As NACTA rides off into the sunset, ASTA Small Business Network arrives— aligning more closely with ASTA and providing ample member benefits. Here, Agent Life offers insight from two longtime members.
ASTA Small Business Network was crafted to serve the small-business agency owner, whether an independent agency or independent contractor affiliated with a host agency or consortia. Getting involved in local chapter meetings provides one of the best benefits, providing a space for travel advisors to network and engage with each other in sharing best practices to help grow your business.
You could meet with local BDMs at supplier-sponsored meetings and learn about their latest product offerings. Presenters from law firms and accounting agencies, for example, show you how to protect your business when it comes to documentation, terms and conditions, et cetera.
Other topics include social media marketing and ways to best utilize TravelSense.org to garner new clients.The networking theme is expanded upon at the ASTA SBN Conference. If you attend next year,in Aurora, Colorado, you’ll leave as a destination specialist after networking with local suppliers and experiencing some of the products. Few conferences offer this type of destination-driven experience in conjunction with global ASTA suppliers and marketing education. - Toni Lanotte - Day (Toni Tours)
My favorite ASTA benefit: The Small Business Network will have access to TravelSense.org— a free platform to show the public your expertise and specialties. TravelSense gets over 80,000 hits a month. Where else can you find that kind of exposure? You’ll be able to fill out your profile and have two ways to find new customers. In the Travel Leads section, you can view specific individual leads and reply, or a potential client can do a search by state or area of expertise and contact you directly. In early 2019, TravelSense will add a chat feature.
You’ll be able to log in and answer travel questions in real time. Engaging directly with a potential client is the best way to win their business. Recently, a referral contacted me after seeing I was a Verified Travel Advisor. He booked a cruise for Christmas time—and booked a group cruise with his buddies for 2019. Those bookings paid for my membership for the next two years. - Helen Prochilo (Promal Travel)