As a home-based travel business owner, you are responsible for building a reliable and steady network of clients. Because traveling is a pastime for many, it won’t be hard to build a list of clients who fall into your target customer base. Check out some of the best methods for finding clients as a home-based travel agent.
One of the best ways to start growing your client base is by reaching out to people you know. Even if you don’t feel like you have a huge network, take time to list off all of your connections, and you may be surprised at how long the list is. You might include family members, co-workers, friends, relatives, and those you associate with at school, church, or within the community.
Use your closest connections to meet new people, then engage them by showing how your travel services will benefit them personally. Your customer base will grow naturally as people see how your company can enhance their lives. You can also join community groups and use social media marketing to grow your network even more.
A wonderful part of being involved in the travel industry is that everyone enjoys a great vacation. They love to share about their trip, the memories they created, the experiences they’ve had, the adventures they’ve enjoyed, all the magical places they’ve seen, and all the locations they have yet to explore. Talking with others about travel is an easy conversation starter. You can also strike up those conversations just about anywhere: networking events, grocery store, a birthday party, post office, gym, even the DMV.
Where to Find Your Customer Base
Start small and find individuals who have had an influence on your career. It is common to find these contacts by considering past and current co-workers, customers, and mentors. These contacts will be important to the growth of your business.
Once you have identified the most influential people in your black book, expand upon that list with individuals who may have helped you in the past or will have the potential to help in the future. Reaching out to contacts who you aren’t well acquainted with can better the relationship for future networking. If you’re nervous about approaching people you don’t know, ask a friend or co-worker for an introduction. You can also utilize email and flyers to get the word out about your business.
Attending events and trade shows will help to keep your clientele growing, look up events in your local area. You can also create social media groups to attract clients outside your local area who are looking for travel agent services.
For example, Dream Vacations Franchise Owner Julie Schallmann attributes her astounding growth and success to her private Facebook page, where she markets her travel services to her clientele. That is one way to connect with and grow your franchise business.
Another great way to find customers is by joining a local business network in your area. Dream Vacations Franchise Owner Connie Ng said having a local network opened many doors for her business and brought in a new client base. This will also allow you to learn from other experienced business owners, who can offer hands-on assistance with your business. Most business owners will be happy to share what they’ve learned in their years of experience.
Partnerships are another excellent way to grow your customer base. A successful partnership might include an event with other local businesses or a social media giveaway with a complementary business. Dream Vacations Franchise Owner Laurie Shuss utilized a partnership with Royal Caribbean to increase sales and her client base.
Learning how to find clients as a home based travel agent is easy with Dream Vacations Franchise. The company helps every franchise owner grow their client list with personalized business development training and weekly phone calls. Your business development manager will learn your unique strengths and help you to put those talents to use in building your client base.
How to Engage New Clients
Rather than simply selling your services, determine a way to get the attention of new clients first. Finding an interesting approach is important when you are reaching out through email or at a networking event. Pay attention to the personality of the individuals with whom you want to connect. Featuring information that resonates with their hobbies and preferences in the messaging can help get their attention.
Share how your services can benefit them, rather than asking them to use your services. Getting your clients interested in your business is easy when you show them the convenience of your services compared to their current booking methods. Once people see how you’ll enhance their lives, they’ll be eager to use your travel services, and making sales will feel effortless.
How to Expand Your Business
Your sphere of influence can create a solid foundation for your business by providing clients with top-notch service. As satisfied clients, they will recommend you to others within their social groups and clubs once you have exceeded their expectations and planned their successful trips.
Joining new clubs and organizations in your area will also allow you to promote your business to new clients and social circles. Everyone enjoys sharing their travel stories and connecting through their journeys. You can achieve a steadily growing client base by promoting your business as a gateway to the best vacations available.
Still wondering how to get clients as a travel agent?
Another way to grow your client base is by using skills from your former career to create a niche market. Franchise owner Adriana Zak has built her dream career by harnessing her experience as a former event planner. After years of working with brides and planning weddings, she focuses her travel business on destination weddings, honeymoons, and romance travel.
