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Written By: Scott Koepf, Senior Vice President of Sales, Avoya Travel



Last month we moved from qualifying to research in the sales process with the emphasis on finding only one option for your client. Remember, the internet provides unlimited choices and information so your role is to help decipher the overwhelming amount of content they have been subjected to. If you can’t get to one obvious option, then the qualifying process was not completed properly. However, as you are a master of travel sales we will now assume that you have determined the right vacation alternative for your client!


So, we now move into what is known in the normal sales lexicon as ‘the presentation’. However, due to my love of all things theatrical, I think we should call it Showtime! This is where you will propose the perfect choice for the ultimate vacation so it should wow your customer. Sadly, even though we sell life changing, incredibly exciting products, most travel agents simply offer up a price and a couple points of interest as the presentation. Instead you need to think of this moment as the major area of differentiation for you and your agency. A full presentation package that is impressive and exciting will set you apart and help you close the sale.


The overall concept that I recommend is not a new approach but actually a tried and true approach from another industry. Think about selling life insurance. I know, it is not real fun to think about and there are many stereotypes associated with selling life insurance. Yet, it is a business that requires excellent sales skills and a structured process to be successful so we can emulate what works for selling travel.


After an unimaginable number of rejections, when the insurance salesperson finally gets a warm response what do they do? They set an appointment, usually at the potential customer’s house with the spouse in attendance too, if applicable. That first meeting is 100% qualifying. There is no discussion of insurance products or options, just a multitude of questions and, if a good salesperson, an opportunity to build a relationship. The end of that appointment never includes a product presentation. Instead, the ‘close’ is setting the next appointment. At the next gathering, it is Showtime! The agent will provide a customized and personalized folder with a detailed description of the best option for the customer based on all of the information gathered in the previous meeting. While the close rate may not be 100%, it is certainly very high due to the process used.


I suggest you use the same approach and even let the customer know exactly what the process will be upfront. Tell them you want to spend some time with them to determine their vacation wants and needs and expectations. Then you will need a couple days to research and ‘go to work for them’ and find the right vacation option. At the next appointment, you will provide a beautiful proposal exclusively designed for them. When you follow this path, you will see your sales soar.


“Hold on Scott”, I hear you shout in my general direction. We both know that most business today does not happen locally so how does this process work in a phone and email centric world. The answer is that the process is the same, they are just not in person meetings. Do the two appointments by phone and the presentation folder is electronic so you can walk through it on the phone in your Showtime appointment. If, by the way, you do have local clients then use this process exactly which will give you a huge advantage against your competitors. In any case, I suggest you spend time creating the elements that will make up your proposal. I suggest including a personalized cover letter recapping your conclusions from the qualification meeting. Of course, an invoice with all pertinent details and then other content pages that provide excitement and even tease up what other actions you will be taking in the future to provide exceptional service. This presentation kit (printed or electronic) does not have to be long – just impressive! Reiterate why you are the right person to book with and why this option is the best for them and don’t forget to provide urgency for action.


If you take full advantage of the exciting products we sell, as compared to life insurance, but follow the proven process for successful sales you will love taking the stage for ‘Showtime’ for a long run!