First you need to attract clients. Then you need to know what to sell, and how to sell. And at the end of the day, who owns your clients – you or your host agency?
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, and as more travel agents make the switch from bricks-and-mortar to their own home-based business, training programs and marketing support have become key selling points for host agencies wooing new and existing agents.
The Destination Experts is launching a new, comprehensive 60-module training platform written and developed by the company. Training includes business skill training, ethical business practices, fraud prevention and industry platform training. “We have also developed an exclusive training web portal that will be available to members of our team that will encompass not only our own training material but those of our preferred suppliers and destination tourist boards,” says The Destination Experts President Deanna Byrne.
When it comes to choosing a host agency, NACTA president Ann Van Leeuwen says agents should look for agencies that specialize in their situations. “Some agencies focus on recruiting new agents and highlighting training. Others downplay training because they want experienced agents who want and get advanced services with less hand-holding.”
She adds that often contracts will include details that must suit the agent, such as the process and fee for renewal, specific training suitable for the agent’s level of expertise, affordable start-up costs “and certainly a clear statement about who owns the agents’ clients.”
NACTA (The National Association of Career Travel agents) represents independent travel agents throughout North America and has a number of host agencies as members.
In this fourth and final installment of Sphere’s four-part Host Agency Series, we look at agent training and marketing support programs offered by The Destination Experts, Flight Centre Associates, Nexion Canada, The Travel Agent Next Door, TravelOnly and Vision Travel. We also ask each of the six host agencies, who owns the clients?
Click here for Part 4: Training, Marketing Support & Clientele
If you missed previous parts:
Part 1: Commissions, Contracts & Consortium Affiliations
Part 2: Fees & Renewal Processes
Part 3: Tiers & Tracking Reports, Preferred Suppliers and Referral Programs
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