Do you think of yourself as a sales person?
Not enough travel advisors do, according to Byrd Bergeron, founder of the Travel Byrds.
“Travel agents don’t think of themselves in the sales space,” Bergeron said. “So what they do a lot of times is they focus on their customer service, and they’re obsessed with the customer service.”
What they’re not thinking about are things like their sales pipeline, how long it takes to close a lead, keeping every lead logged in a CRM or analyzing leads that were lost, Bergeron said. But thinking about things like that can improve a business and increase revenue.
Bergeron was speaking on the latest episode of the “Trade Secrets” podcast, which is all about sales strategies. Bergeron was a guest alongside Steven Gould of Goulds Travel, Luxera Travel and the Travel Advisor Resource Center.
She offered an example of thinking more strategically about a travel agency as a business: She might go into her CRM, or customer relationship management system, and look at what each of her 11 advisors are up to. Perhaps there’s a trend of an advisor losing leads because their potential clients aren’t paying Travel Byrds’ research and design fees.
“I would say maybe we need to work on your pitch a little bit more,” she said. “Maybe we need to build your values.”
Or, if clients are “ghosting” an advisor, she might work with them on their phone skills, she said.
It’s about “giving yourself the space to have data around sales, not just spending all the time working on customer service,” he said.
In fact, Bergeron herself spends very little time on customer service after she’s made a booking. She has outsourced that to virtual assistants (VA).
Gould said travel advisors are usually one of two people: They either love the sales aspect, or they love the booking process and researching destinations.
“It’s really hard finding one person who loves doing both sides of that job,” Gould said. “Like Byrd alluded to, having a VA or someone else that you can work with for that definitely helps fill in the gaps that you’re missing in that regard.”
Listen to the full episode of the podcast for more advice from Bergeron and Gould, including practical techniques and insights.
It’s the first in a two-part series on sales strategies with Bergeron and Gould. The next episode will be live on Monday, July 10. Find “Trade Secrets” wherever you listen to podcasts.