23 Apr 4 SKILLS TO CULTIVATE AS A TRAVEL MANAGER
DO YOU POSSESS THESE VITAL SKILLS?
As a travel manager, it’s important that you possess a few natural skills, to help you snag the best deals at the best times. Corporate travel management can be a seriously stressful undertaking, requiring you to make predictions, manage expectations and be constantly vigilant.
Making use of your skills as a travel manager can provide you with far more success when it comes to finding deals and procuring the best bargains for your clients. Here is a list of 5 vital skills you should nurture when it comes to your role as travel manager.
You will find that procuring any deal for your client is at least somewhat dependent on your ability to be friendly. Negotiations with hotel employees, airline employees, transportation companies and more will depend on how personable you are, which can lead to long-term relationships with certain companies, allowing you to utilize more power in your negotiations.
Friendliness is also vital to your interactions with your clients and their representative companies. When you’ve cultivated a friendly demeanor and tone of voice, it’s much easier to talk over important issues effectively, even if the company or client is being difficult. Friendliness is disarming and allows the other party to feel more at ease.
KNOWLEDGE OF TRAVEL INDUSTRY TECHNOLOGY
Technology is constantly changing and, as a result, your role as a travel manager is changing, too. You must be aware of the various travel industry technologies that are coming to the forefront, and be able to incorporate your management of your client’s travel thusly.
You need to be versed in travel apps, expense management tools, itinerary tools and other technological advances that make travel easier and more convenient. Get familiar with cloud enablement, and communicate with your clients about the importance of utilizing these new tools. Displaying your expertise in these areas will help you establish yourself as an industry authority.
Your ability to manage time will ensure that your clients’ itineraries and schedules are built with foresight, intellect and an encompassing knowledge of the nature of their job. You’ll also need this scale to manage your own time; you’ll need working knowledge of the best times to book reservations for a multitude of things, including flights, restaurants, and hotels. You’ll need expertise when it comes to scheduling client outings and dinners, and you’ll need to be able to do so in a timely manner.
This has been a vital skill for travel managers since the beginning and remains so to this day. Effective negotiating skills can provide your clients with better deals and more comfortable accommodations, leading to better travel experiences and higher satisfaction with you as their travel manager.
Building up these negotiation skills can also help on your road to relationships and loyalty with certain companies.
When it comes to drawing up contracts with certain hotels or hotel chains, your negotiation skills must also be on point. There are a few key things to be aware before negotiating for the price in regards to a contract with a hotel: market dynamics, what the hotel is looking for in terms of commitment and volume and how much revenue you are willing to generate for the hotel or chain. Go into negotiations with these facts memorized and on hand, and you’ll have much more leverage for discounts or special rates.
The same is true of car service companies, as well. If you plan on drawing up a contact for long-term use of their services, you should have a good estimate for how much revenue your clients will provide and continue in negotiations thusly.
Cultivating these skills can help you find success as a travel manager and keep clients and their companies satisfied. As the times change, evolving your travel management skills will help keep you ahead of the game.
Photo Credit: Anne Worner