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Tag-Archive for "Travel Industry"

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.

How to Sell Value Over Price Jul 26

How to Sell Value Over Price

As a new travel agent, it is perceived that selling travel seems to be all about the “price.” Some new agents will scour the Internet and travel supplier sites to look for the cheapest prices, least-expensive excursions, lowest category cruise cabins, and off-the beaten path resorts, just so they can quote the lowest price to their potential client. Inexperience says “to be the best, you need to be the lowest.”

The phrase “you get what you pay for” is a cliché for a reason. Offering the lowest price, isn’t always the best. And trying to have the lowest price or setting yourself up to be known for “cheap travel” is a recipe for disaster.

When a travel agents focus on price and price alone, they end up being just a “vending machine” for travel, trying to compete with the travel megasites on the Internet. This is the worst mistake you can make as a travel agent when positioning yourself in the marketplace.

And besides, if your prices are the lowest, and your client chooses you because of it, they will probably only be loyal to finding that lowest price and not loyal to you as their agent. Your goal as a travel agent is to gain and retain clients, so you need to ask yourself, what about service and quality? What about YOU?

As you become more experienced, educated and confident with being a travel expert, what you sell becomes less about the price and more about the value you offer. A little tip…Instead of thinking of yourself as a travel agent, consider yourself a “travel professional.”

A travel professional is someone who is trained and experienced in planning travel and vacations for clients. Planning travel is about the services you are going to offer your client that will result in a stress-free vacation experience that will create memories to last a lifetime. These services can include researching and comparing vacation options, sharing your expert knowledge, coordinating excursions and arranging activities, answering questions, processing the booking, handling documents, and being your clients’ advocate before, during, and after their trip.

Over time as you become educated, try to visit destinations and resorts for trainings, so you can provide firsthand experiences on what is great and what just “looks great” on a website. Showing clients photos and videos that you personally took while being trained at these destinations, resorts, or cruises is the greatest marketing tool you can have when selling yourself, selling a destination and selling value, NOT price.

Remember, ultimately if you decide to sell on price, everyone loses. Your client loses because he or she may have not gotten the best service and product and you lose because you may not have gotten the sale. Warren Buffet said it best, “Price is what you pay, VALUE is what you get.”

How to Qualify Your Client May 13

How to Qualify Your Client

One of the most critical steps in working with your clients in planning that perfect destination getaway is properly qualifying them before you make a recommendation. Qualifying your client can also establish your reputation and credentials as a travel professional. Why is this so important? Imagine going to your family physician, and they try to give you advice and write a prescription when they really didn’t take the time to understand all of your symptoms. Wouldn’t you walk away wondering if you need a second opinion? Of course you would. At the very least you would wonder how much that doctor even cares.

Before you can make recommendations, it really is important as a travel professional, to understand the experience your clients would like to capture from their vacation. Of course there are the common questions any travel agent would ask. Where do you want to go? What type of vacation experience are you seeking? What are the dates you want to travel? What is your budget?

Obviously you need the answers to these types of questions BEFORE you make a booking. But have you ever thought about asking qualifying questions that you don’t really need to know the answers to? These types of questions will not only show you care about your clients’ travel experience, but will establish yourself as a professional, and will probably secure the booking for you and eliminate your competition.

This is where thinking “out of the box” helps establish you not only as a travel agent, but as a travel expert. You want to show your clients that you are someone that cares about helping them achieve the maximum value. Which isn’t necessarily just a vacation, but a travel experience…an adventure…a memory that will last a lifetime.

These types of questions will help you make a recommendation, but they will also tell your clients that you care enough to capture the essence of what they would like for their travel experience. Perhaps it is a time for de-stressing, spending time with family, revitalizing a stale marriage, or seeking adventure and fulfillment.

Remember that vacations aren’t just where and when you want to travel. Vacations are about adding to your repertoire of life experiences.

So what kind of qualifying questions should a Travel Expert ask? Here are some of the questions we recommend to get your client talking about their vacation desires.

What are some of your past vacation likes and dislikes? Would you consider yourself a beach person or a pool person? Which is more important: staying at a nicer resort with a downgraded room, or, staying at a mid-range resort with an upgraded room? Do you like the idea of being able to eat and drink as much as you want for one price? What are your favorite foods? Do you enjoy eating island cuisine (or trying local cultural foods?) Are you looking for a more intimate experience or would you prefer more action and nightlife? Is room service important to you? Is beach service important to you? What kind of attire would you like to wear for evening wear? Would it be important to you to stay at a resort that has activities and nightlife after 11PM? What type of water activities do you like? Are long walks on the beach important to you? What do you like about your chosen destination? Are you certified to scuba dive? Would you like to get certified while on vacation? What types of family vacation activities are important to you? What is your goal for this vacation?

