Agent advice: selling to seniors

ERIN Beckford, TravelManagers

What’s the most unusual holiday you’ve booked for a senior traveller?

I have a lovely older gentlemen (70+) who did a backpacking trip around Portugal for two months. He loved it and is off to Sri Lanka this year!

In your experience what’s the most popular booking for senior travellers?

Most popular holiday style for my senior travellers is without a doubt cruising. Having everything included and looked after for you is very enticing to older clients.

Do you have any tips for other agents about how they can sell to seniors or generate more senior traveller business?

I think our biggest hurdle with older clients is getting Comprehensive Travel Insurance at a decent price. Most insurers have increased prices over a certain age and this is sometimes a deterrent for older travellers. I just want my clients to have travel insurance wherever they can get it, even if that means not booking it through me, but being covered with Apia, through their Rotary or Probus club or even with the NRMA.

Josie McPaul, Bayview Travel

What’s the most unusual holiday you’ve booked for a senior traveller?

I once had a 90 year old surgeon (one of the first female surgeons in Australia) who went to a conference in Rio de Janeiro and then did a Galapagos Islands cruise.

In your experience what’s the most popular booking for senior travellers?

A lot of older clients do high end cruises, but I also have a number of them who are doing multi-generational trips and for that, I book a lot of Club Med who cater well for all ages.

Do you have any tips for other agents about how they can sell to seniors?

There should be nothing stopping people selling travel to older clients. Just be careful of assuming what they can and cannot do. You might be very surprised to hear about the things they are interested in seeing and doing, and most things are possible if you think carefully through the logistics and use a sympathetic supplier.

Sarah Webster, Travel Partners

How old is your oldest client?

My oldest client is 86 this year!

In your experience what’s the most popular booking for senior travellers?

Generally senior travellers like to visit the UK, then Tasmania, followed by Canada then Japan.

Do you have any tips for other agents about how they can sell to seniors or generate more senior traveller business?

I’ve found that the key thing to winning seniors over is to be genuinely interested and honest. Give then your time and care about them — they may require more from you in many ways but if you invest in them, they invest in you! I also always try to remember to send thank you cards and birthday cards and a fridge magnet calendar is always a popular little gift. I think to generate more seniors business you’d need to spend time where seniors are. Think about visiting retirement villages. You’ll also need to try to maximise the amount time spent getting to know them — they need to grow to trust you. Don’t expect a quick ‘win’ necessarily.

 

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