By Tom Ogg
One of the biggest challenges in our industry is recruiting new talent for our agencies. Established agents generally want the lion ‘s share of the commission and new agents are costly to recruit and train. And, then once they are trained, they end up looking for a higher commission with one of your competitors. It seems to be a never ending vicious circle.
The secret to recruiting new agents is to turn the process into its own profit center. Instead of spending money to recruit new agents, make money. This can easily be done by filling the need that those new to the industry all have, the need to be educated about the various opportunities in the travel industry. If you think about it, new agents pay to go to school, buy books, attend seminars and myriad other ways that cost them money. Wouldn ‘t it be better to offer a one stop solution for new agents to be able to completely understand the business and its opportunities and then be able to make valid decisions rather than was months trying to understand the industry?
Existing agencies are in the perfect position to make this kind of training available to new agents, as they understand all aspects of the industry and what being an agent is all about. Folks looking to get into the travel industry need to understand the realities of it and bring their expectations in line with the actual opportunity and taking a substantial training class is exactly what can make this happen.
Here is how to go about starting your travel agent acquisition program. First, find a place to hold a one-hour seminar to invite potential new agents to attend. Many banks, libraries and other facilities offer free meeting rooms for organizations to use. I have been successful getting last-minute meeting space at hotels for a pittance. Once you have a location nailed down you can promote the meeting by listing it in your local newspaper, meetup.com, churches, schools and so on. Make sure that folks RSVP for your meetings and make up name tags for them.
When it comes time for your presentation, conduct a one-hour seminar on the realities of entering the travel industry and offer the opportunity for the attendees to join your next training class. Be sure to sell the benefits of taking the class and the likelihood that it might lead to an immediate position with your agency should they quality.
Be sure to charge a reasonable amount for the training. I would suggest not less than $295 nor more than $995. If you give it away it will have little perceived value to the attendees and will only cost you money in the end. Make the amount that you charge for the training motivating for you also. Let ‘s say that you will train 15 potential new agents for $795 each. This will generate roughly $12,000 from the effort. Once you have sold your training class, the rest is easy
Simply use the 2013 brand new copy of “How to Start a Home Based Travel Agency” as your classroom text. This is what Tre Travel Institute uses, as does most travel schools, colleges and universities.
And, use the “How to Start a Home Based Travel Agency Workbook” as the classroom workbook. These two book are the standard for training and recruiting new agents and will serve you well. They lend credibility and professionalism to your training classes and are easy to use. Best of all, you may receive a 50% discount of the books when ordered for the purpose of training new agents and in the minimum quantity.
Best of all, when you purchase the minimum quantity of textbooks and workbooks for the purpose of training new agents, you receive a copy of the Instructor’s Lesson Plan that takes the work out of planning for your training sessions. A 50% discount and free Instructor Lesson Plan make this opportunity too good to pass up.
Contact Tom Ogg at TomOgg@aol.com for more information.