I pondered the thought
of even having to state this, but here it
goes. Unfortunately, there are people out there who
pose as Travel Agents in order to receive discounts.
Not only is this unethical, but, it gives true agents
a bad rap. Although, most suppliers require a valid
I.D. such as a CLIA, IATA or TRUE (OSSN) card to receive
a discount, Ive experienced some suppliers that
will trust that you are who you say you are.
That being said, try
to arrange a FAM that you will honestly use in promoting
your travel business and the suppliers product.
In the end, making money for both you and the supplier
is the fundamental reason for taking a FAM trip. Request
destinations and suppliers that you book often or
that you really want to become FAMiliar with. In fact,
it will be that much easier to request a Fam when
youve already sold their services. On occasion,
suppliers will even check your ARC/IATA number for
booking activity and/or ask what you specialize in
or what you book most. For example, a corporate agent
may have better luck obtaining a hotel in Chicago
or New York that they book for business travelers,
while a leisure agent would have an easier time requesting
a resort in the Caribbean that send honeymooners to.
However, that doesnt
necessarily mean that you MUST only request comps
from destinations and suppliers that you are currently
booking. Travel Agents never turn down business, therefore,
you can state that you INTEND to become more familiar
with their product or destination in order to sell
more effectively. I was a corporate agent for many
years and still got comped at many resorts by just
stating that I will be booking my clients personal
travel as well.