Meet Jason Williams, business development manager for Freedom Travel Group and Co-operative Personal Travel Advisors – Brian Cox fan and ex-pot washer
What’s your typical week?
I drive about 20,000 miles a year, so excluding holidays and events I do 500 miles a week and an average of two days on the road. I am one of four business development managers for the Freedom Travel Group consortia and The Co-operative Personal Travel Advisors. We go as far south as Padstow and as far north as the Hebrides.
What’s in your car?
My phone charger, a spare sat nav, an umbrella and some branded diaries – agents love diaries.
And what’s on the radio?
My Spotify playlist has a mish-mash of 80s and 90s classics, with the recent addition of blues and soul. I went on an escorted tour of the Deep South in the US this year and visited some iconic places that gave birth to blues, jazz, soul and rock and roll. And I like BBC Radio 6.
What fast food outlet keeps you going on the road?
Costa Coffee and Starbucks, which are a must on an early start and when late-night driving on the M6. I am trying to shed a few pounds for my upcoming wedding, so my usual haunts are on hold. The odd Egg McMuffin doesn’t count, though, does it?
What’s the silliest thing you’ve done as part of a sales visit?
I tend to drive in jeans and a T-shirt, and get changed into my suit and tie before appointments. It makes the journey more relaxed, although once on the outskirts of Belfast I was running late and the only place I could find to get changed was a telephone box. It did not end well.
Who would be your ideal driving companion?
I know the most popular answer is James Corden, but I can’t hold a tune so Carpool Karaoke would not be a good fit. So perhaps professor Brian Cox. Nineties music and particle physics – now that would be intense.
What’s your favourite alcoholic drink and why?
Beer – because it’s just brilliant.
Where did you go on your last holiday?
I went to Thassos in Greece and stayed at the new Sentido Thassos Imperial Hotel. A magical place.
Which agency gives you the warmest welcome?
Every member I meet is personable and makes me welcome. I couldn’t name one winning agency – but sticky buns are always a winner.
What key messages do you try to convey in an agent visit?
I encourage members to sell more holidays, but it is equally important to make them aware of the support we provide to help them with this – whether through marketing, training or external events. It is vital to show every member how much they are appreciated and how we can meet their individual needs.
What’s your advice for agents who don’t currently work for your brands?
We would be more than happy to welcome them into The Freedom Travel Group or The Co-operative Personal Travel Advisors. We have welcomed more than 25 new homeworkers and 10 new Freedom members this year, in addition to organic growth whereby members have opened second or third branches. We receive enquiries from potential members all the time, which is great and certainly keeps us busy.
If you didn’t work in travel, what would you like to do instead?
I spent two years working my way around Australia and learning how to cook, starting as a pot-washer or “underwater ceramic technician” and ended up running a restaurant kitchen in Sydney. Maybe one day the pots and pans will call again.
Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01733 224 838