By Blake Ng — 4 Feb 2018
Working with overseas agents gives you access to powerful market segments, such as travelers from China and India. As this outbound tourism markets continue to grow, you will want to partner with agents who will promote your products to these travelers. Rather than collecting an endless supply of overseas agents that may not produce the results you need, you should focus on developing positive relationships with high-quality agents.
Here’s the 7 qualities you need in an overseas agent:
You need an overseas agent who is connected to the customers who are most interested in your products. When interviewing potential agents, ask them what types of tours and activities they typically sell. Make sure they are experienced in your market so that you will be able to generate bookings through your partnership.
There is no point in developing an agreement with an agent whose business is on the brink of collapse. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions, such as what financial resources they have available or what their current credit rating is. You need to be able to trust that they are financially capable of promoting your products.
You need to partner with agents who know how to use the latest technology. Don’t partner with those who are still manually completing their bookings. Instead, choose agents who can sync with your existing online booking system.
The best agents are organized, detail-oriented and professional. You should discuss the number of successful partnerships that they have had with suppliers, and also learn more about their experience in the industry. In addition, check out the reviews of the agents you are considering, as this will give you objective information about their performance.
Each agent specializes in their own product and service mix. You will want to learn how your tours and activities fit in with their existing partnerships. Ask the agent what they like best about what you have to offer, and verify that they are not representing any of your direct competitors.
Agents need to know how to promote tourism products, and they should be able to give you concrete information regarding the return of their marketing investments. If they don’t provide you with positive numbers or detailed results, you may want to steer clear. Chances are they aren’t going to be able to promote your products well.
Obviously, an overseas agent needs to be motivated to sell your products in order to be successful. Discuss their own sales training exercises as well as the incentives they offer their staff to book tour products.
Once you have determined that an agent is the right fit for your tour and activity business, you will want to draw up an agent-supplier agreement that allows both of you to be successful. To learn more about creating an effective distribution strategy, download the Rezdy distribution ebook today.