Biting Questions With Carl Henderson, TPI Travel, Oakville
were you born?
In Oshawa, Ontario.
was your first job?
A paper route, delivering
long have you been in the business?
18 years, starting in the call centre with
Jonathan Carroll's Virgin Holidays.
did your first flight take you to?
A family sailing vacation in the British
Virgin Islands, with my uncle and aunt.
has the business changed since you got into it?
Immensely! And I've changed too, moving from
discount travel and discount packages, onto corporate travel and now luxury
leisure travel. There are so many more
nitty-gritty details when you sell FIT.
you have a specialty?
I've fallen into Tahiti as my specialty which
I actively market and promote. I've been to over 60 countries and don't think
there's any place more beautiful. I go
every year, and have been to every resort. It's a place clients need help with
and many come to me saying they're researching it and just confused.
you primarily sell such an exotic, long haul destination, do you get any repeat
I don't get a huge repeat factor, but
people do fall in love with Tahiti and return for a special occasion. And I get referrals from them for other
clients looking for Tahiti, or they'll call me about booking another
destination because they enjoyed the experience so much.
you could have any job in the business what would it be?
I'd just keep doing what
doing, I love being my own boss and the freedom and flexibility.
was your best FAM?
I've had a few really good ones down to Tahiti – last year we did the
Four Seasons, Regis and Intercontinental. Truly it was the best of the best.
drives you crazy?
People not fully understanding the value of an agent, and who focus on
price rather than the experience.
was your biggest individual sale?
I've had several in the $40,000 to $45,000
mark, but a nice $65,000 one to Italy for an American foursome comes to
mind. Business class, private yacht,
private guides and drivers, top hotels.
It all adds up. (
the first thing you do when you get into a hotel room?
I check out the view, the bathroom, and then unpack.
you have a magic sentence to close the sale?
Not really. Mostly I'd say “If all this looks
good let's get this confirmed for you."
you have any time management strategies?
Open for ideas! (laughs) I seem to work long hours.
do you do to keep your clients loyal?
Keeping in touch. I also use the Virtuoso
marketing pieces. I drop my clients a line every now and then.
the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Love what you do, then you'll be good at
you had to spend six months in a destination, which one would you pick?
I would totally do the South
you weren't doing this, what would you be doing?
Um….Retired and travelling and enjoying the
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