As much as its a dream for most of us to travel

first_imgAs much as it’s a dream for most of us to travel all over the world, chances are you haven’t been everywhere. This makes confidently selling a destination you have not been to tricky.Travel agents receive enquiries for destinations all over the globe, and if that’s a destination you have travelled to, you can sell it with confidence. You know where the best hotels are for families, where couples can enjoy a romantic meal, the best shopping spots, what activities to do, the most sensational sights to see and so much more.Advice from first hand knowledge is the value clients seek from their travel agents. Knowing your stuff can be the difference between nabbing or losing a booking and possibly repeat client.If you haven’t been to the destination, however, there is a way to sell it like you have – you just need to be prepared, and with many resources now available for agents to learn and get in the know, there is no excuse why you can’t be!So rather than madly googling where in the world Taumatawhakatangi­hangakoauauotamatea­turipukakapikimaunga­horonukupokaiwhen­uakitanatahu is (it is a hill on New Zealand’s North Island for the record), check out some of these tips to ensure you are up to date to offer expert advice to your clients.Workshops, Webinars and Well Done’s from trainingMany wholesalers, tour companies, airlines, tourism boards and hotels are just as keen for travel agents to learn as the agents themselves. There are a number of training programs, seminars and webinars available online through travel agent portals where you can gain valuable information through training. Some even give you certification for bragging rights after you complete the training. Best of all, they are free and can be done in your own time at your own pace.Roadshows, Product Nights and EventsThese events are a time to mingle with key industry contacts, learn about products beyond a brochure or website, and a few drinks and nibbles make learning fun. It is worth getting along to as many events and product nights as possible, as the networking opportunities are endless. Sometimes there are even trip prizes on offer for those who attend that give you the opportunity to experience a destination for yourself.Tap into the tourism boardsTourism boards can be a great source of information. Many have informative websites that are interactive and user friendly. They are packed with destination information, useful tips and some even have handy itinerary planning tools. Maybe set aside some time in your lunchbreak to have a read on a new destination each week and learn as much as you can.Make wholesalers and sales reps your friendL-R: Greg Carter – Co-founder, Chimu; James Thornton – CEO, Intrepid Travel; Chad Carey – Co-founder, Chimu AdventuresChances are you talk to the wholesalers, tour companies, cruise companies, airlines and other product companies daily, so they are your best source of advice. Ask them to recommend the best offering for your client’s needs. You will find most are experts in the destination. Take note of what they tell you for future enquiries. As for sales reps, book in a time to speak with them or make time for a chat when they pop into the office. They are there to help you, will update you with latest news and product, and be your best point of call if you need assistance on those pesky waitlists or tricky requests.Famils and [email protected] Sigiriya RockThe best way to learn about a destination is to travel there right? Keep your eye out for famil opportunities. These come in the form of best sales to a destination, invitations, competitions and more. If you find there is a destination you are getting a lot of enquiries about a particular destination, and have not travelled there yourself, source out who can fit you onto a trip there. They are a fantastic way to learn about a destination and, let’s face it, great fun too.Last of all, make sure you are reading Travel Monitor every morning. It is packed full of the latest news, reviews, industry insights, agent tips, destination guides and more. There is a lot to learn from the morning newsletter!With all these tools at your fingertips there is no reason you can’t close a booking by not knowing the destination. Agent TipsDestination Knowledgelast_img