Psychological skills are needed when it comes to working out clients’ travel needs.
Travel consultants in the luxury segment must have the “subtle skills of a psychologist” when it comes to working out clients’ travel needs, TTG writes.
“Get into those realms, go to the office, go to their home. If you do it well, you’ll become one of the family and serve several generations as a tailor would,” advised Philippe Brown, founder of the London-based bespoke travel designer Brown + Hudson.
Speaking at the first Luxury Travel Conference held by the UK travel agent association Abta, Brown revealed that his company uses professional psychologists to help formulate the right questions to ask clients as part of the pre-trip planning process.
Agents should consider how best to market their services in order to be considered as important as a legal or financial adviser to their clients, he said.
“We can ask better questions of our clients to get deeper into the psyche,” he said of the use of psychologists.
“[Wealthy people] have beautifully crafted possessions, so we should be offering the same beautifully crafted experiences. If you do this right, you will make your customer a hero to their family and if you do it right all of the time, you’ll be a hero to them too.
“Product and destination is important but [the needs of the customer] are so much more, and understanding their values is a good place to start.”
Brown argued that luxury travel sellers should consider their services to be as important as other professions such as lawyers, accountants and tailors. Agents should not be content with wealthy consumers “throwing business our way once in a while”, but to go to their offices and homes with new propositions.