide valuable referrals. With that in mind, providing good customer service to your clients should naturally be a major priority in your day-to-day schedule. It is important to develop a reputation to live up to. And for many, it all begins with breaking away from the perception and stereotypes of what it means to be a travel agent.

Your clients‘ perceptions of being a travel agent can be different based on where they live, their ages, and their past experiences working with travel professionals. For many, you may find that their perception of a travel agent is someone who sifts through travel deals and websites behind a computer for hours at a time, trying to locate the best price for clients. People may even think what you do is easy and they could do it themselves, especially if they believe they could save some money.

Your friends and family may perceive travel agents differently especially if they observe you traveling to exotic destinations for training and site visits. However, this is where you will gain credentials, and firsthand experiences that will set you apart from your competition. Your friends and family may actually believe that you are always on “vacation” and what you do is more of a “hobby” it is than an actual career or business.

Society, in general, may believe that all travel agents do is book airline tickets and hotel rooms. Why? Because back in the 1990′s, the storefront travel agency did just that. They focused on corporate travel where the bulk of their business was airline ticketing. In fact, at that time, only about 20% of their travel business was leisure travel or vacations. Many people also think that using a travel agent costs more…that the commissions you are paid get added to the cost of their trip. You will need to help educate consumers on the fact that the commission comes directly from the suppliers, and booking through an agent does not increase the total cost of your their trip.

When you first became a travel agent, your initial perception of yourself is that you need to be “everything to everyone.” Some new agents may fall into this trap and actually become good at planning a lot of different types of travel, but not an “expert” at anything.  This overwhelming need to learn and do everything can be a dangerous and slippery climb to the top and generally the reward of success takes much longer.

To truly know how to break through all these different perceptions of what people think you do, it is important to really understand and appreciate the value of what you will actually offer your clients as a travel professional.  That’s right…you really aren’t a travel agent, you are a travel professional.  So, what does that mean?

As a travel professional, you are passionate about helping to plan memorable travel experiences for your clients.  It’s a vacation they may have saved years for that may even offer them a “lifetime of photos and memories.”  You will be a part of making all of that happen for your clients.

You may help plan that perfect destination wedding or honeymoon with all the amenities to offer exquisite romance.  Or perhaps you may be sending a struggling couple on a much needed vacation alone together to get reacquainted.  You may be involved in planning a “vow renewal ceremony” for a second wedding the couple will never forget.  Or you may even help plan that “affordable” summer vacation for a “family of 7″ that would have never been able to travel if it wasn’t for your help in making it happen.  They say just “one vacation can offer a lifetime of memories,” and YOU can be a part of all of that.

What you do as a travel professional breaks away from all the perceptions of what others may believe you do.  And part of the process of living up to that image of what you actually do for your clients starts with how you take care of them from the very beginning until they return home.  Remember, you are a travel professional, an expert, and a consultant that helps plan unforgettable getaways!

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 Stay Organized for Tax Season
Aug 22

How to Stay Organized for Tax Season

Operating your own home-based business at a KHM Travel Agent provides a wide range of benefits: Flexibility, independence, unlimited income potential … and even some potential tax advantages. But don’t wait until income tax season to start thinking about your taxes! The key to maximizing your tax benefits is staying organized as you operate your business throughout the entire year.

Most of the expenses to operate your home-based travel business can be deducted from your income, which will reduce your tax liability. Potential deductions may include office supplies, advertising costs, travel and vehicle expenses, having lunch or coffee with a client, business equipment purchases like a laptop or printer, and more. Even your cell phone bill and internet access charges may qualify! It is highly recommended that you consult a professional tax accountant, who can help you understand exactly which expenses can be legally deducted.

Once you know which expenses you will need to report, develop a system to track and document these expenditures. As you make each purchase, take a moment to make a note on the back of the receipt. Write down a few details about why the purchase was relevant to your business. For example, if you take a client to lunch, make a note of the client’s name and what was discussed.

Periodically—perhaps weekly or monthly—enter the information from these receipts into a tracking system. You can use accounting software, a simple spreadsheet, or an expense-tracking app on your smartphone. Whatever you choose, you will want to record several details about each transaction: The date, where the purchase was made, the item purchased, and which expense category it will fall under on your tax return. Find a central place to save hard copies of these receipts, or scan them and store them electronically.

One expense category that deserves particular attention is the use of your personal vehicle for business reasons. Accurate record-keeping and mileage documentation are essential! You will need to keep a written or electronic record of the date, the distance driven, and the specific reason for the trip. A copy of your calendar or appointment book will also help to document your mileage claims.

Keeping track of your expenses and mileage throughout the year will ensure that you don’t miss a single deduction. And instead of being buried in a pile of paperwork at tax time, you will be able to breathe easy and reap the rewards of your home-based travel business!

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.

Travel Agent Career – Travel Agent Career Options
Oct 01

Becoming a travel agent is a career that suits anyone who enjoys customer service, the art of traveling, and working with the latest technologies to facilitate organization and booking practices for their clients. This can be an international career, because a travel agent career could involve working from just about anywhere in the world and staying on top of travel trends.

Some travel agent career options would include finding work within a larger travel agency or booking organization. The more old fashioned of these options are those that are located in physical offices, but many travel agents will prefer to work out of a virtual agency. That can allow them the same network of support, but more freedom to work with their clients from a remote location.

Corporate travel is another travel agent career that combines the traditional work of a personal assistant with the latest trends and skill sets that are used by travel agents. Sometimes corporations will hire one staff member specifically to arrange travel for everyone in the company, which could also yield its own benefits in that you may have the chance to conduct travel in the most suitable manner.

There are a few different ways to launch a travel agent career. Some people will find work with larger host agencies that don’t require any prior experience. Others will get a degree specifically in tourism, travel or the hospitality fields. That could lead to a more open door in terms of travel options and the number of places that you could potentially find work in this industry.

While the main decision when starting up a travel agent career is whether to work independently or for an agency, there are other directions in the hospitality industry that you could take this career as well. Some future agents choose to start their career as booking agents at a hotel, or at an airport. That helps give insider knowledge that will help down the road when starting up a specific agency career.

A background in world history, computer systems, or other work experience can all come in handy when you decide to look into a travel agent career. It’s a good idea to evaluate your current skill set, and figure out what you can learn to help advance this more into the tourism and hospitality fields. This will open up the doors just a big wider, for a more long lasting and fulfilling career.