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Why we ditched teaching to run our own travel consultancy in just nine days

When Halifax-based teachers Alison Cooper and her husband Tim decided to spend some of their inheritance on long-haul holidays, little did they know it would truly be a life changing experience…

The couple enjoyed two fabulous trips booked through trusted, award-winning local Not Just Travel consultants, Rachael and Colman Coyne.

And – when Alison called Rachael to pay the balance on a trip to Australia – she made a throwaway comment that she’d love their jobs.

Rachael promptly sent them links to our videos about The Travel Franchise. And just *9 days later* they signed up.

Despite a tough 2.5 years, during which Alison says she and Tim ‘networked like mad’ to ensure the pandemic did not wreck their prospects, they are now successful travel consultants.

So what does Alison contribute her success to?

 1/ Ongoing support and team spirit 

Alison told us that the team ethos is strong throughout the business.

“When you join The Travel Franchise and become a Not Just Travel consultant you become part of a real community. Rachael and Colman quickly became our mentors and it’s incredible how everyone helps each other. I remember one NJT consultant, Lloydie, spent two hours on the phone to us at one point giving us really useful tips about marketing and BNI networking.”

When the couple first started out in January 2020, Alison only had 100 connections on LinkedIn. 2.5 years later Alison now has over 2,500 and they are both reaping the rewards of their hard work. 

You’re never alone with The Travel Franchise

2/ Networking

“I guess you’d describe us as a serial networking couple. Between us, we network around three to four times a week, online or in person.”

Alison recommends agents starting out to join organisations such as Business Network International (BNI) and Network Central (1N, 4N etc) and to treat every booking equally no matter how big or small.

“I remember networking with someone who recommended me to a chap who booked a coach holiday, then booked a trip to Canada, then referred his son… which resulted in a £13k honeymoon.” 

3/ Training

Alison also recommends becoming an expert in niche holidays such as cruising. Initially these can feel more complicated than they really are to book, yet offer good commissions as well as a high level of repeat customers.

Alison told us:

“Tim did a £33k booking back in 2020 and I’d love to know how fellow consultant Moses secured a million pound cruise booking!”

Alison’s also signed up to join NJT’s new cruise division to learn how to become an expert in selling this product.

Alison and Tim will be onboard the 3rd ever sailing of the NCL Norwegian Prima

4/ Love of travel

But while booking cruise holidays may be lucrative, that isn’t the only reason Alison and her husband sign up for trips. They are clearly passionate about it.

“We love cruising. We are about to go on a MSC cruise later this month and then onboard NCL’s Norwegian Prima for the launch of NJT’s ‘Seminar at Sea’ in September.”

5/ Hard work

Alison says being a travel consultant takes work but – if you really feel it could be the right path for you – she totally recommends going for it.

“You’ve got to be resilient, believe in yourself and be a social chameleon. But if you’ve got what it takes, I thoroughly recommend it.”

And Alison certainly has! Since signing up, she’s also introduced another acquaintance to a career as a Not Just Travel consultant. 

Could you see yourself making the switch to planning holidays for people and getting paid for it? Watch our video tour to learn more.

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