The 'Monday Minute' is a weekly feature at PAX dedicated to highlighting the movers, shakers, leaders and rule-breakers in Canada's travel agent community. Wanna be profiled? Wanna nominate someone? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Name: Janis Quenville
Company: The Travel Experts
Location: Sudbury, Ontario
How long have you been a travel agent? 22 years
Speciality: I sell everything, but I am most passionate about cruising, Europe and the Caribbean & Mexico. Although I love researching anything and anywhere that my clients can come up with!
What do you love most about being a travel agent?
Helping people turn their dreams into reality! Planning something truly special that they will always remember. I find it very rewarding.
What's one travel trend you've noticed in consumers as of late?
Clients are finally getting away from that "booking last minute" mentality and are booking earlier than ever. I have been preaching to my clients that anticipation is a huge part of the vacation experience and getting to choose your vacation rather than pick through the left overs is much more fun! They are listening.
If you are talking about destinations, I think that people are still looking to explore new things, whether it is river cruising, or lands that were once forbidden, like Vietnam and Cambodia. People's desire to go to new places and see new things will never change, thank goodness!
What's the most creative thing you've ever done to secure a sale?
The most innovative marketing that I have ever used came to me naturally. I was putting together an escorted cruise group and I had flyers made. The flyers were not put out on my desk, but when clients came in I would take out a flyer and hand it to them and "invite" them to cruise with me! The clients felt special and honored that they were invited!
I do this cruise group every two years and still use the same technique when adding new clients to my new Travel Experts Spain and Portugal group for 2020.
What's your proudest sales achievement to date?
The first phone call that I ever answered as a travel consultant was an inquiry about flying on the Concord to London, England. I managed to close that sale, and the rest is history, as they say!
What's your number one piece of advice for other travel agents?
I think that the number one mistake made by travel consultants, new and old, is "selling from their own pocket". I don't believe that your first questions should be about budget (most people won't give you the true number anyways).
I believe that we need to focus on qualifying our clients and selling or at least presenting the best options for them. Tell them why you like this property or this cruise or this tour for them and see what happens. Some will ask for something less expensive, but all will appreciate your passion and caring that they get the best memory making vacation possible.
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