One of the keys to becoming a better a travel agent, according to Mary Dring, Delta Vacations’ regional sales director for the west coast, is to function as a consultative seller. This is someone who provides added value by asking the right questions and providing clients with customized, as opposed to generic, recommendations. Dring shared this tip and more during a workshop at the Delta Vacations University 2016 seminar and trade show held Sept. 16-18 in Atlanta, Georgia. The following are a few recommendations that could help boost your bottom line:
- Ask “why” questions: This important interrogative word compels clients to get thinking. For example, by asking, “Why did you chose Australia as your vacation destination,” you can determine whether they are envisioning a beach vacation with tours of popular city attractions, a more off-the-beaten path adventure in the Outback, or an exotic scuba diving trip in the Great Barrier Reef.
- Ask “what” questions: These questions get clients talking. Inquire “What are the Top 3 things on your list for this vacation,” in order to recommend the right destination and activities. If your clients are physically disabled or unable to climb steep cliffs, a vacation in Italy’s mountainous Almafi Coast would not be appropriate. Rather, you could suggest a trip to Tuscany, which offers accessible wineries, hilltop villas and sightseeing flights.
- Small splurges can make a big impact: If your clients are booking a trip to Las Vegas, mention the fact that guests staying at The Linq hotel are able to take advantage of a 2-for-1 Grand Canyon Airplane tour deal through Dec. 28, 2016. This small recommendation could be the highlight of their stay. Rates for Delta Vacations’ Las Vegas packages start at $330 pp including airfare.
- Point out the values: When choosing a property for your clients, never assume they know what amenities are provided. While some hotels offer the basics—complimentary WiFi, a TV, iron, and hair dryer—others provide more luxurious amenities such as turndown service and upscale bath products. If your clients are traveling with small children, suggest a property with a great kids club. For couples, recommend a property that offers pre-reserved dinner reservations.
- Sell the all-inclusive plus level: The price may be steeper, but the added benefits of booking a Club Level at an all-inclusive—express check-in/check-out, dedicated concierge, unlimited a la carte dining, upgraded room amenities, and spa discounts—may far outweigh the cost for some guests.
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