After a large sale last week, I was reminded of the importance of follow-up. The sale was for two families at Christmas and it was for $26,000.00.
After closing a sale, I always ask the client what the main reasons were that caused them to purchase from us. I find that this is a great learning experience for us to tweak or modify our sales approach. When I asked this client her response was a number of the usual reasons, ” your extensive product knowledge, your taking the time to really understand our vacation requirements and matching your recommendations to our requirements and budget.” She also mentioned one other area that kind of surprised me. She told me that, as we had discussed she had received quotes from 3 other agencies. None of the other quotes hit the mark like ours but, she thought it strange that none of the other agencies followed up with her on the quotes they send like we did. I had called her to see if she had received our quotes, did she have any questions and did she want to go over the quotes. She did have some questions and we also went over the quotes and narrowed it down to one resort. She called the next day and booked it. Three days later I called her and she told me that she still had not heard from any of the other agents.
Follow-up, in my opinion is one of the most important and widely used steps in the sales process followed only by answering objections. You use it when a client contacts you for a quote, you should use it after you send the quote, You should use it if you have not heard from the client, you should use it to Thank the client for the order, you use it right before the client travels, you use it after the client returns, and you use it to stay in touch with the client for future vacations.
As you can see, it is a major step in the sales process. In my opinion it is hard to over-use the follow-up step. The only time it should be stopped is if the client requests that you stop contacting them. if you continue at this point it will border on stalking.
I think that a lot of agents don’t follow-up enough because of the big fear in sales, the fear of rejection. They feel more more comfortable with no feedback rather than hearing that dreaded word NO. When you think about it, hearing no, after sending a quote, opens up a lot more options than not hearing anything. It allows you to answer any objections, real or perceived, clear up any misunderstandings, or change your sales tactic.
Follow-up should be fun for both the agent and the client. Remember, we are selling travel experiences, not cemetery plots.
Follow-up often with your clients or another agent will.
Geoff Millar is the Co-Owner of Ultimate All-Inclusive Travel Inc., specializing in All-Inclusive Resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean for Honeymoons, Weddings, Families, and Groups. www.ultimateall-inclusivetravel.com
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