Dr. Robert Joselyn will share his insights and knowledge about travel agency service fees, as one of the featured experts in Travel Market Report’s Maestro series.
Joselyn is a longtime travel industry advocate who has been pushing for travel agencies to implement service fees for over 35 years. In addition to his previous experience owning travel agencies and managing consortia, he also leads the Joselyn Consulting Group, which consults with clients at all levels of the travel industry distribution system.
“After owning an agency for a couple of years, I started looking at the structure of the industry and realized that there’s something wrong with this business model,” said Joselyn.
“I want them to understand that from a business standpoint, this never made any sense. Advisors need to understand that the business model that’s existed for travel agency businesses never made logical sense, and that it was bound to self-destruct sooner-or-later.”
He believes that not implementing service fees, especially now during the travel slowdown from COVID-19, is irresponsible and just leaves money on the table.
“In 1984 I wrote a book; 'Pricing, Service Charge and Professional Fee Strategies for the Travel Agency', so I was talking about service fees since then. When it comes the charging fees, what everyone always wants to know is how much should I charge, and how should I word it? But before that, I’m going to focus on something more critical.”
“A lot of people are reacting to the need for service fees due to COVID-19, and all the work they do that they aren’t getting paid for, and I know people are anxious to do that, but I have a loftier goal. I don’t just want people to accept the need for this, I want them to embrace it in their very soul.”
Joselyn thinks advisors don’t value themselves enough for all the work they do, and this leads them to be more apprehensive about implementing fees. But he says that advisors need to know all that they bring to the table, and know that clients will see and appreciate that work.
“The thing is, if you don’t think you’re worth it, why should anyone else? Advisors are worth it, and in many ways they’re the ones who haven’t figured it out yet,” said Jocelyn. “I want advisors to know ‘damn right I’m worth it! I bring value to the table and help people!’ They’re often surprised and delighted when they find out the client thinks so too.”