We have made it to 2022, and to say that I can’t believe it is an understatement. However, what I can say is that if you’ve made it here, then you should be extremely proud of yourself. Being a travel advisor in this current climate has given me and my colleagues more grey hairs than would we like to admit!
These past couple years, and especially this last month since Omicron swept the country, have taught us a lot about how we are going to navigate our businesses in 2022. Here are five goals every Travel Advisor should have for the upcoming year.
1. Make Sure Clients Have Travel Insurance
Travel Advisors should absolutely make sure that all clients buy travel insurance for their trips. Any client that is getting on an airplane should have some form of insurance, whether it is Basic, Cancel for Any Reason, or Covac. This will absolutely save headaches down the road. Familiarize yourself with basic knowledge and befriend a rep or two from different insurance agencies. If your client refuses travel insurance, make sure they email you that in writing. Attaching insurance to a trip will also make you extra money, as many insurances pay commissions of 25-30 percent.
2. Set Reminders About COVID Policies
In this ever-changing landscape, it is so important to double and triple check COVID policies closer to client departure. I set a reminder two weeks out to re-email hotels and suppliers in international destinations to see if there have been any changes or if they have enacted any new policies (as sometimes hotel policies will differ from an actual governmental policy). One week before, I re-check the country’s government website, as well as Sherpa and airline policies.
3. Set Goals
I know that this is a daunting task and that many of us just take each day as it comes, but setting goals and making a plan is so essential to jumpstart business. Set goals for how many new clients you want per month, how much money you’d like to earn in planning fees per month, what your sales goals are per month, how many posts to create and what kind of content you want to create. Once you have this in writing, check-in weekly to see your status and how you can catch up.
4. Connect With Your VIP clients
Check in with your VIP clients at the beginning of the year. Ask what the year looks like for them. How do they envision themselves traveling for the year? Do they have any special events they need your help for? What is on their bucket list so that you can keep an ear out for any special deals? What are their summer plans and festive plans? Putting a year-long plan in motion will help you when you hear of special packages throughout the year and will also help with your goals as per #3.
5. Set Boundaries
I know that many of my colleagues and I felt burned out in 2021. Clients have become increasingly demanding, and while we know we don’t necessarily have typical 9-5 jobs, we have to set limits so as not to wear ourselves out or spread ourselves too thin. We should limit who we give our personal cell phones to, and if we do, let them know that email is still the best contact. I personally lose track of my text messages, as they are mostly personal, and when I’m in work mode I know I can get to my texts later. This means that sometimes I forget to get back to clients, so I always tell them that email is the best way to reach me. Another good idea is to set your hours in your email signature so that clients don’t expect you to answer during dinnertime or on weekends.
Any other tips? Feel free to email me at [email protected], or follow me @cali.hersh.travel