Dressing up as a lobster for charity and answering awkward insurance-related questions is all in a day’s work for Holiday Extras’ Clare Purvis.
Describe your typical week?
Oh, to have a typical week! The best part of my job is that there’s no such thing as typical. I could be doing call centre training in Southampton one day and agent visits in Manchester the next. I cover the whole of the UK and drive on average 500 miles a week. Mondays are my catch up admin days, with the remaining four days out and about visiting our partners.
How big is your sales team?
People are often surprised that Holiday Extras has a team of three on the road for insurance and two for hotels and parking. We attend so many events and we are constantly travelling around the country, so it appears as if we are in two places at the same time.
What’s in your car?
Hundreds of CDs. I’m a bit old-school and haven’t caught up with downloading yet – it’s essential for me to drive with music.
And what’s on the radio?
I’ve an eclectic taste in music so listen to a mixture of Radio X, Radio One, Kisstory and Classic fm. If I’ve had a long drive and want something to keep me alert, I might stick on a house CD and have a car rave on my own to pep me up.
What snack keeps you going on the road?
Waitrose miniature chorizo snacking sausages! So bad for you but oh so good… sometimes I have to skip two or three service stations to find one with a Waitrose though.
What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever done as part of a sales visit?
Dressing up as a giant lobster with Neil Sealy from If Only and walking around the streets visiting agents to try to raise money for Abta LifeLine would have to be up there.
Who would be your ideal driving companion on a long journey?
I reckon James Corden would be fun – we could have our own Carpool karaoke for the whole trip – he would have to take the high notes though, on account of me sounding like a strangled cat when I sing.
What’s your favourite alcoholic drink?
Wine – red flavour. Only joking! I’ve actually got quite expensive tastes in wine, I’m a member of The Wine Society and a big foodie. I like matching nice wines with the food I cook.
What’s the best question a travel agent has ever asked you?
If their customer would need to declare their circumcision they had 15 years ago as a pre-existing medical condition. In case you are wondering, the answer is no.
What’s the most lost you have ever got?
My satnav once led me down a farm track in deepest Lincolnshire then declared “you have reached your destination”. There was no phone or internet signal so I had to get out of my car and knock on the farmhouse door to ask for directions.
What key messages do you try to convey in an agent visit?
Selling travel insurance is about protecting your customers as well as providing them with a good level of service – while earning a great commission. So most of my visits consist of quick product training, updates on any new products with handy sales tips on how to introduce insurance into the booking process. It’s important to emphasise the need to protect customers.
What’s your advice for agents who don’t sell your product but are keen?
Holiday Extras takes all the hassle away from selling insurance. We can register you for free with the Financial Conduct Authority if you want to sell it yourself – or if you prefer a hands-off approach, we offer a quick and simple referral service – all fully commissionable.