Forty Travel Counsellors agents are piloting an advanced digital skills training programme that could help them double the size of their businesses.
The training and mentoring scheme is headed by new global sales director Jim Eastwood – a former finalist on The Apprentice – who joined from Groupon six months ago.
The Manchester-based agency, which has 1,000 UK homeworkers, hopes the 13-week initiative, which it describes as an ‘accelerator programme’, will help agents drive up new and repeat customer numbers.
The 40 travel counsellors involved in the trial are taught how to use the latest technology to enhance their digital channels, with the aim of extending their business reach. They are also offered advanced training both on Travel Counsellors’ Phenix booking tool and the most up-to-date payment methods.
Each agent has a business development mentor from the agency’s head office and takes specially created extra modules on the group’s e-learning portal Coach.
Eastwood said: “It’s about sharing best practice and reinforcing good habits in a structured environment. I hope it will help us scale, but at the same time keep the intimacy that makes Travel Counsellors successful.”
Northumberland-based travel counsellor Lizzie Adamson-Brown said she had used skills from the programme to contact clients who could potentially double the size of her business.
“It has shown me what I’m doing well on social media and taught me where I’m wasting time,” she said. “We’ve been sharing what works and what doesn’t.”
Within 48 hours of the pilot scheme’s launch, about 20% of the firm’s 1,700 travel counsellors worldwide had applied. The programme is likely to be extended.