Also remember it is not enough to just ask the right questions. Don’t forget how important it is to listen to their responses, as well. You will find when you take the time to get to know your prospects, you will leave them with feelings of excitement and anticipation about their upcoming vacation.

And chances are you have also now secured them as your next client.

Interested in starting an exciting new career as a KHM Travel Group Agent? Visit www.KHMTravel.com 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!

Finding the Perfect Trade Show Apr 26

Finding the Perfect Trade Show

Gaining targeted, relationship-driven travel sales is very important to your business. One of the best ways to obtain these sales is by participating in a trade show.

When you first start seeking out trade shows, try thinking like your potential travel client and look where they are looking. Consider their age, gender and spending ability. If you’re looking to tap into the bridal market, consider sponsoring a bridal show. Shopping malls, bridal boutiques, radio stations, and wedding reception venues are also known to host bridal shows. You can usually find event listings for local bridal shows online. If you’re looking to sell to families, consider sponsoring seasonal and family-oriented events like craft fairs, community fairs and outdoors events. Check your city or local chamber of commerce’s website and event listings for events in your community.

The bottom line is—don’t participate in a trade show if you don’t think that your potential clients will be there.

Now that you’ve found some shows in your area that will attract your potential clients, how do you decide whether or not to participate? There are several qualifying questions and factors to take into consideration.

First, you should consider the location and size of the show. If it is close to your home or office, future client meetings will be easy and convenient. Be sure to see if there is free parking at the show, as the cost of parking may deter people from attending.

Secondly, your booth size and location is also an important factor. Ask yourself questions like “What is the size of the space I will get to market my business? Will my booth be located in a heavy-traffic area? What does the show producer provide vendors in terms of tables, table-skirting, lighting and flooring? What will be required for set-up and teardown?” Asking these questions are important because extensive set-up needs may raise your overall costs and make the show less profitable to you in the long run. The answers to these questions will help you determine if the trade show is right for you.

The third factor is cost and it is key in figuring out if the event will contribute to an increase in profits for your agency. It’s always a benefit to get access to the names and contact information of the attendees. That way you can follow up with them by using a direct mail piece or an email campaign. Also, some shows may give you the option to purchase space to have your company or name mentioned in any of the show’s printed or advertising materials, like a show guide, program or the flyer promoting the show, which means more eyes and ears on your company name and logo. If advertising is included with the cost of your booth…even better as these types of ads on their own may become costly!

Additional aspects to consider are the time of year, week, or even the day that the show takes place, the number of attendees expected, and the number of other travel vendors that you will be competing with at the show. Large shows that are heavily promoted in the media will attract more potential clients, but you may need to recruit additional help to staff your booth and you will have less time to interact with potential clients. Smaller shows may result in higher quality leads and allow for more time for you to sell your services to those in attendance.

Don’t agree to sponsor a show or buy a booth without first determining the maximum amount you are willing to spend. Smaller shows can cost anywhere from $50 to $500 per table or booth and larger shows can go into the thousands. But, don’t worry. You don’t have to spend a lot to make this work for you! Decide how many shows you will do in the next year and budget accordingly. Count everything from booth setup and display costs, to giveaways, printed materials and signage. Be sure to talk to your tax accountant because there is a good chance that most of these business costs can be written off!

If you have difficulty finding the potential in your trade show investment, then participating in that specific show may not be worth your time, money or effort. But don’t let that discourage you; there are plenty of trade shows out there, so you’re sure to find the perfect one for you and your business!

Interested in starting an exciting new career as a KHM Travel Group Agent? Visit www.KHMTravel.com 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!

 

Is a Travel Agent Career Right for YOU? Mar 13

Is a Travel Agent Career Right for YOU?

How you would describe your dream job? Would you enjoy the flexibility to work from home? Set your own hours? Sell a product that customers actually LIKE to buy? Have the opportunity to travel to new places, often at a discount? Then a work from home travel agent career may be right for YOU!

A travel agent career allows you to be your own boss. As an independent contractor of a host travel agency, you are in full control of the type of business you would like to build. You may choose the travel products you want to sell and decide how to market your business. Whether you desire to work part-time or full-time, the possibilities as a work from home travel agent are endless.

What type of person can have a successful travel agent career? A large part of the job involves developing relationships with clients, so good communication skills are vital. Being familiar with basic computer operations is also helpful, since email and online booking engines will be used for reservations. The ability to stay organized is key. Most of all, a work from home travel agent needs to be self-motivated and have a strong desire to succeed.

