I personally do not charge a fee for my services, unless it's flights-only. However, if you're planning a custom trip, I do hold a $100 deposit until we're finished booking.
Typically, we would start the conversation by getting to know one another so I can figure out what exactly it is that you're looking for. Once we have a general idea of where you'd like to go, I begin working on putting together an itinerary for you. From there, we can change out flights, hotels, excursions, etc. until you're 100% satisfied with the trip!
I am in the process of getting my Luxury Travel Specialist certification through Travel Leaders. I am also always participating in training put out by different hotel chains, cruise-lines, tour companies, etc.