Marc de Jager, Business Development Manager is based at the Cape Town Head Office and has been helping Travel Counsellors to grow their businesses for 8 years. As Travel Counsellor, you will work closely with Marc and his support team.
Let's get to know Marc
I have been in the travel industry for over 22 years, starting as a junior consultant and working my way up to senior consultant, New Business, Key Account Management, and Global Network Manager.
My partner and I recently celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary in Mauritius, and we have a beautiful Labrador named Sam.
I enjoy running and have done many half-marathons and a full marathon, something I intend doing more of. Cooking and spending time with my family and friends are my other loves in life.
What do you offer a new Travel Counsellor as a Business Development Coach?
There are many offerings for new Travel Counsellors. Induction covers the business model and all our systems and processes, the Post-Induction program lays the foundation for business growth, and then there is one-on-one training which I tailor to the needs of the TC. I also run a Re-induction program which is a "refresher" for those TCs that need it.
To ensure they have the information they need to run successful businesses there is a weekly Travel Counsellors TV (TCTV), regular supplier webinars, and business development roadshows.
We also have high-performance programs, such as the Going-for-Gold Program, to motivate TCs to achieve elite Gold Travel Counsellor status.
What do you get, personally, from your role as a BD Coach?
I love that I can play a part in running successful travel businesses and see the TCs grow and thrive.
What keeps you positive and motivated?
The team at Head Office and the Travel Counsellors are like a big family, and we feed off each other’s positivity. I also enjoy the variety and new challenges that every day offers.
You’ve been at Travel Counsellors for eight years. What do you love about working at TC?
The community is one of trust, mutual respect, and care for each other. There is a lot of love and support in this business, and you feel it every single day.
What, in your opinion, is the secret to success as an entrepreneur?
Being resilient, positive, and energetic.
Training also forms part of your role. Why is ongoing training important even for travel professionals that have been in the industry for a long time?
Systems change, processes change, and customer service evolves over time. Personal development through training is fundamental to running a successful business.
Please share your top productivity tip for the TCs reading this.
Planning is at the top of my list. Running a business is not just about the operational element. There are several other hats a business owner must wear. By planning, you will find that you are more productive and, as a result, more successful.
Growing a business comes with many highs and lows. How do you motivate a TC going through a difficult time in their business?
There are different channels to help with motivation, depending on the need of the Travel Counsellor. I could have a one-on-one coaching call to discuss the business challenges and workshop some ideas. However, there might be times when they are grappling with issues that are beyond the scope of my abilities or training. For these situations, we have a personal counsellor available to all TCs.
You must’ve been part of many success stories over the years. Is there one that stands out for you?
We recently had one of our best months ever, and it looked like there was a chance that we could hit a R100 million worth of sales. I put out a challenge: if we hit R100 million, I would conquer my fear of heights and jump out of a plane. Well, we hit R106 million, and I skydived the next day! The real success was that a number of our Travel Counsellors hit their best month ever.