We ask co-founder Steve Witt what the retreat involves and why it’s a recipe for success helping some of its franchisees create a travel agency worth over a million pounds.
What is the Millionaire’s Retreat?
It’s a five or six-day intensive retreat abroad where Paul and I take around 30-50 travel consultants away to explore a destination, visit a few hotels and spend time in a classroom in order to coach them on how they can improve their entrepreneurial skills and begin to build a business worth over a million pounds.
But don’t you teach them everything in the initial five-day induction training?
Most of our consultants have never worked in travel before and the intensive induction tends to fry their brain a bit so we ease them in gently. During induction, they learn the basics: how to book holidays, key travel suppliers we use and which destinations they go to, and how to find enough customers to kickstart their business. When they leave training, they are a fully qualified travel agent, but we don't have enough time to teach them how to be an entrepreneur as well. As a new consultant, you don’t really want too many customers to begin with: there’s no point making your phone ring off the hook as if you don't know how to sell holidays, you’ll burn all your leads and all your opportunities.
So how long do consultants have to be operating before they can join a Millionaire’s Retreat?
After you’ve been in the business for six months or so, that's where the Millionaire's Retreat is most useful. You've got your feet under the ground and (hopefully) you've figured out how to sell a few holidays so now you're ready for the next level. You've started working your list, you've spoken to people, you've got a few knockbacks so now we're teaching you how to get better. With that in mind, agents must have achieved 10 bookings or £2,000 commission.
What sort of topics does the Millionaire’s Retreat cover?
How do you achieve some of these huge holiday sales that you hear other consultants achieving? Some of our consultants are selling a million pounds-worth of holidays in just one month. In order to do that we teach agents how to find more customers and get better at selling and developing partners?
Do you bring any other experts on the trip?
We bring along some successful consultants so that they can share their experiences of how they got the t-shirt, and the money too. A big part of what we do is learning from our peers. You get to mix with people at different stages in their business careers. So some people have been in a couple of months, and some may have been in years.
Where is the retreat typically located?
We tend to visit a popular short-haul destination, maybe three to four hours away on a plane. Typically we choose somewhere in the sun and in the past we’ve been to Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands and France. We want consultants to experience a package holiday, just like a customer would, taking in a few excursions etc but, with the help of our travel suppliers, we also see behind the scenes of the hotel and the resorts we visit.
Who teaches the group?
In addition to Paul and myself, we take corporate team members, business coaches, life coaches, fitness coaches and sometimes an NLP coach too, so people learn about neurolinguistic programming, a technique where you can adapt your language and body language to boost sales. We work in groups and one-to-one sometimes, breaking down barriers and getting people out of their comfort zones so that they get motivated and get confident.
Do consultants have to pay a fee?
No, it’s included in the franchise fee because if our agents are successful, we are too. However, depending on where we go, there might be a few extras to pay for but we pay for flights and the hotel, the training and most of the food. Agents typically have to share rooms but sometimes you can pay extra and have a single room, but we can't guarantee that. We are trying to visit more all-inclusive type destinations so that no one has to put their hands in their pockets for any extras.
Is it fun?
Yes! We give people time to explore and get to know the destination. Because we're in the travel business, we want agents to experience the destination as a client would so that they can sell the destination on their return. Many sell holidays while we are away because they are posting pictures of the destination on social media.
Does it work?
Yes! So many consultants tell us that the Millionaires Retreat is worth the franchise fee alone. I believe it is genuinely worth a lot because the skills you get will help you in any part of your life, not just building a travel business. There is no other travel franchise, that we are aware of that does anything like this. Numbers speak louder than words and we can track sales before and sales after the retreat and sales rise sharply after this trip. It’s like an adrenaline motivation shot that really opens their eyes to what's possible and many get that epiphany moment of, ‘ah, that's what I've been doing wrong’.
Do you have any examples?
Our most successful agent, David Walker, for example, had the lightbulb moment on his Millionaire's Retreat in Lanzarote. Says David: “All I did from that point forward was do what they taught me on the Millionaires Retreat and it worked.”
The McCardies, a husband and wife team, have also been through the same programme and they recently took £1m of holiday bookings in one month.
Says Mark: “The Millionaire’s Retreat was a game changer for our business, it laid out in simple terms the path to success and since we adopted that approach, we have never looked back!”
The Travel Franchise has some innovative strategies and one of them is that it has trained hundreds of people new to travel to become homeworking agents in less than a week.
The most recent statistics reveal that women are opening 1 out of every 3 new franchise businesses.
I did £340k of turnover in my first year. I’m now looking for my next challenge, reaching 1 million turnover by the end of year 2.
'I’ve more time with my family now. I have more time to get away with my family. It’s given me a new lease of life and something to be joyful about.
'The Travel Franchise offers you everything you need to create a successful travel business and to be your own boss. It’s hard work, but starting a new business is within any sector. The growth in the business and quality of the training and materials you are equipped with really puts you in a superb position to build a fantastic travel business.
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