A big mistake that almost every small business person makes starting out is thinking that every possible client is a great client and good fit for their business. I made those same mistakes and have made them even recently. But with the exciting changes coming to my agency, I have had to really put into practice the truth that not every possible client is a good fit for me or my agents. It will help you, our valued-clients as well as anyone reading this post, to know what is NOT a good fit for us when it comes to those you might want to refer. Here are some characteristics that some have that make them NOT a good fit for what we do:
1) They are checking multiple online sites and want someone only to match or beat the prices they are finding. There is always someone out there wanting to beat someone's price and we are not in the pricing-war game.
2) They don't value our expertise or our personal service. This really goes with the first one. Someone just wanting the "lowest possible price" usually does not attach value to a professional's knowledge and personal experience.
3) They expect us to give them freebies in order for them to work with us. We are not here to win someone's loyalty by throwing gifts at them. We have bills to pay just like our clients do and this is our livelihood as well as our profession.
4) They expect us to reply to texts, phone calls and emails well after what some consider to be normal business hours. While we are always accessible for our clients who are traveling, we do have lives just like everyone else does and we need our time with family as much as anyone does. We may choose to work after hours, but that is our choice and clients cannot expect us to be watching our phones for questions at 9pm on a Friday night, for example.
5) They just don't want to listen. There are clients out there who refuse to take any advice we give when it comes to flights, resort or hotel reputations, etc and then come back and complain about the very things we tried to warn them about.
If you are reading these and thinking...but I thought travel agents always guaranteed the best price... you have been misled. What we do is provide the best vacation value. Lowest price does not equate to best value. Our expertise and skill allow us to provide each client with the best overall vacation which could include the best possible flight times/connections, the most favorable room location at their resort, the most memorable tours/excursions etc. We guide our clients on how to navigate customs, we offer insider information when it comes to restaurants and sites to see and our custom itineraries may never be the lowest priced option.
So, if you find yourself in one of the areas listed above, then you are probably not a good fit for us and we would be glad to refer you to a website that would be willing to work with you. But if you do value professional service and expertise and want the best overall value from your dream vacation/adventure, then we would be thrilled to consider you our client and we would be honored to become your travel consultants for life.