The insights offered up from Avoya Travel’s just-released 2019 Wave Season survey include tips from top-selling Avoya agencies on how to prepare for Wave season and maximize 2019 travel sales.
Of the surveyed Avoya Network members that produce over US$1 million in annual sales, 80% revealed they have a plan to prepare their business for Wave, the busiest time of the year for cruise sales.
Of these Independent Agencies, over 90% begin preparing their business one to three months before Wave.
Organization, refreshing professional development and supplier education, and strengthening customer relationships were overwhelmingly cited as the keys to success, says Avoya.
Others mentioned planning and networking as ways to get ready for 2019 Wave.
Avoya’s survey also revealed useful top tips and best practices from the highest producing independent agencies in the Avoya Network. Major themes included product and promotion knowledge, customer contact, and having a system in place to maximize time and organization.
Here’s a look…
Review and update your specialties. “I choose only a few so that I can know them thoroughly,” says Nancy Miller, Trippin’ Around The World, LLC.
REFRESH VENDOR EDUCATION
CruzDiva Travel’s Diane Bower says: “Being familiar with the products you sell means everything when talking to customers, they want your confidence and expertise.”
“Get your office organized and do everything you can now to lessen your time spent on admin,” says Carol Howell of Bloom and Howell LLC. Janel Fidalgo of Janel Fidalgo Agency LLC makes sure if an existing booking needs flights or an add-on, it gets done before Wave.
“Everyone needs a system that they’re comfortable with so that their workflow is efficient and that they’re not distracted with non-essentials during the day,” said Gloria Quinan, Classic Travel Service.
USE SCRIPTS TO SAVE TIME
“Having almost all email communications pre-scripted saves time – time you can use to take another new client lead,” says Michael Gussman of Professional Vacation Planners.
MAKE CONTACT WITH PAST GUESTS
“I send holiday cards to my clients and make sure to contact all past guests before Wave,” said Beth Leonardt, Vacations By Beth, LLC. Many agents agreed on the importance of making clients aware of special promotions now and getting them thinking about their next vacation.
KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON SELLING
Rick Amsden of Luxury Vacations LLC says it’s important to reduce distractions and prepare to put in extra hours working. Janel Fidalgo, for example, doesn’t make big plans during Wave. “I want to take full advantage of the plentiful Avoya Live Leads being offered during Wave.”
MAKE THE MOST OF END-OF-YEAR BOOKINGS
“While preparing for Wave, don’t give up on selling in November and December,” said Lisa Long of Luxury Vacations LLC. She finds that customers are still looking at and booking vacations now.