Brian Young
Sales director, Holiday Brokers

Holiday Brokers sales director Brian YoungTime and time again we hear price is king in the dynamic packaging market.

I’ve heard of agents willing to switch a sale from one supplier to another for as little as £1. I have also been quoted the acronym BOS, which stands for:

  • Buy cheaper than competitors 
  • Operate cheaper than competitors 
  • Sell cheaper than competitors.

This sums up the sector perfectly.

Most frontline sales staff only care about price as they are often paid commission only and have high targets. Do they consider other key issues such as hotel quality or the operational support offered by the accommodation provider?

The answer is clearly no, with it being left to the customer services department to deal with the issues and often pay out more than the profit made in compensation.

Many retailers are now realising that although dynamic packaging is boosting their short-term profits, it may also be damaging their reputation and customer retention. So what should sensible agents be doing?

Product knowledge is key. Experience is invaluable, but technology makes it easier with most agents able to access sources such as the Gazetteers truth guides.

The simplest solution, however, is for management to drop suppliers which regularly overbook clients, do not respond to requests for assistance or have a high complaint ratio.

Unless managements give staff the right products to sell and take a wider view than price, how can they expect staff not to just sell the cheapest? Yes, price is king, but when the difference is pence, ignore price and focus on which partner gives the best service this is key to delivering your client’s holiday and the chance they will return to you next year.

As consumer-generated content grows on the Internet, ‘word of web’ will be much more powerful than word of mouth and you will not want any bad coverage. People believe other people’s reviews far more than glossy advertising or good-looking shop windows.