Is it necessary to attend a travel agent school or receive any kind of travel agent certification before beginning a travel agent career? Education is certainly beneficial to increase your knowledge of travel products, booking procedures, and popular destinations. A large portion of this can be learned at home via the internet, without attending a travel agent school. Most travel suppliers will offer an introductory travel agent course, allowing the agent to learn the basics of making reservations. Many popular destinations offer a travel agent certification program which allows the agent to become a sales specialist for that area.

KHM Travel offers an extensive travel agent training program to its family of agents. A variety of basic travel agent courses and webinars are available at no cost. A more extensive travel agent course from Compass Travel Academy is offered at a discount to KHM agents. This coursework also counts as credits toward the travel agent certification levels offered by The Travel Institute.

Are you ready to get started in your exciting new travel agent career? Contact KHM Travel at 877-220-9260 x. 200 for more information or visit www.KHMTravel.com and let the adventure begin!

What is a Travel Agent Familiarization Trip (FAM)? Jun 18

What is a Travel Agent Familiarization Trip (FAM)?

We’ve all heard the saying, “Knowledge is power,” and that is especially true in the travel industry.  The more knowledge you have about a travel product, the better equipped you are to offer the expert advice your clients appreciate.  Brochures, websites, and training seminars are all useful tools.  But understanding the product you are selling involves more than glossy pictures, and goes beyond facts and figures.  Experiencing a destination in person brings the information to life in a way like no other.

One of the easiest ways to gain real-life travel experience is by going on a familiarization trip, more commonly known as a FAM trip.  These reduced-rate trips are specially designed packages that allow travel agents to visit the most popular destinations, resorts, and cruise ships.  FAM trips may be offered by tourist boards, hotel chains, or any other supplier that recognizes how much first-hand knowledge benefits the agents that are selling their products.  In addition, KHM Travel Group partners with top travel companies to offer exclusive FAM trips, with information tailored specifically to the needs of their home-based travel agents.

What happens on a FAM trip?  Most often, a FAM will include tours of multiple hotels and resorts.  At each property you will see samples of various room categories, as well as public areas like restaurants, kids’ clubs, pools, and spas.  You will have the opportunity to take pictures or video that you can share with your clients upon your return.

Your FAM trip will likely include training sessions offered by the trip’s sponsor.  These sessions provide education about the product, marketing tools available, and other valuable advice … Just what any travel agent needs in order to return home filled with enthusiasm and ready to increase your sales!  And you might even manage to squeeze in a little fun too, at a cocktail party, VIP dinner, or on an excursion to a local attraction.

Another fantastic benefit of a FAM trip is the opportunity to network with other travel agents.  As you get to know the other agents traveling with you, you’ll be able to share stories, ideas, and ways to overcome the challenges you’re facing.  You may also develop relationships with key supplier personnel and resort staff, who often provide valuable support of your travel business.

FAM trips aren’t limited to land-based travel, either.  Cruise lines often sponsor ship inspections.  These tours allow agents to view staterooms, deck layouts, entertainment venues, and often include a chance to sample the cuisine at one of the ship’s restaurants.  For an even more in-depth experience, you might consider a Seminar at Sea, which allows you to set sail on a scheduled itinerary at a discounted rate.  These cruises offer training sessions to expand your product knowledge, as well as the chance to enjoy the amenities and activities on-board and in each port.

Agents returning from a FAM trip often find themselves energized, inspired, and armed with the information and experience needed to grow their business to a whole new level.

KHM Travel agents can look under “Meetings and Events” in their agent portal to view upcoming FAM opportunities.

Not a KHM Travel agent yet?  Call Burt Kramer at 1-877-220-9260 (ext. 101) and/or visit KHMTravel.com to learn more about the training and support available to start your own home-based travel business.

Begin An At Home Based Travel Business Now Jan 04

Many entrepreneurs can sometimes feel overwhelmed in their business when they discover that owning and managing a company is not very easy or glamorous. This should be the fact that many fail in the first 3 years. There’s one kind of small enterprise though where the opposite is experienced. What is it? A home based travel agency. Following 4 reasons that explain why owning your very own travel agent makes for contented business possession.

Home Based Travel AgencyIt’s Straightforward to Find Purchasers : Buyers are the most vital asset of any business. And, getting them is a challenge many small companies face. When you own your travel agency, the world at large is your shopper base. This makes finding purchasers infinitely simpler than in other kinds of companies. You can take reservations from local purchasers, from state consumers and from global clients. And, you can do it at any point of the day or night This is a big advantage for new entrepreneurs for it suggests that irrespective of what time of the year you open your doors, as it were, your services will be requested.

