This week we caught up with franchisee Julie, to find out more about how she gets customers, simply by talking about holidays everywhere she goes.
Watch her full video to find out:
- Why Julie decided to join and swap careers from something she didn’t enjoy
- How she finds customers everywhere she goes
- What her life is like now as a personal travel consultant
Julie wasn’t happy in her previous career and needed to make a change
Having previously lived and worked abroad for many years, Julie returned to the UK for family reasons. But soon found that the job she’d taken wasn’t going to be right for her in the long term.
“I worked for a housing association in the income department. So I was pushing numbers around, doing accounts and it was quite boring. I started because I just wanted to have a better work-life balance.
I was unhappy with my job that I was doing, and I wanted to be in control of my working hours and my salary.”
Having found The Travel Franchise, she knew this was a perfect route back into travel.
She loves being a personal travel consultant for her customers
Julie’s energy and enthusiasm for her customers really shines through. She puts every effort into making sure that they’ll have the perfect holiday for them.
“Every time I get an inquiry and I’m booking something, I still get very excited for the customer. They’re all special. I imagine I’m going with them, because it’s nice to share that enthusiasm. Then they get all excited about going!
Julie’s also widely travelled and loves booking places she’s already been so that she can add a really personal touch.
“I loved Australia. I spent a couple of months there with some friends. And also my time in India was so fascinating. Seeing Delhi, Mumbai, Goa and the Taj Mahal and places like that, was very special.”
She also took part in our Elite Experience to Mauritius, which helped her make a wedding & honeymoon booking that’s now worth almost £14k.
“I was lucky enough to go to Mauritius earlier this year on the Elite Experience. My former next door neighbour then asked me if they could get married there.
That was very special, because it was nice going through all the hotels and saying where I thought they should go, as I’d been there too.
It’s a stunning resort they’ve chosen. And the backdrop, where they’re going to get married, is the mountain – it’s absolutely beautiful.”
But she absolutely adores Greece, with part of her long term plan being to move back there someday.
“I love booking holidays to Greece, because I used to live and work there for many years. I speak Greek. I know a lot of the Greek islands. I’ve been to most of them and I’ve worked on most of them. I’ve got a lot of friends and contacts there too.”
Julie finds customers everywhere she goes, simply by talking about holidays to people.
Julie gets customers by talking about holidays.
But that can take many forms.
First is social media.
Julie’s always active on Facebook and Instagram, but it’s not about selling a holiday right away.
She explains that it’s about staying front of mind with people.
“If you are on Facebook or Instagram, you’re in people’s minds all the time. They might not contact you every time you do a post, or even comment – but you’re always there. And when it’s time for a holiday, they’ll remember you.”
Social media led to a former colleague getting in touch out of the blue. Julie explains…
“An old friend of mine yesterday, who I used to work with at the Housing Association, rang me up out of the blue. I’ve not seen him for at least a year. He said “Julie, I’m getting married… Can you do a honeymoon for me?” So people do remember you… as long as you are memorable!”
Julie also finds customers while she’s at home – even people who visit once!
She tells the story of how a tradesperson came to the house which turned into a booking months later.
“I’d just moved house before lockdown, and I needed some window blinds fitting. I just found somebody on the internet. While fitting the blinds he asked me what I did for a job. I told him, paid for the blinds and off he went.
Six months later, his wife telephoned me and said “Julie, it’s a secret, but can you book us a trip to the Northern Lights for his 50th birthday as a surprise?”
And that just came because I told him what I did when he was fitting my blinds. They did it earlier this year, and then they sent me pictures of them with the Husky Dogs and the Northern Lights, and it was fabulous!”
Perhaps her best endeavour is a pop-up store she runs each week in a local coffee shop.
Julie explains how she now works in a local coffee shop one day a week. It means the community can always see her there and it’s a brilliant conversation starter.
“I approached the cafe owner and asked if she minded me setting up every week. She said yes. So I visit every Friday at a set time (which I advertise on my page via video or Facebook Live) and she also promotes it on the cafe page.
When I’m there I just chat to everyone! I’m good at chatting 🤣 and before you know it they are asking questions about destinations, holidays and what I do etc.
And then I take it from there!”
This has turned into lots of lucrative bookings.
Julie got into conversation with a young mum who has two children. She normally arranged her own holidays, but didn’t have time to organise a more complicated trip to the Miami Tennis Open. It involved another family flying from elsewhere, meeting en-route and finding the right accommodation for everyone.
“It wasn’t the most complicated brief, but it was something that she could not do on her own because she doesn’t have the time with two very young children. I gave them three or four different options of villas. In the end it was £10,500. And she’s given me another enquiry from that.
Now her mum and sister want to go to Cape Town for the ladies Netball World Championships and tag on a safari.
She’s already referred me to her friends and family, so it’s brilliant.
And it’s all just from sitting in the cafe and talking about holidays!”
Julie’s advice to anyone thinking about starting is be prepared to talk about holidays.
She explains that you have to be ready to speak to people about holidays, but not to be too worried about it.
“You have to talk. Just talk to people. Whoever you meet, whenever you meet them – without boring them stupid – just tell people what you do. It’s not a bad thing. Everybody wants to go on holiday!”
With the most support available in the industry, Julie emphasises that there’s a huge team and community behind you. They’re willing you to succeed, but you do need to put in the work.
“Seek advice from your BDM, because they’ve been there and done it a hundred times before. They know what they’re talking about.
For anybody, when it’s a new venture or a new business, you have to work hard at it. Put the hours in but ask for help.
Everybody at Not Just Travel and The Travel Franchise are really helpful and friendly. It’s a very big cliche, but it really is like a family. It is really true.
You’re not in competition with each other. You lift each other up because there’s so many millions of people out there who want holidays.”