Every travel agent has heard of a travel dream turned nightmare. Had the client purchased travel insurance, the crisis could’ve been averted – or at the very least alleviated.
When it comes to insurance, some clients choose to trust their travel agent's level of expertise wholeheartedly, while others tend to be a tougher sell. Think of the clients you just couldn't finalize quotes with, no matter how hard you tried.
While we all have clients that never want to buy extra services up front, the reasons why aren't always what we think.
In the travel industry, it can be difficult to recognize the mistakes we're making. Asking clients why they aren't purchasing adds-ons and services can be painstaking and may not always result in honest feedback. Fortunately, most clients decide not to buy for the same reasons. Chances are, you've lost additional sales due to one of them.
It's time to learn the five common reasons why travelers don't buy insurance. Once you understand these reasons, you just may be able to increase your sales and watch your bottom line increase with it.
1. You're Not Presenting It At The Right Time
No one likes to be told about a product or service when it's too late. With travel protection, time-sensitive provisions can limit the benefits available to your clients.
Benefits like Pre-existing Conditions Waivers and Cancel For Any Reason are important to a lot more travelers than one would think. Clients can be left feeling frustrated if they aren't informed about these benefits at the right time.
You don't want your clients to miss out on coverage and throw in the towel on travel protection because they weren't informed early on.
2. You're Still Treating It As An Add-On
Think of the last time you ordered food online. You probably planned your meal thoughtfully, selecting items that went together and were relatively healthy. When you got to your shopping cart, a pop-up appeared asking you if you'd like to add a chocolate chip cookie or piece of cheesecake.
If you're like most shoppers, you found this to be incredibly annoying. You clicked the "x" on the pop-up and went straight to your cart.
That's because most buyers don't like last minute add-ons. Add-ons feel less like an investment and more like an expense when you are ready to checkout. You have a total in mind, and adding to that total seems impractical.
The same goes for travel protection. If you are offering travel protection plans by presenting them as an add-on, then you are missing opportunities to cover our clients and increase your earning potential.
3. You Don't Have the Right Plans For Your Business
We get it. Travel agents are very busy people. With everything you are managing, shopping for the right third-party travel insurance provider may not seem like the most pressing issue. Instead, you take what products are most convenient and go from there.
Not knowing how to maximize the coverage available to your clients can really end up costing them in the long run. Every insurance company has exclusions, but it's always best to choose the company with the most expansive benefits available.
4. You're Not Telling Them Why They Should Buy Travel Insurance
You don't have to be an expert to sell protection plans. No insurance company ever wants you to pretend either, but informing your clients of the basic reasons to buy travel insurance could end up saving them in the long run.
Travel agents are professional story tellers. They can make an entire travel experience seem as though it has a neatly wrapped bow around it just for their client. Why would it be any different for travel insurance? The truth is, it shouldn't be.
As Rachel Gillett wrote in Fast Company, "when we read a story, not only do the language parts of our brains light up, but any other part of the brain that we would use if we were actually experiencing what we’re reading about becomes activated as well." - Forbes
Chances are you have heard travel nightmares – deaths abroad, emergency evacuations, and unexpected trip cancellations. Sharing those stories as a preventative measure can help your clients understand why travel protection is such an important piece to their overall travel experience.
5. You Think Supplier Coverage is Good Enough
If you think supplier coverage is good enough for your clients, then that is what you will most likely find yourself offering them.
It may be convenient because it's affordable, the language is brief, and it goes right along with the supplier package, but as many travelers have learned the hard way, it is not all it's cracked up to be.
Travel suppliers often offer cash vouchers or rescheduled itineraries versus something of monetary value. Your clients will most likely prefer the latter. Cash back with complete autonomy sounds much better than having to reschedule a trip on the tour operator's terms.
Simply offering them an alternative might make all the difference.