Tuesday July 7, 2020
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Linkedin Linkedin Linkedin

Working those supplier contacts: you don’t need bricks and mortar to cement relationships

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

supplier contacts

Perhaps there’s no other event the industry that showcases the importance of networking more than the Virtuoso conference, held every August in Las Vegas.

A coming together of hundreds of the top travel agents in the world with an astonishing 1,200 suppliers, this conference is about learning, sharing and making connections and contacts.

Your agency doesn’t have to be a member of Virtuoso in order for you to make the most of networking with suppliers.  It might be an evening presentation, or perhaps you have partnered with a cruise line to give a presentation to your clients. The same tips always hold true:

Working those supplier contacts

1) Your attire. “Clothes make the man” – or woman, I’d say. I’m the last person you’d describe as a snob, but I was shocked to see attendees at the Virtuoso conference in Hawaiian shirts and deck shoes. Yes we are talking leisure travel, but we’re talking the business of leisure travel. Your appearance in business attire will always go a long way to presenting an image of professionalism and success to both suppliers and clients.

supplier cWorking those supplier contactsontacts

2) Always have business cards with you. Always. At meals, at coffee breaks, in the elevator and even the washroom (I’ve seen people exchanging their cards there too). The outside pocket of a purse is ideal so you aren’t scrambling to find a card. And men: tuck a few cards into your jacket pocket.

Working those supplier contacts

3) Follow-up. Not just to close a deal or finalize a group departure, but to say hello and thanks for the opportunity to chat with you. We are all inundated with business e-mails all day long, and sometimes it’s refreshing just to see a pleasant, personal greeting. (Snail mail works even better.)

As one of our Vision independent travel advisors who attended the Virtuoso conference last month put it, “By connecting with your suppliers, you connect with your clients.”

Lynda Sinclair

CTM, Vice-President/Leisure at Vision Travel Solutions
With over 30 years in the Canadian retail travel industry, she says she “Lives and breathes what goes on at the front line.” She can be reached at lynda.sinclair@visiontravel.ca.
Lynda Sinclair
Carnival’s Mardi Gras won’t sail until February 2021; notifications going out to agents today
Carnival’s Mardi Gras won’t sail until February 2021; notifications going out to agents today
Carnival has had to push back the delivery date for its new Mardi Gras ship a second time, as the COVID-19 pandemic...
TPI now paying agents 100% of commissions with new Apex program
TPI now paying agents 100% of commissions with new Apex program
TPI is putting travel agents first with its newly launched Apex program, which includes for the very first time 100% of...
Book winter travel now with ACV’s new Early Bird Sale
Air Canada Vacations is looking ahead to the winter season with a new Early Bird Sale for travel between November and...
AMResorts opens brand new Dreams Vista Cancun Golf & Spa Resort
AMResorts is celebrating the grand opening of Dreams Vista Cancun Golf & Spa Resort, an all-new Unlimited-Luxury...
View all News

Get travel news right to your inbox!