The following is Part Two of the series “The 7 Characteristics of Top Travel Agents“
Each of the top travel agents that we interviewed for this series had a niche. That is not to say that they only booked one type of travel or only a single destination, but there was at least one type of travel on which they were the absolute experts and they did it very, very well. It might have been a destination like Hawaii, or a theme like safaris or river cruising, but these top travel agents had made expertise in their niche a mission.
By specializing in a particular destination or theme, top agents are able to become experts in a much more directed and concentrated fashion. They can speak with authority on their topic and can better understand the demographics on which to focus their marketing.
The agents we interviewed used their niche as a way to forge a local and even national reputation. They had been to their niche destinations dozens, and in some cases even hundreds, of times and knew it intimately, as an insider. They wrote about their niche, they had websites devoted to the niche, and as far as each was concerned, they had no equal in their niche.
Exercise – Choose a niche market for which you have some affinity. Decide that next year, you will devote at least 25% of your time developing your niche as a specialty in your travel practice. Set up a FAM trip or visit to the destination if possible. Next, study the suppliers for your niche destination or theme. Choose several to decide on the best ones to work with on your project. If you need assistance, use the TRO Community to ask other agents for suggestions on good suppliers with which to work.
Integrate your niche into next year’s marketing plans. Open a file to aggregate information. Spend some time on the internet studying the marketing of others in similar niches. What are their unique selling points? What elements seem essential? What is missing from their marketing?
Finally, spend some time figuring out the demographic of your selected niche. Where do the people who are in that niche market congregate? How can you best reach them? What will be your best approach to the market? Chances are, you will quickly realize that not far out of your reach is a group of potential clients just waiting for you to grace them with your presence.
As you develop your 2009 marketing plan, refine your initial observations on a niche for full integration into your overall strategy.
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