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Tropical Travelers — Psst, did you hear about..

Advertising.  What works? What doesn’t?  As a business owner, I could spend all day on this conundrum.  I feel as if I’ve tried it all–newspaper, wedding magazines, bridal shows, local magazines, pay-per-click, radio, even television.  I haven’t seen any kind of response except from pay-per-click.  And we all know, that can get quite costly very quickly.

It seems that in talking with people, they still don’t know where to turn when booking vacations. They have no idea how to find a trusted agent who specializes in their ideal locations. How do we reach these people? Is the local chamber of commerce the trick? Or a networking group perhaps? I’m not sure how I feel about these types of meet-ups considering many of them want you to bring leads to share. I’m not a huge advocate of the “salesman” mentality, so giving out a client’s names to a group of people isn’t really my thing.

I truly believe that word of mouth is our best advertisement. And while it’s free, how do you get people to chat about you to their friends, family and co-workers?

I always go to a nail salon about 20 minutes from my house. Between my home and the salon, I pass a dozen other nail salons. Why do I drive 20 minutes? Well, they all seem to cost about the same price. However, my salon does thing s a bit differently. They take your bag and place it in a neat little container next to your chair so it’s not sitting on the floor. They give you a 20-minute leg massage if you are getting a pedicure. Hot stones, warm towels, paraffin dip and a 10-minute back massage are all part of the price. This morning I needed a quick manicure and didn’t have time to run there, so I went to a new place down the street. I was in and out in about 18 minutes. No extras–none. For me, on this trip, it was fine as I was in a hurry; but I won’t go back.

I’ve told at least 20 people about my “extras” nail salon. Some people will drive 30-minutes just because they treat you well and make it a relaxing experience. I believe we all need to spend a little less time and money on the actual advertising and a little more time on making our current clients very happy with our services. Word of mouth is everything in this business.

What techniques do you implement in your day-to-day business dealings with clients that would make them tell others about you?

Jennifer Byrne is the owner of The Tropical Travelers (www.thetropicaltravelers.com) in Malvern, PA. For more information, you can contact Jennifer at jennifer@thetropicaltravelers.com.

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