How is your typical week?
I aim to be in the office one day a week and the rest I’m out meeting agents – because I cover the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland, I have to plan to make sure I have flights and ferries booked. I could cover anything from 250 to 1,000 miles in a week as my area extends as far north as John O’Groats in Scotland.
How big is Travel 2 and Gold Medal’s sales team?
We have eight on-the-road key account managers supported by Gordon McCreadie and Tracy Hirsz.
What would we find in your car?
It’s a mixture of kids’ toys, pull-up stands and my overnight bag. My roof box still has 5,000 branded balls for a ball pool when we did our last Indian Ocean campaign.
What’s on the radio?
I always listen to Radio 1, but if I’m driving home late I have been known to tune into a country music station.
What food keeps you going on the road?
It depends if I’ve been on one of our legendary team nights the night before, in which case McDonalds lifesaver. But nothing beats a steak and cheese from Subway – Footlong, of course.
What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever done as part of a sales visit?
Probably taking my three-year-old son out dressed as Spiderman while I was dressed as Batman to help raise funds and awareness for Abta LifeLine. I’ve also been known to turn up in a motorhome and cook sausage rolls for my agents.
What’s the best part of being on the road so much?
Having the freedom to see some beautiful places and getting to meet so many different people.
What’s the worst part of being on the road?
I have to admit it is missing my family. I stay in hotels a lot and miss my wee boy Alfie, who is three, and Iona my daughter, who is five. Oh, and let’s not forget the wife – she might be reading this.
How do you think agents would describe you?
Chatty, fun and someone who tells terrible jokes.
What’s your worst joke?
“I walked in B&Q yesterday and an old boy in overalls asked me if I wanted decking. I got in first and knocked him out, so be careful.”
Which agency gives you the warmest welcome?
I’d have to give a special mention to Border Global Travel. Roy and Kath always look after me when I pop in and I normally get a sandwich for lunch from Roy.
What key messages do you try to convey in an agent visit?
I use the time to catch up on what’s been happening, any issues and barriers – it’s crucial to listen to your agents. It’s also a great opportunity to talk them through all of the offers that we are running so that they can maximise their chances to earn points and win prizes. We are offering more incentives and fam trip places than ever and we have some great offers for Dubai. Travel 2’s Dubai Festivals gives agents a chance to win a place on a fam trip with every booking they make and Gold Medal’s “Golden Treasure Chest” incentive with Atlantis, The Palm, Emirates and Qantas gives agents a chance to win a holiday and treasure chest worth £25,000.
What’s your advice for agents who don’t currently sell your product but are keen?
Get in touch. We have so much to offer and it continues to get even better. We work hard and play hard, so why not come and be a part of it?
If you didn’t work in travel, what would you like to do instead?
Something within the motorsport sector – I’m a bit of a petrolhead, so probably a racing driver.
Email Colin on email@example.com