It’s easy to get caught up in our own processes and think “What the heck could take my supplier so long to create a proposal?!” However, the reality is that, as advisors, we could be doing so much more to help our suppliers work more efficiently.
While, as advisors, we may be the client, it’s important to realize that 1) the suppliers are what make or break our client’s actual in-destination experience and 2) the supplier-advisor relationship should be fully collaborative with only one goal in mind- deliver exceptional service to the traveler.
Do Your Research
If you haven’t booked a destination previously, do some baseline research on pricing, seasonality, logistics, and sample itineraries. Suppliers are usually up for having a quick touchpoint on an inquiry before a call to give you some important questions to ask. Many times suppliers will even be willing to join you on the call and make you look like a rockstar (exemplifying why you are worth your fee).
Charge A Fee
This is now a best practice with ASTA and if this is an industry norm, the only requests that will be getting through to suppliers are ones that are vetted and invested in working together. This results in suppliers only working on viable proposals and would allow them to be available to communicate faster to you and turn around proposals/documents more efficiently.
Provide As Much Information As Possible
When you request a proposal from a vendor, make sure that you have all the information possible. This includes the style, priorities, ideal dates, budget, flight details, experiences and properties they’ve loved before, the occasion, ideal pace, and what they DON’T want. If you don’t have a proposal request template created, you should outline it and save it as an email template to complete each time. This can help you avoid skipping over important details.
Make Sure To Understand The “Why” Before Presenting
When you do receive that proposal- don’t hesitate to ask “why” and fully understand the proposal before sending it to the client so that you can sell …and sell it well. The more educated you are on the “why,” the fewer questions and requests for changes you will receive. This may mean a fifteen-minute phone call with the supplier, and that fifteen minutes could make you thousands of dollars and be all the difference in showcasing your value.
Provide Thorough Feedback And Provide Specifics
If you request edits, be unquestionably specific. Every edit for DMCs is so manual and we are helping the entire industry by providing as comprehensive information as possible at every turn.
Be Able To Realistically Manage Turnaround Expectations
Ask about the current turnaround time so that you can manage expectations vs. getting frustrated. Advisors can mitigate a lot of stress by simply having a realistic expectation of a response time and communicating that to their clients in advance.
To get access to our Supplier Communications Bundle, purchase our Elevated Experience Workflow and add on the a la carte option!