‘You’re mine, all mine’: how to retain clients after winning their business

You’ve pitched them and charmed them, researched and convinced. And now you have a new client. How do you keep them coming back?

Think like a financial advisor.

First, you always want to present yourself as their travel advisor (or agent, or planner, or whatever term you use). Just the way a financial planner would, you want to convey that you are their longtime provider, not for just one trip.

To help that happen, you’ll want to develop a Client Profile for them. This will take some time but it will show how much you are interested in them and their travel plans.

If the initial trip is a quick, uncomplicated sale, you might want to wait until they return and you do your follow-up contact to gather the information.

If the first trip is a complex itinerary, spend the time at the beginning. After all, would a financial advisor start recommending stocks and bonds within two minutes of meeting with you, without knowing your investment history?

On that Client Profile keep the usual contact information and add special dates, (birthdays/anniversaries), any health issues, loyalty program details, hotel chain and room preferences, airline and seating preferences and cruise line dining and stateroom preferences.

What about their travel history? Their short- and long-term travel plans? Add notes about conversations, contact points (eg. ‘sent welcome fruit basket to arrive 31/4/13’) and excuses for follow up.

And when your clients return, don’t just welcome them home. Wait a few weeks and contact them to ask when you can get together so you can see their photos and hear all about it.

That’s a great opportunity for you to introduce the next trip: “I know you’re interested in a trip to France at some point and I see that Air France has a seat sale on their summer flights.” Always keep an eye out for their interests. After all, you are their travel advisor!