Travel insights from Jackie Friedman, president of Nexion Travel Group

Three Tips for Working IN Your Business

A frequent topic of discussion I have with Nexion members and travel industry professionals is it’s important to work ON your business. In fact, it’s also equally important to work IN your business. Here are a few tips on how to accomplish this:

  1. It starts with a system.
    Attention to detail is extremely important to be a successful travel professional. Have you ever missed a deposit deadline or lost a booking because you forgot to call in final payment? Hopefully the answer is no, as the smallest mistake could have a big impact on your customer’s vacation.

    It’s up to you to keep yourself organized, so you don’t miss important deadlines. Having a system in place to help keep those details in check will help immensely. The type of system that it is can differ depending on the nature of your business and how you operate.

    BEST PRACTICE: Build in buffer time for certain deadlines where you can. For example, if a final payment is seven weeks out, ask for it at least eight weeks out in case you can’t reach your client. Consider holidays, including bank holidays.

  2. Have the discipline to use it.
    Ideally you should use a good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, such as the kind that Nexion Travel Group provides for all of its members as part of their membership, and have the discipline to input all of your bookings at the time you initially make them.

    Schedule reminders for the various milestones and deadlines associated with the booking – not just the hard dates the supplier has given but also opportunities along the way to engage the customer. You’ll want to ensure they have all the information they need and that you’re building excitement. Consistent communication has proven to contribute to “booking stickiness” and protects you if a client comes back later and says, “You never told me.”

    BEST PRACTICE: Many CRMs let you batch scheduled dates or deadlines and apply those same timelines to multiple bookings. You can apply these batches to all bookings and tweak as needed for added efficiency.

  3. Keeping yourself organized helps convert customers to clients.
    When you book a person’s travel once, they are a customer. When you form a relationship with that person and book multiple travel events, that person becomes your client. Some of the touchpoints you schedule can go a long way to ensure you’re taking care of your customer on that booking and building that relationship into a client relationship, so they’ll come back time and time again.

    BEST PRACTICE: A few weeks before your client departs, send them last-minute tips on their destination. Because you’re organized and have set up alerts in your CRM, you’ll know exactly when this date is.

    Remember, at the end of the day, the more prepared you are, the less overwhelmed you become. And the less overwhelmed, the better service you’ll be able to provide to your clients.

Nexion Travel Group helps to prepare you even more, by integrating our members’ operating system with their CRM. New on the technology front is the financial solutions rollout of myNexion, a Nexion-provided business operating system that expands members’ Customer Relationship Management system into a full booking management and accounting solution. The dashboard provides visibility into sales opportunities and sales performance, plus auto-synchronization of GDS bookings, integration with our marketing solutions and more!

All travel professionals interested in learning how to succeed as a professional business owner, backed by Nexion Travel Group’s many great benefits, are encouraged to call 800-747-6813 or email sales@nexion.com.

About the Author

Jackie Friedman is the president of Nexion® Travel Group, a fully accredited host agency owned by Travel Leaders Group. She oversees a team of 60+ employees supporting 4,000+ independent travel professionals in North America, and has been with the host agency since 2004. Jackie is often asked to participate on industry panels and supplier advisory boards. She sits on the Travel Institute Board of Trustees and was on the ASTA Board of Directors from 2012-2016. Jackie is a recipient of the Barbara O'Hara Award for Advocacy, among other industry honors and lifetime achievement awards.

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