Travel Agent-ing is tricky, on one hand, it’s not an applied skilled job (like an Engineer or a Doctor) and on the other hand, it’s not an unqualified job (like a Sandwich Artist or an Exotic Dancer).
I’ve met Travel Agents that come from all different backgrounds; hospitality, retail, tradies, astrophysics… The list goes on. Obviously there needs to be a common passion for travel, but other than that we’ll take pretty much anyone that can breath through their nose and can type more than twelve words per minute.
Apologies if you’ve been knocked back for a job in travel and can do both of the above. But in all seriousness, there are a few skills that most of the best Travel Agents possess, and if you keep reading, I’ll tell you all about them.
1. Speaking with confidence
Nobody wants to buy anything from someone who ums and ahs over everything they say.
The best Travel Agents know their shit – and if they don’t, then they pretend like they do. Eye contact and body language is also mucho importante, which come naturally to most extroverts.
2. Thinking outside the box
I don’t think there’s been a day of my career in travel where I haven’t had to do something new.
The thing is most of the time; you’re on your own when it comes to figuring out how to deal with these things.
The best Travel Agents are pros when it comes to problem solving and can smooth anything out while keeping a calm demeanor and sipping a latte.
As much as the big brick and mortar Travel Agency chains would like to think that their marketing dollar is well spent, it’s probably not.
From my experience, the best Travel Agents obtain most of their customers through their own personal network.
Not only are these coveted referral and repeat clients easier to convert, but they also spend more money per trip.
You learn fairly quickly that there aren’t many ‘hard and fast’ rules in travel.
Working in an industry that changes more often than the weather in Melbourne means that Travel Agents need to roll with the punches, as they say.
So, whether you like change or not, good Travel Agents will deal with it, rather than complain about them.
It’s not exactly a secret that salespeople want people to like them.
The problem is though, is that sometimes their efforts come across as contrived and insincere. These situations will drive customers away, rather than secure their business.
The best Travel Agents are either naturally likeable – or do a bloody good at pretending.
Travel Agents have to accept a lot of rejection, unfortunately its just part of the job. I’d love to think that every customer I spoke to actually booked with me, but they don’t – and there are a lot of reasons outside of my control that come into play.
The best Travel Agents don’t stew on rejection though, they fight and scrap to get the result they want.
7. Owning problems
Every Travel Agent makes mistakes, even the best ones – but the difference between a great Travel Agent and a mediocre one is how they deal with their mistakes – which sometimes aren’t even their fault.
Rather than try and place blame elsewhere or deflect responsibility, the best agents will own the problem, find a solution and move on with life.
What do you think is the MOST important skill for a great Travel Agent? Share your thoughts below.
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