Reality Training had 15 clients or individuals win awards at Travel Weekly’s Triple As, The Agent Achievement Awards, held last week at the Westminster Plaza Hotel.
That is the biggest haul we’ve ever impacted on with our travel agent training and development programmes.
Last year we had 5 winners, so a trifold 300% conversion increase on last year! Now that’s a conversion rate for all to aim for…
To get to the first stage of being nominated is a massive achievement.
According to the data analysis for the 2016 Travolution Innovation Report, there were 66,224 agents in the UK in 2015 with the number set to rise.
Anyone who gets into the Triple As is doing well.
How do you get there personally?
These 3 Factors are Down to the Agents Themselves
1. You know your onions. And you’ve been prepared to sweat and cry while learning about those destinations and cultures. The travel industry focuses more on product knowledge training than any other business I have ever known, and sends agents to destinations to experience hotels, service and culture. The operators know the law of reciprocity along with the fact that first-hand experience creates a desire to sell.
2. You work hard and smart. You either work long hours to be able to increase your chances of converting more sales or you work smart and focus on the type of travel experience and demographic you understand best.
Working smart won’t beat working hard as the desire for volume sales and market share drives a lot of operators’ behaviour.
3. Your Personality. You’ve got the likeability factor and that makes you persuasive and influential. People buy people and clearly customers are buying you as are the trade partners you sell.
How do you become likeable?
Three core factors for agents are:
Your Tone of Voice – you sound energised and have enthusiasm, the last letters of that standing for I am Sold Myself.
Remember Names – even though you may never see your customers, you remember their names and the names of the partners, children and animals, and use them well.
You’re Consistent – “I will email you that between 9.30 am and 11.00am tomorrow morning”, and you do. It is about performance as well as promises.
3 Ways Reality Training Can Get You Nominated
1. A Clear Structure – We have designed and delivered sales and service models for 27 clients in the last seven years. By understanding the stages in a customer’s buying journey, you can adapt your sales process.
2. Ask World Class Compelling Questions that discover the outcomes – If I ask an agent, “Why did that customer choose Cuba?” and The agent says “Er, well he wanted a holiday.” Then they have not discovered the outcomes he/she and everyone travelling desires. We have methods that enable you to discover and even create outcomes and desires for everyone travelling, get this right and you sell every time.
3. Handle Price Led Enquiries – The current trend of abdication of responsibility with phrases like, “well I don’t make the prices up”, and “I can hear what you’re saying but the prices have gone up for everybody”, are removed when you are properly trained in empathetic objection handling and transactional analysis. The rate debate is replaced with a discussion about expectation and compromise choices to make on quality and service.
5 Results from Being Reality Trained
a) More Sales at a Higher Order Value – You’re selling less bronze and know how to recommend gold and silver, so guess what? You sell more gold and silver.
b) More Profit Margin – You don’t discount and give away your margin to get the wrong customer at the wrong rate. You sell with integrity and know it’s worth every penny.
c) More Ancillary Sales – you’re going to need this even more when you lose your £20 credit card fees. A shocking number of agents don’t sell parking, insurance or car hire.
d) Higher Retention Rate – you know how to go back to existing customers and help them, naturally and confidently. Why let them go elsewhere?
e) Higher Conversion Rate – If you’re having a tough time – our training stems decline and means when demand drops your conversion rate goes up. This keeps you at least at the sales conversion level you were at before, though usually even higher.
Whether you are an agent reading this, an operations, retail, contact centre or sales director, or a commercial or product director, or an owner of an operator or an agency, help us help you.