Leanne Rudd joined us in October 2023 after leaving behind a sales role at another tour operator. The lack of support began to take its toll on her enjoyment of the job, so she turned to Travel Counsellors before her passion completely faded away.
We caught up with Leanne in the midst of her first peaks as a franchisee to see how it compared to her previous Januarys. Find out how her life has completely transformed for the better – from improved well-being to feeling like she belongs – and see how we can help you get back in control of your destiny.
It’s lovely to chat to you, Leanne! Could you start by telling us why you decided to trade in retail to run your own franchise?
I wasn’t getting the support I needed from my previous employer and I was losing love for my role. As an experienced consultant, I was left to my own devices - but without new customers coming through to me. I wasn’t sure how to generate new customers and saw that Travel Counsellors had all the support in place to help with this. I just felt I had to give it a go.
What’s the difference between peaks as a Travel Counsellor and peaks in your previous role?
Less stress! In my previous employment, the phone would ring a lot and I would be busy helping customers of other consultants - regularly for no reward! We had jobs as a team, such as managing the shop’s email inbox. If other team members didn’t pull their weight, I would spend a lot of my time sorting those enquiries. The phones would ring right up to close of business and then I’d have to stay late finishing off quotes and bookings. If the enquiry levels did drop, I would have no control over that as we didn’t have marketing training to be able to generate new leads. Equally, I had no control over the type of enquiry I received. There were quite a few enquiries that I couldn’t book due to our contracts.
How has your life changed since you became a Travel Counsellor?
I’m a lot less stressed. I have the tools available to enable me to learn new skills and gain new customers. I’m in control of my working week. I no longer feel guilty about nipping to the shops or having a golf lesson on work time. My working hours are whatever I want them to be. I can work when my customers need me. The phone system allows me to take calls when I’m in my car or walking the dog.
What’s the best thing about being a Travel Counsellor?
For me, it’s being in charge of my own schedule and not being tied to a desk in case the phone rings. I set my own targets and no one is pushing me to do more. The community is unbelievable; there’s always someone available to offer support.
How would you describe the support available to franchisees?
It’s amazing! Everyone at the support centre seems genuinely interested in helping me to succeed. Also, other Travel Counsellors that I’ve never even met are happy to reach out and offer advice. The mentor system is second to none; my mentor is always my first port of call for a question (if I can’t find it on the internal knowledge base). If she can’t help, I will either raise a ticket or message other franchisees that I know. There’s also the ‘TC World’ community discussion forum that people are very quick to react to – it’s a great source of help.
A lot of people working in travel retail will be feeling the pressure and burnout of peaks – what advice would you give them in terms of what Travel Counsellors could offer them?
Travel Counsellors has business coaches for both leisure and corporate consultants. So, if you want advice on any part of your business, you get one-to-one support. Moving to Travel Counsellors means that you no longer have to strive for the boss’ targets and compete with your fellow consultants. You can run your own race and aim for your own targets. The commission is uncapped, so the harder you work, the bigger the financial reward you’ll receive.
You can also be in charge of what you sell; do you want to have a mix of leisure and corporate clients? Do you want to specialise in long-haul, tailor-made travel? If you don’t like admin or don’t have the time for it, you can employ someone to help you. This is your business and you can run it however you like.
Are you ready to turn your back on a retail sales environment? If you’re craving a career where you’re in complete control of your time, your earnings, and your customer base, we’d love to hear from you. We’ve recently launched our biggest ever recruitment drive, and we’re waiting to welcome entrepreneurial travel professionals into our supportive community. Get in touch and let’s get you started on an exciting new venture.