Agent reports best year in 3 decades and says success is due to taking more fam trips

By Lisa James
Home » Agent reports best year in 3 decades and says success is due to taking more fam trips

Travel agent Sue Glen is enjoying the most successful sales year since starting her travel career three decades ago – and says the secret of her success is taking more fam trips and ‘workations’.

Sue, a Midcounties Co-op Personal Travel Agent, said COVID made her rethink her work-life balance, including jumping at the chance to take more work trips.

As a result, her social media posts have inspired clients to book, leading to Sue’s best year so far.

Sue said: “The last six months have been the busiest in terms of booking numbers and profit and it just hasn’t slowed down.

“Like many people, COVID made me rethink my work-life balance and I’ve taken a few workcations since January. I was slightly concerned being away from the office would impact on the business, but it’s had the opposite effect and seems to have inspired more of my customers.

“I’ve had some dark moments during COVID. Like many colleagues in travel, I really did lose my love for it for a while and I took a second job with my local county council as a track and tracer.

“However, I kept advertising on my social media channels as I felt people needed to feel they could look forward to something and there was a bit of hope of normality one day.

“I started gathering more followers and new customers. On the downside, it did also mean I had more rebooks and cancellations to deal with as well, so I doubted my approach at the time but, in hindsight, I’m so glad I kept going as it’s certainly paying off now.”

She said work trips boosted her confidence about travelling during restrictions, enabling her to relay experiences about resorts, flights or cruises to her clients.

“I took advantage of some of the agent rates on seacations last summer, then in January this year I was offered a place on a Palladium Fam trip to Mexico.

“I would never normally have considered being away during Peaks and it was already very busy when I accepted the place but I had so much feedback and interest and it has definitely inspired bookings.”

Sue caught COVID the day before she was due to fly home from Mexico, so quarantined at the Palladium property, while still making bookings.

She said: “Palladium were amazing and looked after me – the same service as any customer would have had, which also gave me the confidence that my clients would be looked after.

“I spent a week confined to my room, working from my balcony, and had the biggest week in sales revenue I’ve ever had.

Since then I’ve been away with Celebrity on the Beyond launch, a 12-night sailing with MSC to the Canaries, which I really publicised as a workcation and a 10-day cruise-and-stay with Virgin. I’ve just come back from a last-minute weekend fam trip with First Class Holidays.

She added: “Many agents are ‘influencers’ now with social media being our shop front in many cases and there’s such value in agents experiencing products for themselves – whether that’s going on a fam trip or taking up an offer of an agent rate.

And she doesn’t think the current flight cancellation disruption is putting her clients off.

“I’m finding customers are aware that there’s the potential of disruption but they understand the reasons and are accepting of the risks.

“I think the reassurance of having me on hand to help if the situation arises also makes a big difference to confidence levels.”

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