This week we have focused on the entire concept of closing as it relates to the buying process. In short, we have attempted to remove the pressure from a single point – the close- and replace it with trust and a series of understandings and commitments spread across the entirety of the relationship. In every travel planning effort, however, there is always ample opportunity to wreck a lot of good work with an unfortunate comment or misunderstanding.
Just as your mother told you, there are a few topics polite company never discuss. Avoiding select items in the course of your client encounters, no matter how tempting, will serve you well. Ironically, the consultant paradigm more easily sets the travel consultant up to make a social mistake because Read the rest of this entry »
Nobody wants to feel pressured to make a buying decision, and certainly not when planning leisure travel. Yet, in a traditional “sales” situation, both the travel agent and the consumer often find themselves in an adversarial posture, each concerned about elements of the travel planning experience. The travel professional should learn to anticipate and recognize these impediments to an open consulting relationship and remove them from the buying process. Freed from negative expectations, both the travel planner and the consumer can better relax into the buying process and appreciate it for the exciting exercise that it truly can be. Read the rest of this entry »
Traditional sales places the Close at the end of the process. The sales person asks questions, evaluates the answers and makes a presentation, after which the buyer makes a decision. Because the sales person typically has a limited range of product, the buyer’s decision is based on how well the product meets the buyer’s needs. If the sales person has what the buyer wants or needs, if the price is right, and if the buyer likes the sales person, then the buyer decides to buy from the sales person. The further into the sales process, the more time each party spends “at the table” the more pressure builds toward the close. Everything culminates in a single moment totally under the control of the buyer. Is there any wonder that the Close is the subject of great study and anxiety? Read the rest of this entry »
The goal in a consulting relationship is to clarify the client’s thinking. By obtaining commitments from the client each step of the way, there is far less pressure to “Close” the sale. Completion of the buying process becomes the logical conclusion to everything which the client has previously requested and to which they have committed. By spreading the client’s commitments throughout the buying process, pressure is taken off of a single attempt to “close” and both the client and the travel consultant will feel more confident about the decision making process.
You must have done something right, Mr. or Ms. Travel Professional. Your marketing must be working. The prospective client called and asked to meet with you. You chose a great meeting location, maybe your agency office, maybe a coffee shop. You dressed the part, you rehearsed the meeting and prepared well. You made a terrific presentation. Now it’s time to ask for the prospective client’s business. You can feel the tension. Why is closing so difficult?
Because we make it difficult. Is there any possibility shifting from a transactional model to a relationship/consulting model will remove some of the pressure of “the close?”