5 Things I Learned at August Boot Camp
Written by: Sydney M Crago on August 20, 2018
Since I joined the KHM Travel Group team as a Copywriter in June, I have had the chance to meet with agents and craft content to help them learn more, market their businesses, and see the value they bring to clients. For our recent Boot Camp, I took a step into their shoes, and here is what I learned.
1. What Works for Me, Might Not Work for You
Our agents come from all over the country and from all walks of life. Some have experience in the travel industry; others are experiencing it for the first time. Just as there’s no one type of person who becomes a travel agent, there is no singular way that every agent runs their business. Instead of telling you, “Do it this way,” the presenters at Boot Camp provide the tools and knowledge for you to decide which way is your way.
For me, and for many of our agents in attendance, this was empowering. It helped me think about what would work for me, rather than worrying about doing something the “perfect” way.
2. Qualifying Your Client is Everything
Travel agents bring value to their clients by sifting through the mountains of information that exists to give them exactly what they are looking for in their trip. Through their discussions about the sales cycle and by role-playing client scenarios, Bill Coyle and Chantelle Nye from our Agent Development team taught us what it takes to qualify a client.
As someone who learns from example, the chance to see how two experienced agents would interact with a client, what questions they would ask, and how they use their online tools to research and put together an itinerary was very helpful in understanding the qualifying process. It showed me what steps to take and how to best use my knowledge and resources to serve clients.
3. Know the Rules
Part of serving your clients is knowing the policy and procedures you need to follow as a business owner. On the first day of Boot Camp, Rick Zimmerman, KHM Travel Group’s President and CEO was joined by Craig Freeman to talk about having a business mindset. They walked us through some of the important steps in establishing a business and which professional relationships can help make sure you are following the rules when it comes taxes, insurance, laws, and finances.
On day 3, Rick joined us again along with our compliance specialist, Karen Tyler, to discuss which laws and regulations affect travel agents. When first faced with these, it can feel overwhelming, but through their presentation and the questions they answered, fear and worry were transformed into confidence and understanding. Their patience spoke to their dedication to transparency, honesty, and support of the agents.
4. Never Be Afraid to Ask
One of my favorite things about attending Boot Camp was the chance to meet the agents and answer their questions. I often communicate with agents through writing this blog and social media posts, but there is something special about speaking with them face to face. Helping agents really is the goal of Boot Camp, and of KHM Travel Group in general. The travel industry is vast and constantly growing and changing, so never be afraid to ask us questions!
5. The World is Wide
This was more something I was reminded of than something new I learned: The world is wide. With every conversation I had, every destination that was mentioned, and every new fact or strategy I learned, I was adding to my list of things to do and places to see. I, like so many of our agents, am passionate about sharing the world and the power of travel with others, and Boot Camp helped me remember why that is my passion.
Boot Camp is just one of the opportunities our agents have to build their skills and develop their travel businesses — and there’s just one left in 2018! If you’re a KHM Travel Agent, visit TravelAgentMeeting.com to learn more about our November Boot Camp and register.
Through other live events, like Destination Success and the Crystal Conference and Awards, as well as webinars, FAM trips, and supplier education, our agents can improve their skills and expand their knowledge. To find out more about the support you receive as a KHM Travel Agent, fill out the form to the right or call us at 1-888-611-1220.