Pointing to spots on map, holding travel photos


By Cat Zuniga | May 2, 2017

The business you take is the business you're going to make. However, that doesn’t always mean it’s good – or that you should take it.

I’ve written about finding your niche and how important it is to be a specialist in what you are selling. Now it’s time to dive into that a bit more.

There’s really not much of a difference between having a niche and being a specialist. Where people get confused is what you market – what you do, why you do, and how you do it.

Delivering dreams is what you do. Why you do it varies from person to person. And as for the “how,” if you say, “I help x do y, so they can z,” how you solve for z is what makes you a specialist.

Meeting table with two small lights hanging abovePhoto credit: Breather via Unsplash.

You choose how good you want to be. Travel professionals are the “human app,” the ultimate resource and go-to for all things travel-related, so long as they fall within your niche and expertise.

Here’s a quick quiz to see if I’ve made an impression: If you’re new to the industry and haven’t yet decided on a niche, how are you going to handle someone who asks you to book a destination that you’re not familiar with?

Bring in the experts!

Here’s how you can take advantage of those experts and the resources you have available to you – and provide the best service to your customers:

Develop relationships with your suppliers and vendors.

The people that can best and most easily help you expand your knowledge of a particular resort or destination are representatives from those very things.

Reach out to your business development managers and ask for resources, pick their brains, and go on familiarization trips to expand your knowledge on their particular product/destination.

Second floor balcony patio spacePhoto credit: Scott Webb via Unsplash.

Preferred Partners.

The point here is to not try to pretend to know everything, because you can’t and you don’t. Try teaming up with other business professionals (whether in your area or not), and consider passing along these clients.

Leveraging is a huge thing, and it’s absolutely worth considering. When you spend three hours trying to research a new and unfamiliar destination, you’ve wasted time that could have been spent either quoting or booking someone in the destination you actually know like the back of your hand.

So consider developing these partnerships, and ask for a referral fee of 10% – or whatever amount you feel is appropriate – to help offset expenses, gain a new client, and develop good relationships.

Not only have these two simple tips expanded my business, they have alleviated so much pressure to know every part of this world – something that's clearly not possible! 

Person sitting on rock with legs crossed near waterPhoto credit: Sylwia Bartyzel via Unsplash.

Don’t give your client time to cheat on you and research a destination for themselves, or go elsewhere. Keep the time between communications as short as possible.

You need to have a system or individuals in place so that you can get the process moving and make your client happy.

Show your clients you are in their corner, and you are ready and willing to help them.

The world is a vast playground with a million sandboxes and swingsets, and you can’t play in all of them. So pick a few destinations that you can master and understand inside and out.

As always, I encourage you to protect yourself and your clients by encouraging trip protection. It will save you the headache that comes from having to deal with an unhappy client, horrific situation, or lost commission.

Our friends at BHTP protect your commission and take care of your clients. Not to mention, they are spectacular at doing so quickly!

Cat Zuniga
Cat Zuniga

Cat Zuniga is an award-winning travel specialist. She specializes in tropical vacations for families, groups, destination weddings, and honeymooners. 

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