By Emily Peters
Last week we explored the thrilling world of preferred suppliers and how they impact your wallet. With the promise of a fabulous travel experience for your client and higher commissions for you, getting to know your host agency’s preferred suppliers is a requisite, not an option.
There’s a lot to learn, we know.
At MTravel, we’re very selective with the cruise lines, tour operators and other suppliers with whom we partner. We also appreciate that the world is very wide, and your clients’ taste will vary. There’s still plenty of suppliers to choose from among our preferreds.
That’s why getting to know these suppliers on a personal level is so important. If you want to up your travel agent game, it’s simply unacceptable to sell your client the wrong experience. You’re being paid to help people make the right travel decision, using their precious vacation dollars and hours. That’s a responsibility not to be taken lightly.
Get on the webinars, get in the groups.
MTravel is mildly obsessed with professional development, offering between three and five webinars per week to our travel professionals. Several will focus on supplier training and all of them are recorded, so there’s absolutely nothing blocking you from knowing these products inside out.
Have specific questions? First, call your support team! They interact with the sales reps from suppliers on a near daily basis, and their knowledge will supplement and complement your own as it grows. After you’ve trained and done your research, appeal to your travel peers online! MTravel offers a private Facebook group where conversations about destinations, suppliers and more are always brewing. It’s a veritable hotbed of information coming from fellow travel agents who have seen a LOT of the world—and sold quite a bit, too.
Be wise about FAM trips.
As you establish yourself as a travel professional, you’ll be offered opportunities to attend FAM trips. You should take them. Not vacations, these are professional excursions led by suppliers and designed to give you and exhaustive, hands-on experience so you can better sell that product.
But remember: if you’re gunning for a FAM trip, prioritize your preferred suppliers. They’re the ones offering you the best support, the highest commission and the most thoroughly vetted product. Don’t just attend any FAM that comes your way. Get to know your preferred suppliers and select options that best correlate to the clientele you have or want to attract.
Say (their) name, say (their) name.
You should know your preferred suppliers by name—and no, we’re not just talking about the company itself. At MTravel, our preferred suppliers have assigned specific Business Development Managers to our account to make sure we have all the support we need to sell their brand.
These BDMs often offer exclusive training and networking events, cross-marketing opportunities, FAM trips, booking incentives and much more to our suite of travel professionals. They offer critical insight into destinations, qualifying your clients and selling techniques. Is your client experiencing problems on their cruise, tour, flight? Alongside your host agency support team, the preferred supplier BDM is their to help troubleshoot.
Having a personal, professional relationship with your BDMs will bring a richness to your preferred supplier knowledge like never before. The stronger that relationship, the better your bottom line will look. So attend the preferred supplier networking and training events. Go to the host agency conferences to meet them in person. Show up for the webinars. Work for their FAM trips. Ask for help when you need it.
Collectively, getting to know your preferred suppliers is one of the number one methods to build your travel business—and that’s why it should be your top priority. Trust us—we speak from experience Good selling!
Are you ready to start your independent travel business with MTravel? We are here to help! Contact us here or call us at 800-870-5799. Be sure to check out our website at www.MTravel.com and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.