Mike Marchev has a saying every travel agent should repeat each day: “Your clients are somebody else’s prospects.” With others in the marketplace vying for the attention of your clients, it is important for you to consider exactly how accessible the public perceives your travel business. Accessibility is sum of the characteristics that makes you easy to remember, easy to find, approachable, likable, and worthy of trust. Each of these elements are wrapped up in your approach to the market and should be given fair consideration as you position your company in your community. Read the rest of this entry »
How well do you know your competition? This week we have discussed the need to properly position your travel agency in the market, largely by defining the characteristics that set it apart. Each travel agency should seek to find some unique selling point that will convince clients to do business with them over all others. However, without some subtle market research you face the possibility of not knowing how to position your agency versus your competition. If your travel agency and the one down the street are both stressing your expertise in Costa Rica as your unique selling point, or if you both offer “excellent customer service” then your selling points are not unique! Read the rest of this entry »
A large part of your identity as a travel consultant is made up of the credentials you earn over time. The word “credential” comes from the Latin credentialis (giving authority), derived from credentia (trust). Credentials are a third-party attestation of competence and skill. Typically, credentials have two sources. The first are the credentials you earn through study and testing, the type of credential that result in certificates from trade associations, The Travel Institute, CLIA and others. The second source for your credentials, however, is the story that you build through the work you do each day for clients, and you need to make those credentials as tangible as a destination specialist designation. Read the rest of this entry »
Positioning a company, and retaining hard-fought-for positioning, depends on a strong core brand message, clearly articulated. The unique selling point differentiating your company from all others must be clearly and consistently articulated. Like any message, however, branding can be distorted and misinterpreted if not properly transmitted at its source. Read the rest of this entry »
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. Read the rest of this entry »
Why should anyone do business with you? Can you articulate your value as a travel counselor? If the value of a service cannot be articulated it cannot be marketed. In fact, if the value of a service cannot be articulated it cannot be understood and, therefore, is likely to be misunderstood.
Being able to position your company’s unique value is a big part of the branding exercise and necessary to engineering the way that the public perceives your travel practice. When you position your travel practice, you set the expectations that the public has when they do business with you. The good thing about positioning is that, as the word implies, it is largely under your control. You get to determine the key psychological understanding the public takes away from your marketing efforts. Read the rest of this entry »
Travel agents putting together a marketing plan for their travel agency are sometimes stymied by the concept of differentiation. In essence, differentiation is that collection of key attributes that set your travel agency apart from all others – the reason a client would rather work with you than with your competitor. By and large, any agency can offer the same cruises, tours and travel programs. So what Unique Selling Point (another way of speaking about differentiation) can an agency offer? Read the rest of this entry »