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Making the Right Connections

By JANEEN CHRISTOFF  JUNE 13, 2018

Starting out as a travel agent is a difficult business. One of the keys to running a successful agency is developing strong relationships with those in the industry, and having the right connections is important.

Speaking to the owner of Clementine Travels, a Cruise Planners agency, Jessica Pentland, highlighted how making the connection with Cruise Planners gave her an edge.

“I really do value my relationship with them because I meet a lot of new agents who are unsure of themselves and do not know how to get the answers they need or what questions they should ask for their clients,” said Pentland.

“I can tell that they do not have the right training or a solid support group to back them up,” she added, noting that she values the educational edge she received as a Cruise Planners agent and sees her relationship with the host agency as one of her most important business partnerships.

Pentland highlights the host agency’s training and technology offerings as one of its greatest assets.

“As far as host agencies go, their tech is on point,” said Pentland. “They seem to be constantly updating our system—we even have Alexa now. You can ask her who needs to pay today, who’s leaving, what’s so and sos passport number and more.”

Cruise Planners also provides Pentland with worthwhile feedback.

“They do a really good job with the online platform and responding to user feedback,” she said. “The initial training and the online CPU, Cruise Planners University, is pretty extensive and helpful.”

Receiving training support and education aren’t the only valuable partnerships travel agents will need for success. Making the most of a host agency as a partner has other advantages that can lead to important relationships with travel industry leaders and companies.

“Connecting with the right business development managers is another key to success for travel agents and is another way in which Cruise Planners provides its agents with the tools that they need,” said Pentland.

“They are always evolving and growing the list of preferred vendors, and they introduce us to the people we need to know,” she added. “These introductions open doors for me and for my clients.”