Franchise owner Janette Hankins recommends expanding your business by making friends with other franchise owners. When you have franchise owners as friends, you’ll be able to support each other and learn from each other’s successes. Hankins also recommends getting involved in the community and networking groups, and finding a niche to expand your business.
How Do I Promote Myself as a Travel Agent
Today’s world offers countless ways to promote yourself as a travel agent. Technology allows you to get your business in front of clients all over the world. Take advantage of the times we are in by using all forms of technology to promote your business. Social media is a crucial part of most successful businesses, but you can also think beyond that. Consider creating digital ads, building an email marketing list, and creating a blog to spread the word about your travel agency.
Still, there’s nothing quite like the power of in-person contact. So, take advantage of local marketing opportunities by attending trade shows and conferences. Schedule business presentations to show off what you can do for your clients. You can promote yourself by paying for local ads or digital ads on social media as well.
How Can a Travel Agent Increase Sales
There are a variety of methods for increasing sales as a home-based travel agent. But as most experienced franchise owners know, there’s nothing quite like a repeat customer to really increase your sales over time. A repeat customer creates loyalty and will likely refer you to their friends and family. Take time to cultivate loyal customers by nurturing relationships, even with those who don’t book a vacation right away.
Another way to increase sales is by learning how to find new clients for your travel agency. New clients may require more effort than a repeat client, but every successful business should have a steady stream of new customers coming in. Find new clients by networking in person and on social media.
Peak travel seasons are a good time to maximize sales. You’ll earn a higher commission since travel prices are higher, and you’ll have an easier time booking clients since more people are wanting to travel. Entice customers to book during peak travel seasons by offering special promotions and by highlighting all the benefits of travel during those times. Dream Vacations is the world’s largest cruise agency and includes exclusive promotions that we fund at our expense and not at our business/franchise owner’s expense or at the client’s expense. This is a unique offering that Dream Vacations does. This added value to you and your customers is in addition to and combinable with what current cruise line companies offer.
As a business owner you are always welcome to create additional marketing content yourself but Dream Vacations also includes so much content and marketing resources for you to use for your business. We also include bi-weekly emails to send out on your behalf, from our database. Along with social media programs, promotions that will automatically update to your personal website, and vacations contests for lead generation and customer engagement. In addition you can create marketing campaigns promoting travel during holidays, spring break, or summer to increase sales during desirable seasons as well.
How Can I Make My Travel Agency Successful
A successful travel agency directly depends on the effort you put into marketing yourself and building your clientele. Though you’re running your travel agency from home, it’s important to create certain practices to keep you working toward your business goals. Here are some tips to consider as you strive toward building a successful travel agency:
- Set mini-goals to keep you on track toward your bigger goals.
- Work during set business hours.
- Write goals down in a visible spot to remind yourself of what you’re working towards.
- Tackle several items on your to-do list before checking email.
- Avoid social media and your email inbox while you’re trying to accomplish a certain task.
- Participate in brainstorming sessions with other franchise owners.
- Send out a newsletter to past and current clients to inform them of special deals or promotions.
- Attend local business networking events.
- Send personalized thank you cards to your clients after they book a vacation.
- Follow-up with clients to see how their trip went.
How Can I Start a Travel Agency
Starting a travel agency from home is a simple process with Dream Vacations Franchise. Simply sign up to become a franchise owner and take our provided certification course, then start building your clientele.
The Dream Vacations Franchise opportunity allows you to work from anywhere in the world and provides access to exclusive resources and travel benefits to enjoy yourself.
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Travel Agency
Becoming a travel agent from home is a low-cost investment with limitless opportunities. Dream Vacations Franchise has three different levels of franchise, each of which comes with unique incentives and discounts. The franchise fee includes a 6-day training course, which teaches you how to get travel clients, and also grants you travel agency certification. After that, you’ll only need a computer with an internet connection and a phone to get your business rolling.