KHM Travel Agent Spotlight: Jean Borne
Written by: Amanda Bailey on June 21, 2017
While being an independent travel agent certainly has its perks, the perks alone aren’t what make an agent successful. It takes a desire to learn, and a desire to teach others about the possibilities travel offers!
Our Pinnacle Agent of the Month, Jean Borne, says she is often asked about the perks she gets as a travel agent. However, she isn’t in it for the perks, or just as a hobby. She’s in it for the long run.
It’s a serious profession, and one that allows her to really take ownership of her love of travel.
When she was young, her family would take road trips up and down the east coast each summer. They also took three road trips across the country. As a result, she’s been to 49 states, including Alaska.
In 2014, she was looking for a job with flexibility, and after speaking with a few friends that were also travel agents, she launched her agency Borne to Travel.
Although she loved travel, it took some time to gain confidence and feel comfortable talking to others about her travel business.
“I often don’t say a lot and observe more than speak. I had to get out of that comfort zone and talk to people,” Jean says. “Confidence comes with time and knowledge. The more I learned, the easier it became to talk to people.”
She continued to invest in her education, and became a reliable travel resource for her clients. She has attended our Boot Camp here at our corporate office, two regional training events, plus numerous ship inspections and supplier trade shows. In the summer of 2016, her hard work paid off and she reached KHM Travel Group’s Pinnacle Elite level.
Jean and her husband also traveled with a service dog, Ollie, which has benefited her when working with other clients who have similar needs when traveling.
“I love to help take the uncertainty of making travel plans away from the client,” Jean adds.
Often, part of a client’s uncertainty includes why they should use a travel agent in the first place. Educating her clients on how her business works has been key for Jean.
“Clients often don’t know how travel agents get paid. I make sure to tell them I get paid through the supplier and there are no extra fees to use my services,” she says. “I also tell them I’m an extra set of eyes on their travel plans, and I’m there to help them every step of the way.”
For new agents and agents striving to reach Pinnacle, Jean’s advice is to set goals along the way. Her original goal was to earn her IATA card, and this year she set her sights on booking $10,000 a month in travel to maintain Pinnacle status. When she breaks that down, it’s about two to three trips to book a month.
“I personally think slow and steady is best,” Jean says.
Thinking and planning for long-term success has certainly worked for her. Congratulations to Jean, and thank you for sharing your story with your fellow KHM Travel Agents!
If you’d like to learn more about starting a fun, rewarding travel agent career from home, fill out the form on the right of the screen or call 1-888-611-1220 for our free Travel Agent Information Guide.