Dear Travel Agent,
Those of us who have been in this business for a long time and those who have just started all have at least one thing in common – clients (or prospective ones) who ask for everything cheaper: hotels, airfares, tour packages and everything else under the sun.
Why not? They saw an advertisement on the internet! They heard it from a friend. They even saw a deal on TV. They wonder what kind of professional we are if we cannot give them a deal! I know many of you have your own ways of dealing with clients like these. Some of you charge for your time and to provide a quote, good for you!
Some of you are full-time travel agents and some are part-time. Some work only with family and friends, and some AVOID family and friends (like me, LOL!)
Every time a travel agent asks me how to handle clients who ask for a cheaper price no matter what or when, my honest advice is to:
1- Take a deep breath (or 2 or 3)
2- Remind yourself why you are in this business
3- Know that because you have more knowledge than your client, YOU and ONLY YOU should take control
4- Ask the necessary questions: When do they want to travel (high or low season)? How many people? What are the components of the trip? (Hotel and transfers only are cheaper than an all-inclusive and all tours!) Most importantly, ask what are they willing to trade to make it cheaper.
5 -By questioning them (with a smile and lots of kindness), we make the client THINK they are in charge of their “fate” and price. I believe some clients need to be educated on a few points, such as that high season is pricier than low season. And that including all tours would be pricier than if they did transfers only (and that this is not a good choice, especially when in a foreign country, no matter what language). Even if you are 100% sure the client knows these things, remind them of all these points.
6- Keep in mind that if a client raises their voice or interrupts when you are speaking, you should lower your voice as much as you can. It is hard to “argue” alone, especially with someone who keeps voice low.
7- Watch how they become more flexible!
8- Repeat the process if necessary.
For those of you who have some different tactics, I would love to hear about them and share with other travel agents. After all, “Travel Agents Rock!”
Follow me on
Facebook @Rosana Chermisqui
Email me @ askRosana@aol.com