By Kelly Monaghan
I’m not sure why, but recently there has been an uptick in emails from people who want me to recommend a host agency. Sometimes they just ask blind. Sometimes they want me to pick from a list of two or three hosts. Sometimes they name a particular host and want my opinion about it.
I have a strict policy not to recommend for or against any host agency. If you’d like to know why, I explain at some length in this article. But in a nutshell, the agency that’s right for me might be absolutely the wrong one for you.
If I were to help you one-on-one to choose a host agency I would have to sit down with you, get to know you, learn about your goals, your level of experience and travel knowledge, your need for services and training and on and on. That takes time and time, as some wise person once said, is money.
In fact, I can help you choose a host agency and for a lot less than I would charge for a personal consultation. One module of the Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course is a Host Agency Directory, which lists over 300 host agencies, provides profiles of many of them, and cross-references them by location, cost of entry, commission split, and so forth.
Even more important, another module provides a very detailed methodology for performing the due diligence necessary in analyzing any host agency offer. This is after all a very important business decision and no court is going to dry your tears when you learn you’ve made a dreadful mistake by picking the first host agency that had a snazzy web site.
I believe the information in the Host Agency Directory is worth the entire cost of the entire course. It would take weeks, perhaps months to gather that information. For a host agency or someone who wants to start a host agency, that Directory contains a treasure trove of competitive intelligence of the sort that many businesses pay thousands of dollars to obtain. My staff and I work darned hard to gather that information and keep it up to date.
But the people who ask me out of a clear blue sky to tell them what host agency to join don’t seem to get this. Perhaps they are simply naïve. But there’s something more disturbing about these questions.
The people who are asking these questions presumably want to go into the business of selling travel, that is they want to be businesspeople. Yet they seem to have no real concept of what my business is and no respect for the value I bring to the table or my right (let alone need) to make an honest living.
Obviously there’s no way to know, but I strongly suspect that people like that are doomed to fail if they start any business, travel-related or not. Why? Because they don’t understand the principle of selling fairly at a fair price and being adequately compensated for their professional expertise.
As I noted in an earlier post, as a travel agent you are selling first and foremost your expertise. Respect it. If you don’t, on one else will.
To take advantage of my expertise, not to mention the expertise of all the experts I learned from, click here.