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How Travel Agents Can Engage and Acquire New Clients

How Travel Agents Can Engage and Acquire New Clients

Since a regular influx of clients represents a healthy cash flow, businesses everywhere are looking into new and creative ways to acquire new clients. Things are no different for a travel agency. If you’re a travel agent, you can already assume that there’s a healthy market for your services. After all, people are travelling all the time!
Whether it's business trips or vacations, people need travel agents to help them plan out a successful trip. The high demand is also met by serious competition. Competitors present challenges at every level. You could be a highly established agent and still worry about keeping your clients and getting new ones.
As such, you must be wondering where you can find clients for a travel agent. Well, the answer is simple – everywhere. Almost anyone could turn out to be your next customer, so it’s important to plan out a strategy that is built on this belief.
In this guide, we’ll go over the travel agent’s sphere of influence. This concept will help us explain how you can engage with potential clients and convert them into long-lasting customers.

The Travel Agent’s Sphere of Influence

We all have spheres of influence. In simple terms, how far our influence reaches. For instance, a celebrity will have a large sphere of influence, reaching millions of followers worldwide whereas your friend might only be able to influence his immediate circle of friends.
Understanding this concept can help travel agents acquire new clients. Most people’s impact is limited to their immediate social circle. Even then, lots of travel agents fail to utilize that to its fullest extent. Let’s take a look at each layer, and what steps you can take to convert people in that layer into clients.

Your Social Circle

The people you are closest to are the first layer. The fact that you already have good relationships with them means that you can convert them into clients with relative ease. This doesn’t mean you go up to them and beg them to give you their business.
Talk about your business! Tell them about all the amazing places that you’ve been, or all the amazing opportunities that are out there. People crave new and exciting experiences. Facilitate them towards their next adventure.
As a travel agent, who’s also their friend, your opinion will carry a lot of weight. It also means that you’ll have to make sure that you get them great trips to places you they’ll love. The influence doesn’t end there.

Your Social Circle
Figure: The Travel Agent’s Sphere of Influence

Word of mouth is a powerful weapon. You could just ask your friends to recommend your services to family members, colleagues and other friends. However, nothing is louder than a genuine recommendation. If you deliver a truly rewarding experience to the people in your circle, rest assured that news will travel fast.
Soon, their friends, and friends of friends will be contacting you to receive similar experiences. As a travel agent, you should know that people won’t remember a half-hearted recommendation. When they need a trip, they’ll just type in travel agent near me into Google and pick the best one. If you come recommended on the back of genuine praise, people will remember.

Your Local Community

This represents the second layer. No matter where you’re operating out of, your community should be familiar with who you are and what you do. It is important to market yourself to the people in your area. Attend social events, maintain strong ties with other local businesses, be a regular at the community centre or park. 
When people think of you, they shouldn’t see just a face in the crowd. You could also spend money on promoting yourself. Host social gatherings yourself in and around your neighbourhood and keep your community engaged. These can be game nights, trivia contests, lucky draws, special discounts – anything really. As long as it creates positive associations with you it’s a good deal.
By doing these things, you ensure that everyone in your area knows about your business. The next time someone wants to travel, they’ll immediately think of you.

Online Community

People now spend more time online than ever before. In fact, we go to Google to find recommendations for almost every service. Searching for a travel agent online makes sense to most people. This is why your online persona must be on point.
Make sure your social media channels are all up to date. This doesn’t just mean the information on them should be accurate, but also that you spend time every day curating the content. People follow all kinds of influencers online and buy the things they recommend. You can be just like that.
Post regularly and engage with your online audience. Eventually, you’ll come to be seen as a reliable and credible travel agent with great online reviews. When someone in your area searches for a travel agent, your name will come up with great ratings.
You probably already spend a lot of time online. It’s time that time was converted into income.

Wrapping Up

All of these layers have a common denominator – you! Your personality has to shine through in all of the things you do. If you’re generally rude, or unpleasant, people won’t want to give you their business. In contrast, if you’re amiable and fun, people will be enthusiastic to associate with you.

Clients for travel agents mostly look at the person they’re hiring, before any of the offers and deals they can offer. This is because you’re going to be in charge of their entire trip. A lot of people save money for months to go on a trip. They don’t want to be stuck with someone unreliable, or unpleasant. So, understand these things and success will follow.

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