Isn’t it good to get back to handling client inquiries and managing bookings again? For many travel advisors, the past month has been like January in previous years. The people who are having the best success right now are those who were consistently communicating with their clients during the downturn.

The rebound is a welcome change to the lack of bookings over the past year. But before we get too deep into “business as usual”, I want to share some of the things I think will be critical to maximizing the rebound.

Each of these three points is tied to changes many of you made during the pandemic. You set goals for what you wanted your business to be like moving forward. You swore you’d never work for free again, so you created a fee structure. And many of you spent a lot of time creating and implementing new marketing strategies.

Remember how good it felt to put all that in place and make those decisions? Don’t lose momentum by going back to old habits when you get busy!

Here are three critical things to remember to maximize the rebound in both the short term and long term.

 

  1. Stay true to your goals for your business. When you have gone through a drought-like our industry has experienced over the past year, it is tempting to take any bookings that come along. Don’t give in to that temptation! Stay true to your goals. Focus on your ideal clients and the types of trips YOU want to focus on. Remember that everything you do has an opportunity cost. If you take on a client that is outside your ideal client profile, every minute you spend on that client is a minute you don’t have to focus on reaching and serving your ideal client. It also has an energy cost.
  2. Stick to your fee structure. Last summer many travel advisors decided they were not working for free ever again and created a fee structure they were going to implement when things turned around. Many others charged fees all along. Whatever camp you’re in, don’t go back on that now. If you are delivering a high level of service, you should be paid for it by the client. If you aren’t fully convinced that you deserve the fee, your client will sense that hesitation and is less likely to pay it.
  3. Don’t stop marketing. When you are super busy trying to keep up with the clients you have, it can be tempting to stop marketing – don’t! You are getting clients now from work you did days, weeks, and months earlier. If you stop marketing now, you will have a drought in the future. Marketing should be a consistent component of your business, not something that you do from a place of desperation because you have no business.

 

One final thought. Don’t take for granted that your clients will return and book with you. Reach out to them and let them know you are ready to serve. This is especially true for those clients with future travel or cruise credits. I know from personal experience of someone who was tired of waiting on their travel advisor to reach out and suggest how to go about using their credit, so they reached out to the vendor and booked the $25,000 trip directly. Ouch.

 

I hope that 2021 turns out to be an outstanding year for you and your travel business!