This month Kelsey Goulding completes her two-year apprenticeship and becomes a fully fledged travel consultant. Earlier this summer she was crowned Young Leisure Agent of the Year at the Travel Weekly Agent Achievement Awards. Here, the Thomas Cook agent tells us about her love of the travel industry and her ambitions
Q. How long have you been an apprentice?
A. Two years, and I will become a sales consultant when I complete my apprenticeship later this month.
Q. Why did you decide to become a travel agent?
A. I’ve been lucky enough to travel a lot from a young age and have come across a lot of people who have been willing to share their own experiences about amazing places they have visited. This gave me the bug for travel. As an agent I can continue to learn things about the world every day, which I love to share with my customers. I really enjoy working with the public and the travel industry provides so many opportunities – winning an Agent Achievement Award this year being one of them.
Q. What are the best bits of the job?
A. That no two days are ever the same. Spending time with customers, who all have different needs, makes every day different. My customers look forward to their holidays and their precious time away – I like to make them all feel special and I feel very honoured to help create their memorable experiences.
Q. What is most challenging?
A. Solving problems that I have not been faced with before. I have a mentor and assessor who are there to coach me when new situations arise.
Q. Why do you think you won Travel Weekly’s Young Leisure Agent of the Year award (pictured, top)?
A. I knew I had to be honest and just be myself in the interview, and the conversation flowed, with laughter too, which helped me relax. I have always been ambitious and I’m a confident person. The examples I gave for each of the questions highlighted how much effort I put into my job.
Q. What advice would you give to someone thinking about becoming an apprentice travel consultant?
A. To go for it 100%! It is a great way of getting your foot in the door and provides a great grounding before progressing your career further.
Q. What are your tips for becoming a successful agent?
A. Aim to build a rapport with your customers within the first few minutes. The sooner you can find out exactly what they are looking for, the sooner you can find them the best holiday. Another tip is to enjoy what you do!
Q. How do you see your career progressing?
A. I really want to expand my product knowledge. I am keeping an open mind as I come towards the end of my apprenticeship and believe that specialising in different areas over the next few years will help me to grow. I’d like to progress my career with Thomas Cook and there are lots of opportunities and courses on offer, including the new Level 4 Management Apprenticeship. I have a lot of support internally to help me decide where to go from here.
Kelsey’s sales tips
Share as many of your own travel experiences as you can with others
Be positive about selling all types of product
Build a rapport with the client and get to know them so you can source the most suitable holiday
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