Name: Shauna Sharp
Agency: Rock-It Travel TPI Ltd.
Years as a travel advisor: Six years
Annual sales: $1 million
Product or destination(s) you specialize in: Destination weddings & group travel
Describe your process when you first connect with a client who wants to book a trip.
Depending on the type of travel, we approach this differently. With groups, we set up a meeting to sit down and find out what type of coordination they need for the travel. If it is standard travel, we prequalify and explore their needs.
What are your tips for finding new clientele?
We think outside the box and will try something at least once. Clients are everywhere, but you have to show them value in what you do. Most people will try your services once, so make it worth it and they will return time and time again... and ask for referrals.
What are your tips for retaining clients?
Customer service. Offer that "little extra" and show them they don’t want to go anywhere else. People want to know that you are working to make this the best vacation ever.
What are your tips for closing a sale?
Ask for it. Don’t be shy. Be confident.
Do you charge services fees? If so, why and how much?
Yes, we charge fees. We charge them because we are a specialized service. We have triple certification in travel (CTC) and event coordination (WPICC) & destination wedding coordination (DWC), so we have established ourselves as specialists and pride ourselves on outstanding customer service and stress-free weddings, events and travel. We have strong vendor relationships which make us experts in what we do. We charge fees ranging from $300 - $2,000, depending on the service our clients want from us.
Why do you enjoy being a travel advisor?
It is a passion for travel and a passion to make people feel like they are the most important client you have. With weddings and groups, we offer full coordination which allows us to ensure all the details are covered and are perfect for every event within their vacation. We sell an experience; not just the travel.
What is the most unique thing you’ve ever done to enhance a client’s trip?
We do custom travel itineraries and luggage accessories for our bridal groups. Brides get an emergency kit and all passengers get custom tags with the bride and grooms information on them.
What is the wackiest request you’ve ever received from a client and how did you handle it?
To control the weather; to make sure it is nice and not windy. Unfortunately, this one is out of our control so we advise them of that but offer them the dates within the best weather for that destination.
What do you consider to be the biggest change in the travel industry since you began your career as a travel advisor, and how have you adapted to said change?
Change in the way clients want to carry and also view their documentation from paper to digital. We send everything digital now and even incorporate a customized app service for their trips.
Anything else to add that could help support the sales growth of fellow travel advisors?
Be diverse in what you are able to offer, don’t discount the value of your opinion, but be distinct in how you present it. Clients have come to you for it, rather than just book on their own; show your worth.