How would you answer if challenged with the simple question of “who are you and why are you here?” The travel agent seeking to also be a good marketer should be able to clearly communicate their brand with enough frequency and volume to be noticed and enough clarity to be understood. Too often, however, travel agents fail to sharply define their market position.
The travel agent who is also a marketer will be able to differentiate themselves from others in the market. A strong marketing position will also demonstrate the agent’s credentials, the proof of their right to be where they are and doing what they do. Finally, a well-positioned travel agent is always in motion, focused and constantly maintaining their market status. Accomplishing all of this takes perseverance and passion, and a drive to be truly excellent.
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Everything begins with the personality of the individual agent, and the authentic passion they demonstrate for the craft of travel planning. It is not enough to merely be passionate about travel, there must also be a passion about assisting others to travel well. The smart travel agent recognizes their innate talents and then crystallizes those abilities into a unique selling point, a brand that clients can instantly see. Confident in their ability, good travel agents know how they are different from others in the market. They continually work to refine their abilities and to make their brand accessible to consumers by ensuring that their brand message is absolutely clear in every point of contact with the public. Once they have defined themselves, they maintain their brand and remain true to it. On occasion, this will cost them a client or a sale. The travel agent who has defined themselves via their expertise and devotion to quality will not bemoan the loss of a client over a challenge to “beat a price”. The authentic travel agent will remain true to his or her own values and ideals.
What sets you apart? Good marketers understand what makes them truly different from other travel consultants. What is your point of differentiation? If you cannot figure out who you are, the public will not be able to figure it out either. The mandate to clarify, refine and articulate your brand message is an absolute requirement for success. If you suffer from an inability to articulate who you are as an agent, then your clients will be equally confused about why they should use you.
What qualities do you own? What makes you unique? As an exercise write down your unique qualities and clarify them. How do you communicate those qualities? What do you do every day that demonstrates them to your employees, the public and your clients? How does your advertising and marketing collateral bear out your identity?
It’s time you discovered who you are.