GW Portal A modern wizard in everyday's life.

27Jul/170

Incentive Traveller – To Get Professional Specifics Regarding Group Incentive Travel, Explore this Incentive Travel Blog.

Selling incentive travel business is different from other kinds of travel, however for corporate or leisure agents who are able to understand the ropes, it is a profitable niche, with potentially high returns.

“Historically it’s been the highest spend per person of any type of group travel,” said Bruce Tepper, vice president of Joselyn, Tepper & Associates, a travel industry consulting and training firm.

“This can be another business which includes never been driven by commission. Agents, not the suppliers, set the margins. It’s lucrative.”

Incentives could also entice agents looking for a new challenge. “It’s a new challenge and various and makes you learn new things and new methods of doing things,” Tepper said.

The initial step after opting to pursue incentive industry is being willing to dedicate staff towards the effort, whether it’s existing staff who can be trained or new hires focused on incentives.

Once that decision is produced, agents should get training.

Now could be a good time to achieve that. SITE, the Society of Incentive Travel Executives, intends to launch a brand new Certified Incentive Specialist program by the end of year. Both the-day program will probably be designed for incentive travel newcomers and will not require membership in SITE nor any minimum experience.

Incentive travel sellers need to understand companies as well as their motivational goals, whether that’s inspiring staff to offer more or moving customers to get more services and products.

Once agents recognize how incentives work, they must start seeking incentive business from existing clients. A primarily leisure agency might mine its client base for executives or company owners. Agents that are country club members are able to also employ that as a good source of potential customers.

Incentive travel is a natural for employee incentive trips. “Use your own personal customer base to distinguish possible leads and after that learn about their employee rewards program,” said Tim Smith, president of GlobalPoint Travel Solutions, a $70 million agency in San Diego, Ca, which does about 3% of their business in meetings and conventions.

“It's much easier to sell a program to a individual or company with whom you possess an existing relationship instead of chasing a vaporous possible client. Love the main one you're with and you'll expand your influence,” Smith said.

Identifying prospective customers

Those who would like to go after new clients won’t struggle to find prospects.

“An industry in everyone’s backyard that uses incentives frequently is car dealers,” said Tepper. “Even a compact dealer has 20 or 30 salespeople.

“Look for distributors of anything, like Coca Cola and Pepsi bottlers. You don’t need to be in New York City, Chicago or La to start out,” Tepper said.

Utilizing incentive groups requires both a whole new mindset and new set of contacts.

“You’ll be coping with a completely different network of suppliers,” Tepper added. “Even with the airlines and hotel companies you’ll be coping with differing people.

“And, you’ve have got to enter in to this thinking forget commission. Perform everything from net. What pricing we use will determine everything we sell for.”

Potential partnerships

Agents seeking incentive business also have to select their agency’s degree of involvement. They are able to designate a passionate team to designing, managing and implementing incentive programs or seek the aid of meeting and incentive planners.

Operating the incentive business directly is, naturally, more lucrative. It also means agents are unable to only take on the incentive business of clients with existing programs but may seek out firms that have never had a reason program.

An additional way to get involved with the organization is always to team up with a gathering planner or meeting and incentive house. “It could be the perfect course of action. There are millions of one- or two-person meeting planning businesses that might choose to pair track of a real estate agent.” said Tepper.

An alternative is always to partner using a company like Oyster Bay, N.Y.-based Acclaim Meetings, which works together agents on negotiations, bookings, commission collection and technology. (Editor’s note: Owned by American Marketing Group, Acclaim Meetings is really a sister company to Travel Market Report.)

Learning the business is crucial

In either case, the key to success is understanding incentive programs and the way they operate, as outlined by Anne Marie Moebes, executive v . p . of Acclaim Meetings.

“An agent first must understand why the corporation is providing the incentive; what their goals are and why the worker is motivated to win the incentive,” she said.

“If you understand what’s within it for those parties, the agent could make an informed decision about what to provide as the travel product,” she said.

“It must meet the budget and requirements from the sponsoring company but concurrently entice the winner/employee in addition to their spouse or guest should they be area of the program. Frequently the spouse is most likely the driving influence.”

Vendor relationships

Like all areas of travel, developing relationships is very important not merely for clients but also for vendors. “You need to work very closely with vendors. Use preferred vendors so you know they are going to go all the way,” said Wendy Burk, CEO of La Jolla, Calif.-based Cadence Travel.

“Use those you do have a longtime relationship with, because eventually it’s exactly about relationships,” Burk added. “The danger of handling corporate, leisure and meetings is the domino effect. When you screw up one you’ll screw up the 3.”

Advice for smaller agencies

Although larger agencies with dedicated incentive travel staff may be very likely to handle incentive programs without outside help, even smaller agencies could go it independently.

Carol Horner created the Virginia Beach, Va.-based Horner Incentive Group within the mid-1900s after several years as an agent and agency owner. She and her husband still own a travel agency but were advised in the beginning to produce a different name and identity for that incentive business.

“That’s what we should did and thank goodness, because we changed our agency’s name 3 times. With my incentive business the name stayed a similar from the beginning,” she said.

All-inclusives for incentives

Being a smaller agency with annual sales of $8 million, Horner finds it simpler to make use of all-inclusives in her programs. She utilized to create cruise incentives but now 49dexqpky programs featuring Mexican and Caribbean all-inclusives.

“You have more flexibility with land-based programs. That can be done more team-building activities,” she said “A cruise is just too restricting for many in terms of the dining. The VIP feels obligated to be with employees each night. And it’s a lot more lucrative to do an all-inclusive compared to a cruise.”

Help it become unforgettable

The job of an incentive planner is usually to create unforgettable experiences for participants.

“The single most important thing is definitely the wow factor - the wow factor in relation to the venue, the entertainment, the graphic design along with the theme to thank their potential customers or top employees,” said Cadence Travel’s Burk.

“It can also be ordinary London or Paris, but it will be something they can’t buy off the shelf. Every aspect is going to be unique.”

Filed under: Sports Leave a comment
Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.


Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.