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Never Stop Learning

Written by  Douglas Cooke

As a travel professional in today’s world it is imperative that you offer your clients something that they can not get online. Product knowledge and the ability to confidently relay information is what gives you the edge. Your expertise is why your clients came to you in the first place, and will keep them coming back.
So, where to get all this necessary knowledge? Let’s explore your options.

Travel Trade Media: This magazine, along with other trade pubs, are full of destination and supplier information. Our articles are written by professional writers who, in most cases, have recently returned from these places. They write about the things agents need to know to sell that destination including: current events, what are the must-see’s, restaurant options, where to stay, how to get there, and how to get around once there. These articles are worth printing out and giving to your clients along with their travel documents.
Online Training: JAX FAX offers our readers the opportunity to participate in educational webinars offered by a wide variety of travel suppliers. These webinars are short in duration (less than 45 minutes) and are largely non-commercial in nature. Suppliers understand your need to better understand a destination in order to sell their products. Recent webinars we have hosted have included information about such diverse places such as Namibia, Costa Rica, Southeast Asia, Ecuador and others. And, with our Webinar Rewards Program, every agent that attends one of our training sessions is the running to win a $50 Amex gift card, with one given away after every webinar. If you are unable to attend these webinars live they are all archived on our website
Conferences: Every conference, whether it be the Homebased Agent Forum, Cruise360, ASTA conferences or your consortia’s annual conference, offers excellent opportunities for learning and professional growth. Industry experts are on hand to give you destination and supplier training, and also business management and operational education and ideas. The trade show component of these events are a great chance to meet your supplier representatives and get timely updates and specials. Every effort is made by conference organizers to make them as informative and affordable as possible.
FAM Trips: The good old days of fully sponsored FAM trips are mostly a thing of the past. However, this does not diminish the value of these educational trips. There is no way to replace the value of experiencing first hand a destination and the resorts and excursions your clients will be spending their money on. Reading about these options in a biased brochure or website does not give you the knowledge you need to properly advise your clients.
Investing in your industry knowledge is the best way to ensure that you will continue to add the value that today’s savvy consumers demand from a travel professional.

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