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Behind The Booking: How networking brought Illesh his biggest booking yet

When Illesh finished his training to become a certified personal travel consultant 2.5 years ago he remembers others in his training group were keen to join their local networking groups from the word go. For Illesh, he wanted to take a different route.

Illesh wanted to first establish his travel business, to take on bookings from his loyal friends and family, to build his confidence, all before exploring other pastures.

But after only 10 networking meetings at his local BNI group, between November 2019 and February 2020, Illesh landed his biggest holiday booking and commission to date. From an email enquiry for a quote which came in at an impressive £29.5k!

We caught up with Illesh to find out more…

After landing a booking like this so soon after starting networking at BNI, I almost wish I started it sooner. Imagine the growth I could have experienced if I had put myself out there 2.5 years ago when I first started.

How did the booking come about?

I joined the BNI Apollo in Leicester in November 2019. I took the travel seat, which means I’m the only supplier in that industry allowed in that group.

It sometimes involves getting up and speaking to a group of people for 60 seconds about your business. It was all very new to me, it was slightly out of my comfort zone and I didn’t know anyone there.

Last week I got an email at 11 pm, whilst I was sitting at home watching the TV. It was from a gentleman in my BNI group.

Can you tell us about the holiday booking?

The booking was for the gentleman’s wife. It was her 50th birthday and he wanted to take his whole family away on a memorable trip.

They have 2 children and one of them is autistic. So, they needed plenty of advice and activities to keep him occupied. I suggested adding in Dubai for the first 2 nights, to break up the trip, and then the last 2 nights in a different hotel, with the incredible waterparks which kids would just love.

The itinerary…

1. Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, 2 nights in a One Bedroom Terrace Suite

2. Emerald Maldives, 11 nights in a Superior Water Villa with Pool

3. Le Royal Meridian Beach Resort, 2 nights in Royal Club Tower Suite

What’s been another highlight in your journey so far?

Paul the Co-Founder of the company did a live Facebook video to congratulate me when I won the Money Back Challenge. I won the challenge 8 months and 3 weeks into running the travel business. Which meant I got a cheque for the full cost of my franchise back.

I remember Paul saying that at the time of joining I didn’t consider any of the other franchise packages, I knew that I wanted Supreme. I was sure I wanted the highest level on offer to maximize my success.

I personally wanted all the support on offer, I knew I was going to give it my all. I was ready to invest everything I could to make my travel business a success.

What did you do before starting a Not Just Travel franchise?

I owned a number of restaurants. We still have one restaurant which my wife runs part-time, the other part of the day she is helping me run our travel business.

I had never worked in the travel industry before joining, I’d never made a holiday booking. This goes to show that with the right support, training, the company behind you, and of course the right attitude, you can make anything happen.

Would you love to make holiday bookings like this for your own travel business? Take a look at our franchise packages here, to make your dream a reality.

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