As an independent travel agent, you’re always looking for ways to drum up new business and increase sales.
Sure, everybody wants to make more money – but are you going about it the right way? Remember, you always have to ensure that you have your customers’ well-being at the forefront of any new business strategy.
As a travel agent, you’re in the people business.
Here are some tips to help you sell more travel:
ASK YOUR CLIENTS WHAT YOU’RE DOING RIGHT (AND WRONG)
Set yourself apart from your competition by really understanding what you’re doing right and wrong for your business. Getting your customers’ opinions will make them feel important. They’ll give you valuable feedback on their pain points, their issues and how to solve them.
HIGHLIGHT THE BENEFITS OF WORKING WITH YOU
You’re different from every other travel agent in the industry – market your uniqueness. Rather than spewing out the same old sales pitches that everybody else is doing, show your expertise through blogging. Want to highlight how personal you are? Send an e-mail about some of your favorite little hideaways or chat with your clients about their dream vacations (and save that info for later).
Consumers can book the simple trips themselves (e.g. point-to-point trips such as NYC to Las Vegas). Travelers really need agents for complex trips (e.g. longer international trips or cruises). Your energy and specialization should be on these complex trips. You should be able to present your customers with solutions to their travel problems, and organize their itinerary to their needs.
DEVELOP UNIQUE EXPERIENCES (AND SPECIAL ACCESS!)
This is where InteleTravel comes in with access to thousands of exclusive blocked cruises and special access with our preferred partners. You are part of InteleTravel for a reason: utilize us! The more you can get clients access to special events or people, the more differentiated you are.
MASTER YOUR SALES PITCH
Have you perfected your pitch if clients ask: “Tell me about yourself and your agency,” or “What makes you different from other agents?” What are the top three messages in your pitch? Are they memorable? Are they unique? Craft these and memorize them.
ENGAGE IN SOCIAL MEDIA
Don’t just create some social media profiles and post deals. Believe it or not, nobody is really interested in that information on social. Instead, focus on building engaging communities. Post travel products, favorite destinations, share experiences, and lend true value to your followers. Doing this will eventually lead them to go to you for all their travel questions…and bookings.
FIND A TRAVEL NICHE AND SPECIALIZE
Choose a few destinations or activities and resolve to be a better expert at them than anyone else. Today, consumers now have access to so much travel information at their fingertips that they have themselves become “generalist travel agents.” When they seek help, they’re seeking a true specialist.
BE RESPONSIBLE, RELIABLE AND REACHABLE
These days, everyone has a smartphone. Even when you’re not at the office, use a smartphone to be extremely responsive through voice, email, and social media. Use Google Voice to have one number that rings you at your landline, mobile, or any other number. Staying on top of things and keeping your clients informed will ensure that you can repeat customers.
OFFER ADDED VALUE
Want to really blow your clients away and secure future bookings? Give them something extra. If you know that they really love a certain type of food (which you should know, since you take a personal approach and learn all you can about your clients), why not give them a gift card to a particularly delicious restaurant at their destination? Are they booking a honeymoon? Give the gift of a complementary bottle of wine upon the newlyweds’ arrival. These little things go a long way.
Something more you can do is to offer clients that extra something that they won’t get online. Paying special attention to their preferences, goes a long way. By showing your clients that they’re special, they’ll stick around for a long time too.
NEVER STOP LEARNING AND EMBRACE CHANGE
The best agents are constantly educating themselves. Whether that’s on industry news, marketing skills or sales tactics… don’t stop consuming information. This industry has changed tremendously and the pace of change will only accelerate. Be a constant student of best practices and be ready to adapt and adopt new ways of doing things….no matter how many years you’ve been in the industry.
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Please call Steve at 210-960-7243