Supplied by The Travel Agent Next Door
You probably think you have to offer as many suppliers as possible in order to satisfy your customer, right? Many agents believe this. But actually, you can become a better travel agent if you sell fewer suppliers. And, even better, you can earn more money and be of more value to your customers.
Most travel agency groups and consortia have ended up with so many “Preferred Suppliers” that they practically include every supplier there is. The term “preferred” has become meaningless. The suppliers know this.
This approach has not served anybody very well. Not the supplier – and not you, the agent – and believe it or not, not your customer either.
Consider these five reasons why you should consider supporting fewer suppliers. If you are a home-based agent, find a host agency that has adopted this strategy.
- Your sales with each supplier will grow and the supplier will be more inclined to be supportive in terms of overrides, marketing and other types of support.
- The more you concentrate on only a few suppliers, the more knowledgeable you will be about their products.
- You will establish a closer relationship with the supplier’s employees and this will result in better customer service and more favours being granted when they are needed.
- If your customer has problems during or after travelling, you will now have an edge with that supplier because of your sales volume – so this is a winning strategy for your customers too!
- If you find a host agency that supports and encourages this strategy, you will earn more as your commission split will be greater.
There are many ways you can support your preferred suppliers... actively recommending them to your clients, of course, but also by including them in your local marketing, attending their product launches and training, hosting consumer nights or other events to promote their products and featuring them on your website and in your customer communications.
Less is more! Look for a host agency that offers fewer, not more, preferred agreements and rewards you the most for booking these suppliers. Everyone benefits!