Lisa Shelley Ansell, travel consultant with tripcentral.ca in Dundas, Ontario.

How long have you been in the business? About 15 years – almost eight years with tripcentral.ca.

What was your first ever job? Working at KFC. But it didn’t it work out because I couldn’t work the cash and one day it looked like I’d lost 200 pieces of chicken!

Did you travel much as a kid? My family’s all from Ireland and we used to spend every August in Ireland.

Do you have a specialty? Europe and cruises.

If you could have any job in the business what would it be? Being a product buyer for a tour operator.

What was your best FAM?  Recently I was on an Insight tour and a Christmas Markets river cruise, which was wonderful, so much less commercialized than in North America.

What drives you crazy? Clients who want instant attention and answers. Does it drive me crazy? Yes.  Do I hate it?  No.  It is what it is.

What was your biggest individual sale? I did three portions of a round-the-world cruise on Holland America – about $60,000. It was easy, almost!

Do you have a magic sentence to close the sale? Not really, but if you can make people feel in their minds that they’re on that vacation, and get excited for them, then they allow themselves to be excited.

Do you have any time management strategies? Laughs.  Mine are bad!  Little white lies to buy yourself an extra five minutes here and there.

What do you do to keep your clients loyal? I think you’ve got to be friends with them.   I talk to them as if we’ve know each other forever. And I’d say I have 65 to 70 per cent repeat clientele.

How’s this winter shaping up? I hope that we get busy again. People are being cautious but are slowly coming back.

How do you cope with jet lag? I used to be fine but now I’m old. Laughs. I just suck it up.  I’d rather be tired on holiday than tired at home!

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? I’d be a pilot!

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