Video conferencing is now a key part of selling cruise, but what top tips should travel agents follow to maximise its effectiveness? Training and development expert Debbee Dale has the answers.
Agents can’t get out in front of our customers right now, but video conferencing is available and should be used to its full potential. Due to the uncertainty and changing guidance on travel, clients want to see and speak to their travel advisors.
With that in mind, here are my top tips, direct to you, the travel agent.
First, invite people to talk to you. Instead of offering a call back to your client, or simply emailing them, send them a video meeting request (let them know it’s a great way to talk about cruise holidays).
Allow them to see and hear you. We know they prefer face-to-face contact, but this is how we do it at this moment, and for the next few months. Create your own new way of working – embrace it, as it does work.
Know how you look on screen, as you can then look into your camera and concentrate on your customer.
It’s very important to check the sound quality and ensure there is no background noise (like the washing machine on spin) that can take focus away from the call. If necessary wear a headset to remove any interference.
Also, consider your background and make sure you are happy with what is around and behind you. A neutral or office-like background makes you look more professional – also keep animals out and anything digital off camera as much as possible.
What’s more, have a structure of the call to hand to ensure you remain focused and understand what resources you may need. Always allow time for questions, as you would in store.
In an ideal world it helps to record calls to review how you look and sound – this is a great way of getting it right. Remember, it’s just a travel conversation and you have had lots of successful travel conversations over the years.
Preparing for a meeting
The first thing on the to-do list is decide on the platform you will use. It pays to make it easy, so pick something like Zoom, Teams, Whatsapp, Google hangouts, and so on.
Next, confirm a time with the client and then send an invite, ensuring they respond to you to confirm.
Have your introduction ready, as this helps to build rapport. Be sincere and consultative – as a good travel sales person usually is. Structure is important here, as is sharing your screen with the client so they can see product information [about a cruise].
Timekeeping comes into play, but always go for the sale and commit to a follow-up call if the client does not confirm the booking for whatever reason. Never lose the opportunity to sell. Last but not least, ask how they felt about the call and if they found it useful.
In order to get that sale the client needs to like, trust and believe that you are the right person to book their cruise holiday – video meetings can really help achieve this.