Be good to your resellers and they will be good to you.
After all, the relationship between a given agency and its resellers stands to be a mutually beneficial value proposition. Agencies that rely on resellers help to ensure their content is reaching the broadest possible audience, which in turn helps to boost sales. Resellers, meanwhile, stand to earn considerable revenue from commissions by establishing valuable partnerships with agencies. But the key phrase here, however, is value. How can an agency provide value for its resellers? More specifically, how can an agency help to boost resellers’ sales of travel services?
Let’s imagine Agency A is trying to optimize its relationship with its resellers. Agency A knows that if it provides value to its resellers, its resellers will return the favor by providing a new audience for some of its travel services. With this in mind, here are three steps that Agency A can take to help boost their value to resellers.
Provide high-quality descriptive content. Descriptive content is already one of the most effective ways an agency can differentiate itself from the competition. It can include hotel information, destination guides, geographical data, and other specific points of interest that can help to entice potential customers while assuring them that they are purchasing the travel services that best meet their unique needs. While creating content that stands out is a worthy end in and of itself, it is especially important for providing compelling material to resellers. After all, your content will now need to stand out from a potentially much larger pool of offerings. By providing high quality descriptive content to its resellers, Agency A stands to give themselves an advantage over any other agencies that may be vying for the same customers, while simultaneously making it is easier for resellers to convert traffic into sales.
Establish a mutually beneficial commission structure. If worthwhile descriptive content is a significant value proposition by itself, workable commission structures represent a hurdle that is in some ways unique to working with resellers. Commissions will go a long way toward defining the value that an agency can provide for its resellers, but it is necessary to walk a fine line. For instance, if Agency A’s pricing structure doesn’t properly take commission management into account, they run a number of risks:
- Alienating resellers through lower-than-average commissions. Resellers will be much less inclined to sell Agency A’s services when the financial benefits begin to shrink.
- Reducing internal revenue. If they have failed to take commissions into account from a cost perspective, they’re likely to see diminished revenues and therefore diminished value from their resellers.
- Confusing price structures. If Agency A does not have a pricing system that consistently accommodates mark ups based on commissions, they may be adapt to situations erratically. They may find themselves increasing or decreasing service prices as their financial needs dictate. This may lead to decreases in order and confidence both within and outside their organization, thus virtually ensuring a loss of value.
Utilize a reliable technological interface. Though reliable technology is last on this list, it is certainly not last in importance. In many cases, an agency’s technological interface will be the primary means by which resellers access information about travel services. Properly utilized, a robust technological interface can be the cornerstone of the relationship between Agency A and its resellers. For instance, if resellers trust Agency A’s interface, they can be certain that there will be no errors relating to inaccurate or out-of-date content. They can likewise be sure that no errors will go unnoticed in the booking process. With this degree of certainty added to their dealings, Agency A’s resellers can work more efficiently without having to spend precious time grappling with an unwieldy interface. Beyond that, a high-quality interface can offer:
- Real time adjustments to availability and capacity information.
- Real time pricing information and alternative rates.
- Information about special deals and promotions.
- Information about cancellation fees and other policies.
Ultimately, the keys to a technological interface are usability and accuracy. If Agency A’s interface is user-friendly, resellers will be able to work with it more efficiently—which will lead to increased sales of services and therefore increased value on both sides of the equation. Accurate information is likewise crucial to resellers. If they trust an agency’s information is up-to-date, they can sell services more confidently and therefore more effectively. This added value will likely be mutual, as it will lead to resellers opting to purchase more of an agency’s travel services.
Between quality descriptive content, sensible commission structures, and a good technological interface, an agency will have provided its resellers with all of the tools necessary to boost sales. Each step by itself will provide value to a given reseller, but presented as a group these offerings can go much further. They can help solidify the nature of the partnership between agency and reseller as one not just of mutual convenience but of multiplying value. Both agency and reseller alike can gain new efficiencies and improved pathways to booking and sales. For agencies, there is a clear moral here to be had: your resellers’ success is your success, and helping work toward that success is a worthwhile priority.