During this years Virtuoso Week, Virtuoso revealed research that indicates certain steps lead to indisputable success for its travel agency members and their frontline advisors, particularly new entrants into the business.
Additionally, Virtuoso shared some recent data and findings that show exactly why the industry is bullish when it comes to travel advisors.
Virtuoso’s analysis on the state of affair for travel advisors:
- Virtuoso saw a 26 per cent increase in advisors in 2015; 57 per cent of that growth came from existing Virtuoso members.
- Growth has been consistent over the past five years. Virtuoso reports an 85 per cent jump in network advisors between 2010 and 2015.
- Growth will continue: 79 per cent of agency owners expect sales to grow this year and 68 per cent of them intend to staff up. Following an analysis of proprietary research on advisors who were new to the profession as well as its network, Virtuoso surmised which practices led them to become million-dollar producers in record time, as compared to their counterparts who did not participate at the same levels.
Here, then, the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Travel Advisors”:
- Engage in networking: Virtuoso says this group of advisors is twice as likely to attend its famed Virtuoso Travel Week conference, where travel advisor “speed-dating” results in hundreds of thousands of meetings with preferred suppliers, all in the name of relationship building.
- Participate in professional development: Virtuoso’s research shows that this group took 75 per cent more training classes than the average advisor.
- Utilise marketing: 83 per cent of them participate in Virtuoso’s marketing initiatives, ensuring that over 70 per cent of their clients receive customised marketing vehicles that direct consumers back to their Virtuoso advisor.
- Connect through social media: Over 90 per cent of this group are active on multiple social media channels, using it as a means to communicate and inspire their clients.
- Present themselves as professionals: 80 per cent have created a bio that includes their areas of specialisation, the countries they have visited and when, and a professional headshot. This detailed information lives on Virtuoso’s Advisor Catalogue on the network’s website, and creates a way to engage prospects who may be seeking their services.
- Encourage feedback: Over 40 per cent of these advisors have clients who have submitted reviews and recommendations for their profile page. This is nearly four times the network average. These advisors thrive on the feedback, which is routinely glowing.
- They follow-up: This group knows that follow-up, particularly after the trip, is essential to building the foundation of a successful advisor-client relationship. It is no surprise that these advisors average 26.2 reviews per person versus the network average of 14.5.