This piece originally published in the Key Notes on Travel summer issue. In this special section, we take pause to recognize and profile the many dedicated professionals who work to support Canadian travel advisors every day. Selling travel involves wrangling a lot of moving pieces and we tip our hats to those who help bring it all together.
Brand Development Manager
YEARS IN TRAVEL: 1.5
AS THEY SAY, A ROLLING STONE gathers no moss – and Meaghan McMahon knows it. Adaptability has quickly become her modus operandi at Collette.
When McMahon pivoted industries from medical software to travel in early 2018, she made quick work of learning her role as a brand development manager of group travel at Collette. When she onboarded, Manitoba was part of her greater assigned territory. Having grown up in Ottawa, she worked fast and furious to build client relations while absorbing everything she could about the Prairie province.
As she hit her stride, McMahon learned a strategic territory realignment would draw her focus to Ontario. Would she mind helping her colleague transition into the Manitoba role as seamlessly as possible, please?
No surprise – she rolled with it. “I just accepted that I would have to be comfortable being uncomfortable for a while!” McMahon says. “I knew I had to have the humility to ask questions so I could learn a lot quickly.”
McMahon is now responsible for an area that includes parts of eastern Ontario, northern Ontario and Quebec. “Overall, the reorganization has been a good thing,” she assures.
Despite representing a vast territory, her goals include getting as much face time as possible with clients – even the smallest towns receive a quarterly visit. To keep them in the loop between visits, McMahon took it upon herself to create a monthly e-newsletter. She’s constantly in touch about promotions and new developments. This proactive approach is part of McMahon’s obvious dedication to her job.
“What I like most about Collette is the fact it’s a third-generation, family-owned business. When our company gets together for conferences, it really feels like a family gathering. It’s very feedback-oriented and we focus on staying ahead of industry trends.”
It also helps that McMahon loves the product she sells. “We want all client experiences to exceed expectations. Our door-to-door airport sedan service, for example, ensures people feel well cared for from start to finish. And our insurance is unbeatable. You can cancel anytime and still get a full cash refund. We also offer comprehensive medical coverage, no matter your age or pre-existing conditions.”
Collette’s expansion of the Explorations product line is a huge plus for McMahon and she’s keen to show her clients Collette’s small group itineraries now offered in Russia, Egypt and Jordan, Australia and New Zealand. But when asked what she finds most fulfilling, her reply is unequivocal: “I love to hear stories from agents about clients who finally took their bucket-list trip. That’s what makes all the hard work worthwhile.”
We asked Collette, why Meaghan?
Meaghan is organized, attentive, disciplined, results-oriented and a strategic thinker. She is seen as a mentor among her peers, sharing best practices and spending a great deal of time training and working with new BDMs. She provides both positive and constructive feedback when necessary and helps all new hires understand the Collette product.