The following is Part Four of the series “The 7 Characteristics of Top Travel Agents“
Each of the top travel agents in our study recognized an important and subtle truth – they were not selling travel, they were selling themselves. They were selling their expertise. They were selling their knowledge and insight. They were selling their affiliations and associations, and access to their relationships.
Think about the importance of this understanding of the role of the travel consultant. Clients can buy travel anywhere, and there is always someone willing to sell travel cheaper than you.
If you are selling yourself, however, you cannot be shopped around. You are not available cheaper elsewhere. If you are selling yourself, you have no competition, because there is only one you. You become your own unique selling point. You are the product.
Exercise – As you develop the broad outlines of your 2009 marketing plan, orient your collateral around your own personality. Write a few paragraphs about why you are in travel. What professional training do you have? Of what associations are you a member? To what consortia do you belong? Where have you traveled? What is your philosophy of travel and customer service?
Develop these paragraphs into a “story” about yourself and then place it at the heart of the marketing materials you are developing for 2009. People identify with a good narrative. Spend time developing your own.
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