Columnist Ruthanne Terrero suggests five ways travel agents can help themselves and says communicating with clients must be a priority. For example, if a client asks for a specific itinerary that the travel agent believes will not fit the client, the agent should speak up, ask questions and make sure it's really the trip the client wants. "Maybe they've asked you to reserve them a spot with an adventure tour operator when really their taste is for five-star hotels and Champagne at 4 p.m. every day," Terrero writes. "Have another conversation with this person. Engage them."

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