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Media : Travel Professionals International

2008 TPI Annual Conference a Success
04/28/2008 - Travel Professionals International

Travel Professionals International (TPI) held its 2008 Annual Conference, Today. Tomorrow. Together., April 7-10, 2008, to great success. Taking place in Cancun, Mexico, at the Hotel Riu Caribe, the over 100 TPI Associates from across Canada were attracted to the event that was platinum-sponsored by TPI Preferred Partners Sunquest Vacations, Alba Tours, Holiday House, Network, and Encore CruiseEscapes.

Today. Tomorrow. Together. focused on the importance of relationships in the context of TPI’s past, present, and future. Key to delivering this message were keynote speeches by Morris Chia (TPI President & CEO), Phil Sproul (TPI Executive VP & COO), and Jeff Mowatt (from Influence with Ease/The Art of Client Service). Sproul outlined TPI’s historic position in the industry, its current dominance of the home-based market, and a need for the company to continually expand its offerings to attract the industry’s top experienced agents. Mowatt, a customer service strategist and Certified Professional Speaker from Calgary, Alberta, spoke to the assembled TPI Associates and staff on excellence in customer service. He explained the importance of trust over friendliness as the foundation of customer loyalty.

“Relationships endure because of trust; not because of niceness,” proclaimed Mowatt. He went on to explain that trust from a consumer to an agent is built upon acknowledgement of the consumer and their needs, personalization for the consumer based on those needs, knowledge of the product being offered, honesty with the consumer, the convenience of the agent’s “office hours”, providing no more and no less than three product options for the consumer in order to deliver the best result for both the consumer and agent in value and price/commissions, and the overall value of the product and service. “While trust is built on these tangible principles, niceness is a much more fleeting concept,” said Mowatt.

TPI Associates attending the conference enjoyed four days of networking activities, social events, site inspections, and workshops led by industry-leading trainers Bernie Blomquist (CLIA), Mindy Schwab (TRAMS), and Mark McMullin, on such topics as Building Client Loyalty, Special Interest Marketing, and Selling More Effectively Over the Telephone. Mark McMullin had the packed crowd of Associates laughing in the aisles while learning invaluable lessons about selling during his “Sales Closing Survivor Tournament” in which two volunteer agents were given a topic and asked to “act out” the appropriate scenario – one as a travel agent and the other as a consumer – in an important lesson on profiling, customer service, and product knowledge.

Chief to the success of the conference theme was participation by all TPI stakeholders, including TPI Preferred Partners. Aside from the aforementioned platinum sponsor, Air Canada, Air Canada Vacations, RBC Insurance, Sandals, and Signature Vacations were the major gold level sponsors of the 2008 TPI Annual Conference festivities.