Be My Sweet Client (For Valentine’s Sake!)


Dear Travel Agents/ Advisors,

It seems that we all have clients who ask for everything cheaper: hotels, airfares, tour packages and everything else under the sun. Those of us who have been in this business for a long time and those who have just started all have these types of clients (or prospective ones) in common.

They tell us 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! We each have our own ways of dealing with clients like these. Some of you charge for your time and to provide a quote – good for you!

There are full-time travel agents and some are part-time. Some agents work only with family and friends, and some AVOID working with family and friends (that’s me, LOL!)

Whenever a travel agent asks me how to handle clients who are seeking a cheaper price no matter where or when, my honest advice is to:

  • Take a deep breath (or 2 or 3)
  • Remind yourself why you are in this business
  • Know that because you have more knowledge than your client, YOU and ONLY YOU should take control
  • 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 they are willing to negotiate on to make it cheaper.
  • If a client raises their voice or interrupts while you are speaking, lower your voice as much as you can. It is hard to “argue” alone, especially with someone who keeps their voice low. Watch how much more flexible they become!

By questioning them (with a smile and lots of kindness), we make the client THINK they are in charge of their “fate” and their price. Some clients need to be educated a little, 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 how 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 important points.

For any of you who use different tactics, I would love to hear about them and share them with other travel agents. After all, “Travel Agents Rock!”


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