Travel Advisor Success Stories: Samarah Meil, Amarillo Travel Network


Claudette Covey

Travel Advisor Success Stories: Samarah Meil, Amarillo Travel Network

Samarah Meil. (Source: Samarah Meil)

Success Stories focus on veteran travel advisors and how they achieved success. Here’s a look Samarah Meil, owner of Amarillo Travel Network in Texas.

How did you get your start as a travel advisor?

In 2002 I traveled to Israel as part of a study abroad program while I was in college. I came home with a passion for travel, and the door was opened for me to work with a local travel agency that had survived 9/11 and all the technology changes. When I started it was just the agency owner and one other independent contractor (IC). Exactly two years later the agency owner needed to sell her agency for health and financial reasons, so I purchased it and thankfully Destiny, who was the other IC, stayed with me and the adventure of being the owner began!

How did you build your business over the years?

Over the last 20 years I have slowly built a team of ICs and now have 12. Each IC came to me organically, and all in God’s perfect timing. Just when I would feel overwhelmed, one of my travel advisors joined the team and filled a gap. Having a team has been key to my success and I am grateful every day for each of my team members. Everyone who is a part of Amarillo Travel Network brings their own uniqueness, talents and passions.

What characteristics make you a successful advisor

I genuinely care for my team, and for our clients. No matter the size of the trip, I want our travelers to feel valued. For me, repeat business and referrals are essential, and all of our best clients come from a referral from another great client – that is a testimony to our dedication to each traveler.

What have been your greatest challenges been?

Navigating not being the top salesperson on my team and transitioning to more of an owner/leader role. It has been a slower process for me, but this last year I had my first baby and that has helped force me to change my schedule and my priorities. Have I mentioned that I have a great team? Ha ha! I truly can’t begin to describe how appreciative I am to have advisors I trust to help keep Amarillo Travel Network healthy and thriving.

What have your greatest accomplishments been?

I truly think training my advisors and building a team with a family feel has been one of my great accomplishments. We also quickly got through 2020 and have only had growth during the last three years. I am very proud of how financially stable we are, which is a testimony to the hard work of my husband, who is head of our operations, and all he has done to help keep us on track with our expenses and goals.

What tips can you provide advisors new to the industry?

Just know that it may take a few years to really get established. If you are truly passionate about this industry, you will do it correctly and get all the training, mentorship and tools you need to be successful. I tell every new IC I add to my team to have one-, three- and five-year goals, and to let me help them accomplish them. The first three years are critical for learning. By year five you are usually clipping along and getting referrals and repeat clients – which will give you that growth in sales.

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