Powerhouse Jonathan Mactinger shares his tips for building the books, adding value and his favourite way to land repeat business. Hint: a little VIP treatment never hurt nobody.
Professional advice, expert guidance and convenience: these are the three golden rules that Jonathan Mactinger follows when it comes to selling travel. The accomplished Flight Centre store manager has been in the business for more than six years, and his passion for travel is as fiery as ever.
While Mactinger never set out with the intention of becoming a travel agent, he became enthralled by the community when a friend working at Flight Centre chatted to him about the job. He applied online using his friend as a referral and, after a successful interview process, he landed a new gig. Ever since, Mactinger has been busy building his books and searching for new ways to surprise his clients.
When asked how he’s grown his business so rapidly, Mactinger is quick to answer: “The key is constant relationship building with my current clients,” he tells CT. “I always make sure to ask them to refer me to their friends and family. I take advantage of referral programs we have set up at Flight Centre to add extra value to gaining new clients.”
And, setting up VIP partnerships with new business has been important to his growth as well. “I always make sure I have at least five business cards on me, plus I’m not afraid to chime in when I hear someone talking about travel.”
Connecting to people has always come naturally to Mactinger. As he entered the working world, he often found himself in customer-facing or sales positions, and enjoying it.
“I pride myself on customer service. In order to give my clients the best experience, I need to continue to grow my knowledge within the industry,” he says. “My clients are what motivates me to continue learning and want to be better each day.”
In a world as competitive as the travel industry, it can be hard to keep up with the Joneses. But for Mactinger, it all comes down to offering bonuses and higher quality packages, which adds up to superior value.
“I focus on giving my clients a unique experience from start to finish. I’m constantly seeking opportunities to add extra value to their trips by adding things they would not normally receive such as private transfers, in-destination tours, price drop protection and 24/7 customer care,” he says.
And while upgrades and top-notch value may help secure the client, building a personable and relatable relationship is guaranteed to lead to repeat business. That’s why most of Mactinger’s clients have his cell number, so they can call him any time.
If there is one thing Mactinger hates, it’s wasting clients’ time and money. That’s why he feels it is so important to stay up to date on the industry. He is a big believer in using personal recommendations to help clients make the most informed decision possible.
“If there is anything I have learned in this business, it’s that there is constant change. You have to be on top of everything in order to be able to make the best recommendation to your clients,” he says. “Get to know your clients, ask questions about their lives and find things to connect with them outside of the booking experience.”
The ultimate goal of a travel advisor is to make clients’ lives easier, Mactinger agrees. Being a one-stop shop, whether offering packages, insurance or in-destination tours is a driving force not only for customers but for sales dollars. So, what’s his number one tool for providing client convenience? Be as available as possible; aim to go above and beyond expectations.
“I think a 30-minute turnaround time has made a massive difference for me,” Mactinger says. “If a client calls, e-mails or comes in to see me, I will always reply to them with 30 minutes. This lets them know I value their business and that I appreciate them giving me the opportunity. It also puts their mind at ease knowing I’m working on it and keeps them from wanting to contact someone else or look elsewhere.”
It’s clear Mactinger has that magic touch that keeps clients coming back for more. And while he dreams of opening his own agency one day, for now, you can find him working away, making his clients’ dreams a reality.