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The 6 most important sales skills for a travel agent

Insight

Firstly, know the difference!

Finding and keeping customers isn’t easy. Quality products, cheap prices and fast delivery are all important, but for businesses that deal directly with customers, softer skills and more human attributes are just as vital. 

In fact, 73% of consumers say that friendly service can make them fall in love with a brand and 86% are willing to pay up to 25% more for a better customer experience*.

There are many soft sales skills that can help any travel expert provide a better customer experience, but here are the Bedsonline top 6:

1 - BE A GREAT COMMUNICATOR

Whether on the phone, via email or face-to-face, communication skills are by far the number 1 asset that all travel agents should have. Speaking in plain language and asking the right questions will put your customers at ease and create space for a genuine dialogue. 

This is where listening comes in! Being good at communicating also means being able to stop and listen, taking on board what your customers are saying and making eye contact with them – all of which helps you to build a good rapport right from the very beginning. Great communication skills have a direct impact on your expertise, read how you can expand and refine your expertise in 12 easy ways.

 
Bedsonline 6 sales skills travel agents

2- PUT YOURSELF IN THEIR SHOES

The more you listen to your customers, the more you can empathize with their likes, dislikes, concerns, needs, etc. This empathy can only come when you are also a great communicator and have the skill of “listening with intent”, i.e. not just hearing what they are saying but understanding and really putting yourself in their situation. This empathy will prove to your customers that you aren’t a typical salesperson only looking at the price tag, you actually have their best interests at heart.

3 - GET ORGANIZED

There are many simple things that can save time and effort further down the line. Sometimes it can be tough to remember all the things you have to do in one day, so start by writing a to-do list every morning and try to stick to it. Don’t be afraid to use the old pen and paper, as the act of writing things down helps your brain to memorize the list (plus it’s always nice to cross things off once they’re done!) Another way to be more organized is to have a really clear idea of the products, offers and destinations that might be of interest to your customers. Not only does this help you to answer any questions straight away, it also helps back up your image as the real travel expert!

4 - STAY HUMBLE

If you are wrong, admit it. If you are right, stay quiet. There’s nothing worse than a smug salesperson to put anyone off wanting to buy. If you are asked a question and you don’t know the answer, be honest and do your best to find the answer. Don’t try winging it on the spot as you will appear false and unprofessional.

 
Bedsonline 6 sales skills travel agents

5 - PLENTY OF RIGOR…AND PATIENCE!

If you say you are going to do something, you simply HAVE to do it. How many times has somebody promised you that they will get back to you with something and they never do? Surely it doesn’t fill you with confidence about that person!

And patience is a skill that is so often overlooked in any profession, but especially so in sales. If a customer doesn’t give you an answer straight away, and has no more questions to ask, then let them go off and think. Send timely reminders but don’t overload them with calls and emails. A pushy salesperson won’t be tolerated by the majority of people.

6- AND FINALLY…DEVELOP A WORLD VIEW

If you really love travel, then you’ll know that travel today is much more than a well-crafted itinerary. Go beyond the obvious attractions in a destination and read a little bit about its history, present-day modernity, culture and even its newsmakers.

Never forget your biggest competition is online! Meet them on their turf by being on top of the latest online trends and stay updated with all the current travel business news and the impact on booking patterns, flights, currencies, etc. You can do this by signing up for newsletters, subscribing to social media platforms and attending networking events.

You’ll soon find yourself developing a world view that will complement your travel expertise, boost your confidence and help you respond even more effectively to clients!

Bedsonline travel agents guide capturing customers
 
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