Nick Harding Travel Designers

How to sell high-end holidays

Nick Harding of Travel Designers shares his valuable insights into selling luxury holidays.

The definition of luxury within the travel sector has never been truly defined. It certainly means different things to different consumers. Understanding your individual customer’s definition is the top priority, understanding their needs and aspirations − and delivering a luxury experience beyond their expectations is the key to success.

Starting with a conversation, should it be face-to-face or over the phone, I believe this personal contact is the start of understanding your client. This personal touch is what makes the difference between a luxury bespoke service or just booking online. You need to win that client over. Remember that old saying, “first impressions count” – and they do. Make sure you are smiling down that phone – you are selling yourself as well as the product.

Luxury clients buy into the personal approach, and that means buying into your service, confidence and developing trust. Luxury is personal and bespoke. Luxury clients generally like to have out-of-office-hours contact (within reason), be ready to answer WhatsApp messages, texts or emails. The client generally prefers to deal with the same person from start to finish and does not wish to be passed from pillar to post.

You have to constantly go beyond the standard, whether that’s with your documentation, presentation, ticket wallets and those little finishing touches. Remember you are just not the travel agent in the luxury sector, you are the PA, the concierge and friend.

Keeping in contact is paramount – the pre-departure calls, checking the client in, arranging dinner reservations, spa appointments, golf tee-off times, the babysitter for the kids, the list is endless.

Always be one step ahead of the client. The all-important return call is so important. A welcome home card or a bunch of flowers makes you stand out. As a well-informed travel consultant, you are a luxury.

Make the most of your talents, be adaptable in your approach and you can retain your luxury client for life.

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