It Works: Stories From The Book

Master rapid rapport

Michelle is a travel consultant who definitely considers her time to be money. She is one of the most successful travel consultants in Australia and I had the pleasure of watching her work as part of an ‘observation of excellence’ two-day project.

She was a stand-out in terms of managing her time and customers well. Most of the other consultants in the store took 40 to 50 minutes with their clients. As the manager of the store, and most experienced consultant, Michelle would have almost back-to-back meetings all day with her clients, and still manage to support her team, as well as the walk-in enquiries.

Her consultations rarely lasted more than 25 minutes and followed a simple process. Where she is masterful is in her ability to build rapid rapport. Michelle had a simple structure, timed as follows:

  • getting to know the potential client, understanding their travel need (approximately 10 minutes)
  • exploring one or two options to meet their need (approximately 8 minutes)
  • next steps, payment, quote issuance (approximately 5 minutes).

According to one of my travel industry clients, the average conversion for a travel consultant is around 36 per cent. Michelle’s is over 80 per cent. Her customers love her! I know, I’m one of them!

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During a team development session where we looked at a 360-degree diagnostic, a senior leadership team scored very low on trustworthiness. The feedback was that they were unavailable and lacked transparency. They... More
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