Wave season. The travel industry’s version of Black Friday and Christmas shopping rolled into one. Thankfully our busy season is spread out over a few months and not just crammed into a few weeks!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, “wave season” is the period from January 2 through April (it used to be March) when a huge volume of travel bookings are made. Once the holidays are over and people get back to work, they are ready to get their vacations booked. In many companies you are encouraged to plan for vacation early – especially if you want to travel during school holidays. And as a result, travel agents’ phones ring off the hook and their email explodes! It’s wonderful!

So, how can you make the most of this season? Here are a few tips.

First, don’t make assume anything. Don’t assume your client has your contact information. Don’t assume they know all the types of travel you can assist them with. Don’t even assume that they will contact you for this trip. If you have been communicating with them regularly with an ezine (not just vendor promotions – and definitely not just on social media), then you are in a much stronger position than those agents who just assume that because they booked with you before that they will book with you again. The main reason a client doesn’t go back to the same agent isn’t because that agent did something wrong. It’s because they just didn’t do anything special. And you took their money and never reach out to them again.

So, reach out to clients NOW and make sure they know you are ready to assist them with their 2019 bookings. It’s a great idea to have some sort of series to send them. Perhaps something on amazing vacations or hot destinations. Or if you specialize in cruises you could focus on new ships or itineraries since there are so many. You get the idea. And let me be clear: when I said “reach out to them” I didn’t mean on social media. Send them an email. Or go old-school and call them on the phone if that’s their preference. You can text them or message them in Facebook. Hopefully you know their preference. The point is to send something directed to them. If you post on social media you never know if they will see it. Really reach out to them.

Now, get your office in order. Make sure your desk is organized and your tech is updated. Use this relatively quiet time to update your skills in using whatever technology you have at your disposal that makes you more efficient and makes the client experience better. Learn to use these tools now and don’t want until you have to use it. What frustrated you last year about your processes? Fix it now! It is so easy to just check out in December because clients aren’t calling and it gets really quiet. Sure, you can spend more time with family and friends than usual, but don’t completely abandon your business. Use this time to make sure you are ready to soar come 2019!

Finally – and equally important – get yourself in the right mindset for success. What do you WANT this new year to look like? Make it happen. This can be your best year yet! Keep your focus on success instead of the negative. What WILL your most amazing year look like? Go ahead and express gratitude for it. Imagine it so you can achieve it!