By Kelly Monaghan
One of my goals at any of the Home-Based Travel Agent Forums I attend (which are a lot of fun, by the way!) is to educate travel agents on the value of remembering clients with inexpensive gifts, either as bon voyage presents or as holiday or birthday gifts.
I don’t know if there are any studies to back me up on this, but I’d be willing to bet that travel agents get more positive results from giving small, thoughtful gifts than they do by rebating (kicking back some of their commission in the hope of competing on price, which is never a good idea).
On a fam I took with OSSN a while back, our group leader proved to be an expert in this ploy. I still remember how she swooped into a shop in Juneau (it was an Alaskan cruise) and, because ours was the last ship the port would see that season, cut a deal to buy the entire remaining stock of dish towels. They were dirt cheap, but because they had an Alaskan motif they made excellent (and useful) gifts for her frequent cruisers while promoting Alaska as a destination!
My company, the same one that publishes the Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course, also publishes a range of travel books, some of which are “naturals” for travel agents to use as promotional gifts, bon voyage presents, or holiday remembrances.
Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide To Walt Disney World’s Best Kept Secrets is a good example. Many Disney-specialist travel agencies are now including the book with every Disney vacation package they book. Judging by the steady stream of reorders, it’s proven to be popular. There’s also Lots To Do In Line: Walt Disney World, which is a great way to entertain families while they wait in line for the rides. Both books also have Disneyland editions, plus Hidden Mickeys Go To Sea is perfect for Disney cruises.
Several other books, such as Travia: The Ultimate Book of Travel Trivia by former Travel Weekly editor Nadine Godwin, and The Weather Is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful, a hardback book of travel quotations illustrated with cartoons from the New Yorker, are not destination specific, but they make the kind of thoughtful gift for frequent travelers that can help travel agents build strong relationships with their best clients.
We offered a very special deal for travel agents: For orders of 1 to 9 books in any combination, the price is $6 per book, plus 50 cents for media mail shipping. For orders of 10 books or more, the price is $5 a book plus shipping.
I decided to extend the same offer to the readers of the blog.
You can download an order form in PDF format, scan it, and email it. Or phone you order in.