“Having worked for a number of competitors, there is simply no comparison.” – Julie’s journey to Gold

“Having worked for a number of competitors, there is simply no comparison.” – Julie’s journey to Gold

We recently sat down with Julie Walne, our first Business Development Manager franchisee to achieve our Gold status. Thanks to our collaborative ways of working, innovative technology, and a community of like-minded professionals, Julie was able to grow and scale her business all while ensuring that corporate clients received the exceptional levels of care and service that we’re known for. 

Read on to find out why Julie thinks there’s “no comparison” between Travel Counsellors and other TMCs.  

Hi Julie! Could you tell us a little bit about what you do as a Business Development Manager Travel Counsellor? 

In a nutshell, I’m here to assist Travel Counsellors with sales, business development, and account management. I look after the sales process while they carry on doing what they do best - servicing their clients. Once over the line, I then work closely with the client, building the relationship across multiple levels of the business and focussing on retention and growth.  

My goal is to win the business, then retain and grow that account. I do lots of different things. It very much depends on the size of the client and how the Travel Counsellor wants me to support them. It’s a partnership, and different Travel Counsellors request that I do different things. 

How do the tools and technology at Travel Counsellors allow you to collaborate with other franchisees?  

You can operate with as few or as many franchisees as you wish due to the TC Teams technology we have. This can be in-country and also within our overseas communities. The TC Teams function has transformed the way a lot of Travel Counsellors work. 

You recently achieved Gold – how did this feel, and what’s your secret to success?  

I’m thrilled to have hit Gold. It’s a huge milestone and definitely one I was aiming for. There is no secret, it’s just pure hard work and collaborating with other Travel Counsellors who share your aspirations. Be consistent, be present, and be proactive. I never switch off and am always looking for my next opportunity. 

What do you love most about being a Travel Counsellor? 

Where do I begin? On a personal level, I love the work-life balance, not fighting the rush hour traffic, the earning potential, and the Travel Counsellors community. I have so many colleagues I now class as friends.  

On a professional level, again the community makes it a very special place to work. It’s also the confidence I have in selling our services. Never before in my career have I known that my clients will be looked after to the levels they are by Travel Counsellors. Having worked for a number of competitors, there is simply no comparison. 

Tell us a little bit about Travel Counsellors’ investment in tech, and how it empowers you to deliver the very best service for clients.  

Our tech supports the phenomenal service we are renowned for - from the CRM I use to ensure I keep in touch with my customers and prospects, the myTC app to make sure our clients have us in their pocket on their travels, right the way through to the newly launched MyTC Online and MyTC Insights. These all add value to the amazing personal service we provide every single client – both on an individual basis and company-wide.  

What’s been your highlight since becoming a Travel Counsellor? 

It has to be being the first BDM Travel Counsellor to reach Gold, and the lovely things that come with being Gold – such as a wonderful treat at the Fairmont Hotel in Windsor earlier this year, and my first Gold trip to look forward to later this year. I have chosen South Africa, which is a country I’ve never been to. A safari has always been on my bucket list so I cannot wait to experience this. Being able to take my husband along, not long after a very big birthday of mine, will be an extra reason to celebrate! 

What do you think sets Travel Counsellors apart from other TMCs?  

For me, it’s the people - whether that’s the Support Hub community or fellow Travel Counsellors, there really is something special about being in the Travel Counsellors bubble  . 

What challenges do you think SMEs are facing in terms of business travel, and how can Travel Counsellors for Business alleviate some these?  

They’re experiencing poor service, and the human touch is being lost everywhere - not just in travel but in many other industries too. Travel Counsellors for Business restores people’s faith by putting both care and the personal touch into every interaction we have with a client.  

Why would you recommend Travel Counsellors to other corporate sales and business development professionals?  

Because it’s a very special place. Having worked in the travel industry for over 25 years, previously working for a supplier to Travel Counsellors and a competitor, I always wondered what the secret is. Having worked both at the Travel Counsellors Support Hub as an employee, and now as a self-employed franchisee, I know. Where else can you run your own successful business while having a better work-life balance and being fully supported by a community that genuinely cares? 

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