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Creating amazing experiences is what’s made me successful

This week we caught up with franchisee Sarah. Starting her business in 2017, she’s full of knowledge about how to grow a successful travel business from home.

In the video below you’ll hear about:

  • Some of the most interesting trips Sarah’s booked
  • How she uses social media to inspire people
  • How she meets new customers everywhere she goes
  • The #1 mindset shift that creates a successful travel business

Sarah meets new customers everywhere she goes

One of the gems Sarah shares in her interview is that new customers are everywhere. You just need to love talking about holidays.

She’s about to book a trip for someone she met while queuing for a coffee. And she’s even found a potential new customer while giving blood. 

“I had one of my Not Just Travel tops on. Filling out the form, I got chatting with the donor carer about having just been to the Maldives, and that I knew it was fine for blood donors.

She asked how I knew so much, so I explained I had a travel business. Then, when I was lying there later giving a donation, she said ‘I’m thinking of going to Australia and New Zealand next year. Can you put that together for me?’”

Sarah has great advice on how you just need to be genuine in everything you do in order to be successful.

“Just make friends and help people! Talk to them and be passionate.

People get attracted to that.

I went to Barbados and we got chatting to a chap in the swimming pool – at the end of the trip he asked me to arrange the travel for their wedding. They got married at a beautiful 5 star hotel in Cyprus.”

Sarah met a customer on holiday in Barbados. Photo by Tom Jur on Unsplash

Social media can be brilliant, when you do it well

Sarah explains that she doesn’t use social media as somewhere to just post offers and hope for the best. A recent post about Positano, on the Amalfi coast in Italy inspired someone to book a surprise trip there for her husband.

“I see my social media as there to inspire, excite and ignite people. So, when they do want to travel, they think of me first.”

And she also told us that she’s already got her next holiday booked, with plenty of ideas of how to use Facebook and TikTok while she’s away.

“We’re going on a cruise around the Med. It’s going to be amazing – we’re staying in the Yacht Club with MSC and the experience is going to be phenomenal. I’ll be filming my butler unpacking my case!”

And we also learned that this kind of content is what inspires others to book the same trips.

“Of course, it’s a holiday for me. But my social media is also helping other people who want to have that same experience. So, when they’re looking for something, they want to talk to me about it. I’ve sold so many trips from having been and done it. I’ve posted about it and then people want to do the same trip.”

An upcoming cruise will be great for social media inspiration

She books everything from staycations to round the world adventures

Customers come with all kinds of requests. An elderly couple couldn’t find anyone to take the time to help them book a small trip to Bournemouth except Sarah. Now they’ve booked multiple UK trips and know she’s someone they can really trust.

And others have something more special in mind. 

“I’ve helped people with surprise engagements. One was a trip to St. Lucia. I helped him plan the whole thing so he could pop the question whilst he was out there. I knew, but she didn’t!”

Another couple got sent on a round the world trip that was interrupted by the pandemic, but now has a happy ending.

“It took a long time to plan it. It’s a huge booking, very complex, with lots of component parts. They left in December 2019 and got as far as New Zealand in March 2020.

They were due to go on to Fiji, the South Pacific islands and then into South America and I had to get them home. That was heartbreaking.

But, in about a month’s time, they’ll go again for the second part. We’ve rebooked the bits that were missing and arranged for them to be in New Zealand for New Year’s Eve, so that’s amazing.”

Sarah explained that she doesn’t see herself as a travel agent

In the video above, Sarah takes the time to really explain the difference between a travel agent and a personal travel consultant who runs a travel business.

“If you just view it as being a travel agent and booking a holiday, it’s very two dimensional. View your business – and what you do – as helping people have amazing experiences instead. We just happen to do it through holidays. There’s a real difference.” 

She makes the point that she’s not there to book a single trip for someone. She’s there to really care about their holidays and create a customer for life.

“I explain to people that I’ll probably care more about their holidays than they do. I joke that they’re stuck with me!”

Would you love to run a travel business with a difference? Watch our video to learn more about how you can start in just 1 week.

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