Travel Agent Builds Multi-Million Dollar Cruise Business with Avoya Travel
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. – September 28, 2017 – Avoya Travel®, one of the travel industry’s most innovative brands, shares how Independent Agency owner, Lisa Long, went from part-time travel agent to owning a multi-million-dollar cruise agency. By outsourcing marketing to Avoya, choosing the right specialties, and staying positive with clients, Lisa found success and has made travel a $2.5 million family business that she and her husband, Rick Amsden, run from home and while cruising the world.
Twelve years ago, Lisa thought dabbling in travel would be a great way to receive travel perks. After falling in love with cruising and learning the business she left her career in corporate headhunting to open Luxury Vacations, LLC, as an Independent Agency in the Avoya Network™. Within her first year in the Avoya Network, Lisa was selling $1 million in cruise vacations and motivating other agents to reach their sales goals.
Lisa attributes much of her success to finding the right host agency partner for her business. For her, the support of the Avoya Network, Avoya’s Live Leads™, and its patented technology are key drivers that help power Lisa’s business operations and success. “When starting in travel, I struggled with marketing. It’s hard building a book of business, so Avoya’s Live Leads program was ideal. I can outsource my marketing to Avoya and they send me client leads in the type of cruise products I like to sell. I feel supported by Avoya in every aspect of business, from new clients to education, technology resources, and more.”
Lisa refined her cruise specialties early on so she could receive Live Lead clients interested in cruise products she loves and knows. She first moved from group cruises to luxury cruise vacations. Then, when the river cruise market boomed, Lisa and Rick saw the opportunity to add a specialty that not everyone was selling at the time. They took the supplier education courses and invested in experiencing it themselves for the first-hand expertise. Now Lisa and Rick intentionally pick the newest itineraries and places of interest to their clients when booking their own travel. Last month Lisa cruised Portugal’s Douro Valley and was one of the first to sail onboard Uniworld’s new Joie de Vivre on the Seine river.
“Telling customers that I’ve been on the cruise line, ship, and to the destination that they’re considering automatically helps clients feel more comfortable. I’ve done at least 11 river cruises in the last five years to build my expertise, and it shows that I know what I’m talking about. I encourage all travel agents to gain first-hand experience to share with their clients. It will keep them coming back.”
A quality that keeps customers booking with Lisa is her attitude. Positivity is something she encourages new agents to embrace because it was essential in growing her business, especially repeats and referrals. Lisa’s home-office walls are decorated with motivational quotes, awards, and pictures of her travels to keep her engaged and motivated. “When I first started, success was a lot about positive attitude. You must believe in you. My goal isn’t to sell a cruise, it’s to make a friend and lifetime client, so I’m cheerful in all interactions which helps clients feel at ease and trust me with their plans.”
Building trust with her clients has helped Lisa maintain and grow her primarily European cruise business over the last few years, despite current world events that make some clients fearful of traveling. “I tell customers that I’m still traveling and share safety tips and resources to sooth their concerns. Navigating these situations is about listening to the person and finding out what’s important to them. I don’t want to convince them, I want them to be comfortable, even if it means rebooking their trip.”
Looking out for her clients’ best interests has helped Lisa get to what she calls the sweet spot of travel. With the help of Avoya Live Leads she now has so many repeat and referral customers coming in that she can be more selective with office hours and taking new clients, and still grow her business. Since joining the Avoya Network she has earned several awards, including Best of the Best Independent Agency, Avoya’s Chairman's Club honor, and even a new Mercedes car from Silversea Cruises for her sales.
To learn more about the Avoya Network and a career in travel visit www.JoinAvoya.com.
About Avoya Travel:
Avoya Travel is a family-owned company with a longstanding reputation for being one of the world’s most innovative marketing and travel technology companies. As an American Express Travel Representative for more than 30 years, and one of their largest sellers of cruises and tours, Avoya is deeply committed to Integrity and Professionalism™, service, and value in every aspect of planning cruises and vacations. Through an elite network of independently owned and operated travel agencies, Avoya provides exclusive discounts, amenities, and first-class customer service to travelers worldwide. Cruise lines and travel partners recognize this, as Avoya has received numerous accolades, including being repeatedly named Travel Partner of the Year by Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruises, American Express, Oceania Cruises, and more. Today, Avoya is headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, with support offices throughout the United States.
Travel agency owners, travel professionals, and others interested in owning and operating their own travel business should contact Avoya Travel at 800-521-2597 or visit www.JoinAvoya.com. Travelers interested in booking their next vacation with Avoya Travel, should call 800-753-1463 or visit www.AvoyaTravel.com.