Chimu has uncovered the Unflappable Travel Advisor and shares their tips for trading in the worst of times.
In what has been hailed as the most difficult trading times for the travel and tourism industry, thanks to an iron-clad international border, plus interstate borders operating in an ‘open, shut them’ manner, more akin to a toddler’s nursery rhyme, than a land that is one and free.
Travel agents would be forgiven for raising their arms in surrender, as booking dream holidays seems an impossibility.
Yet, Chimu has discovered something rarely spoken about… introducing the Unflappable Travel Advisor.
What is the Unflappable Travel Advisor?
This is the travel advisor who says, “Yes I know there might be issues when my client travels, but that won’t stop me from trying, I will be here for them when the sh*t hits the proverbial, I’m not afraid of that challenge and if I don’t help, who will?”
These are the ones who, even in this climate, have done deep research on the new flexible booking and cancellation policies across the industry and as a part of their planning, they forecast the work they will need to do on the other side, should the ‘open, shut them’, shut once again. Then they book.
When Chimu launched its Southern Lights by Flight program, the company’s personal 2020 ‘pivot’, derived from the success of such flights operated out of New Zealand in recent years, the ‘Unflappables’ came out of the closet and they were stand-out in their approach, booking multiple clients onto the new program and still coming back for more, whilst others struggled to raise any attention with their network.
“This was something we have never encountered before. Pre COVID our product has always been well known to the Australian traveller, so it was never all that difficult for your average travel agent to get a booking here and there, yet here we were ourselves in 2020, breaking new ground in order to keep trading and this adventure shone a bright light on a very unique human residing in our industry, the wilful consultant who will never give up.
“Together, using product changes and unique nurturing tactics, we have enjoyed sales increases since September last year.” Said Chad Carey, Co-Founder of Chimu Adventures.
Stoic and determined, the Unflappable Travel Advisors see themselves as more than transactors, they are the centerpiece of the complexities of travel, the good and the challenging, the demanding and exciting.
They work more like a mentor than an agent, taking on the challenge, knowing that the ultimate goal is an experience that will shape travellers, potentially forever and, thus, sharing the highs and lows of the journey together along the way.
Yet, especially now, they know this is not without risk. As such, they stand by their explorers like support crew, heads filled with knowledge, ready to pick up the pieces, if need be, and they keep trading through the worst of times. Why? Because they love it and they want their explorers to succeed, no matter the challenges!
The Chimu team, decided to reach out to, who they saw as, the most successful advisors and ask what their secrets are.
Presenting the top 7 tips:
1. Safety is at the forefront
Travellers today are worried about pretty much everything. So, when reading about a product in the market, after reading the headline, they jump straight to the booking and safety conditions, even before they learn more about the highlights of the journey.
Knowing that their client’s financial and health risk is low, is paramount before charging forward with consulting. Then, being able to communicate this information early in the process, really helps calm the would-be traveller’s nerves.
2. Back to basics
It really is not enough today to just put a post up on socials or send out a generic email. Getting back on the phone has, hands down, been the biggest win for all successful transactions. Chimu has heard this multiple times.
One advisor who has single-handedly, booked no less than 40 travellers on the Southern Lights by Flight, said, ‘I cannot stress enough, how important the phone has been for me to get people travelling again, offering a safe and friendly voice at the end of the phone, has alone, been my number one tactic. It also has given me a window to explain things quickly, without my clients having to read long essays of emails or posts. Especially when it comes to personal safety and flexible booking conditions.
3. Follow up
It is especially scary to make commitments these days, akin to deciding to climb a mountain, it requires some pondering before taking the first step, following up with potential leads has never been more important or more reassuring for the traveller.
To really let them know that you are the ultimate support crew and are there for them to realise their dreams.
4. Know your product
There have been a lot of changes behind the scenes during this time. Retraining, even for domestic product, has been paramount when presenting yourself as an expert, and don’t forget to talk about it.
Updates to socials and via newsletters to share this knowledge has helped the Unflappables stand out from the crowd.
Sharing, even the smallest of updates and travel advice, tells their audience that they still have their finger on the pulse and that travel is still possible.
5. Share good news
Our news feeds are absolutely saturated with bad news and fear. At times it feels like the world will never spin back on its axis. Bad news sells, the periodicals have been having a field day.
Yet there are still amazing things happening in our world, make yourself the source of finding this news.
Keep your network coming back to you, happiness, after all, is why we are all in this job in the first place.
If travellers can’t find it on the road right now, help them find it at home. Then, when they are ready to go, they will come to you for advice.
6. Be prepared
Know that, until vaccines are widely available, borders might close, outbreaks might happen, and cancellations maybe a reality.
Know what the path is out of those potential situations and advise your travellers, so they are also prepared.
Knowing that you are the advisor who will stick with them through everything helps cement travel relationships, for better and for worse.
7. Book again
Mountains are not always conquered on the first attempt, this is a new world we live in, don’t give up!
Southern Lights by Flight
Whilst Chimu’s Southern Lights by Flight are safely tucked away behind state borders, departing from and returning to their respective states, largely reducing the risk of cancellation and logistical issues, it has been fascinating to discover these Unflappable Travel Advisors and would not hesitate in recommending any of them as support for any future travellers, Chimu knows who you are, and will be right by your side when the borders open as well.
The Southern Lights by Flight depart most capital cities in Australia starting in April 2021 and will spend the night visiting the Southern Aurora by air.
Travelling above the clouds to the heart of the Southern Auroral Zone, this is a journey very few humans have ever taken.
There is still availability and Chimu is offering agent famils on these flights, for more information click here.
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