Earn Commissions Around The Clock : Travel is not a 9-5 business ; it’s an around-the-clock business. Buyers can log onto the web and order travel for family reunions, honeymoons, graduation cruises and more each minute of each day. What does this mean to you? That when you own your own travel office, you can make commissions all of the time. You can not say that for plenty of companies.

Travel Deductions For You : When you launch your own travel agent, you receive reductions on your own travel. It is like your business paying you to do business! You receive kickbacks on airline tickets, 5 star hotels, fine cafes and more. This is, in reality why many started home based travel agents. Because they really like to travel, they decide, Why not benefit from it and earn some money at the same time.

Deductions For Friends And Family : many are not aware that when you own your very own travel agent, acquaintances and family have entitlement to discounts as well.

As the travel agent owner, you make money when they book thru your business. Yes, you read right. Your friends and family get deductions and you earn cash at the exact same time. It is a winning situation for all. When you own your very own home based travel business, a wonderful new world literally opens down to you. Find out more about the best way to start a fun career as a home based travel business owner at www.KHMTravel.com or call Burt Kramer at 1-877-220-9260.

Start A Home Based Travel Agency Dec 01

Although owning and operating your own business has its rewards, it is often easier and more profitable to start a home business travel agency instead. Usually, most small businesses fail within the first three years, but these statistics do not apply if you decide to become a travel agent. There are three main reasons why it pays to become an independent travel consultant: you will always have plenty of customers, you will make money around-the-clock, and you will enjoy travel discounts for yourself, your family, and your friends.

Plenty of Customers

Home Based Travel AgencyWithout customers you have no business, and one of the reasons why most small businesses fail in three years is that they run out of leads, prospects, and customers. This, fortunately, is not true in the travel business because demand far exceeds supply. When you’re a work at home travel agent, you will get customers from the city you live in, from all over the country, and from all over the world. What’s more, you can make reservations day and night and your travel software applications make it easy to handle this stream of business. Unlike other businesses which are restricted to local customers or seasonal variations, these limitations do not apply to a home-based travel agency.

Make Money Around-The-Clock

In the travel business, the phrase “making money-around-the clock” is used literally, not figuratively. The influx of customers will not be limited to banker’s hours, but you will be open for business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your customers will be booking cruises, honeymoons, family reunions, and travel packages at all hours of the day or night. A work at home travel agent is someone who makes money all the time.

Travel Discounts

Those who love to travel themselves love this aspect of the business. It’s routine to receive deep discounts on travel expenses, ranging from air travel to staying in a luxury hotel or dining in a fancy restaurant. Your business is paying you to be in business!

These deep discounts not only apply to you when you become a travel agent, but also to your family and friends. Moreover, since you are booking them, you will get paid for it, too.

Start a home based travel agency today and get plenty to customers, make money around the clock, and enjoy deep discounts on your own personal travel. When you become a travel agent, you step into a new world full of profit and excitement. For more information call Burt Kramer at 877-220-9260.

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.

Host Travel Agency – Steps on How To Choose The Right Host Travel Agency? Sep 01

There are a number of benefits to working with a host travel agency, if you are interested in moving forward quickly with your career path as an individual travel consultant. However, there can be a wide range of different agencies out there, and a few qualities to look for when you are narrowing these agencies down.

One of the first steps to take to choose the right host travel agency would be to verify the agency’s credentials and background. They should be certified by a professional hosting organization, or be active ASTA members. The exact credential can vary in between agencies, but there should be some sign that they are a valid, professional organization.

Another tip to keep in mind when comparing each host travel agency to find the right one is to look at their business track record. Ideally, they will already work with a number of top travel agents, who should be willing to give testimonials or positive reviews to new agents that might want to sign on board. One of the benefits of working with a host agency is having access to other professionals for advice and support.

When conducting initial research into the different host travel agency options, it’s also worth taking into consideration how their organization is run. Some work as multi level marketing schemes, with agents recruiting other agents and doing little travel agency work themselves. The best agencies will instead focus on customer service, and helping each independent agent receive the tools that he or she needs to succeed.

Narrowing down the best host travel agency options will also involve investigating how the pay scheme works. This includes what percentage the agency might take in exchange for helping you find new clients and providing valuable support and resources. The cut that they take from their agents will vary widely depending on how the agency is run, how large it is, and what types of fees that the agents are charging clients.

A little bit of organization and advance research can make a world of difference in finding the right host travel agency. Be sure that no outstanding complaints have been filed against the company, and that they are able to provide testimonials from their agents and the clients that the agents have helped. These should be readily available either on their website, or offered to prospective agents when asked.