Think of a time when you’ve been out shopping. You’re looking for a specific item. A sales clerk asks if they can help. You tell them what you’re looking for, and they steer you to a different brand, or a product with more bells and whistles than you want. Most likely, they make more money on that product than what you want to purchase. You get frustrated and leave. Why? The clerk is not thinking about you. And, that’s what this particular sale is all about – YOU.
Selling travel is not about the sales person. It’s about the customer and what he or she wants and how you can fulfill that want.
Most professionals have heard the old adage that nothing happens in business until someone sells something (or buys something). Those words are so true for a travel agency. If your background is in sales, you already understand this.
Take the following principles to heart:
- Vacations do not sell themselves.
- Just because you like something doesn’t mean anyone else will.
- People may want a certain vacation without being willing (or able) to pay the price.
- People may think they’d buy a vacation, but when given the chance, they might not.
- People may say your price on a vacation is too high, even it that’s not the reason they won’t buy it.
Your job, as a trained travel professional, is to take yourself out of the picture entirely, and find the comfort level of your customer. Maybe that luxury vacation is beyond your means, but don’t let that be a reason to make you uncomfortable selling it to clients who are easily able to afford it. And, maybe a supplier is offering a bonus commission, or you happen to really like your BDM, but those factors can’t really be the reason to sell a certain supplier to a client. Determining the prospect’s wants and desires for that dream vacation and fulfilling them is your job. Always, always, always, keep in the forefront of your mind that “It’s not about you.” It’s ONLY about your customers and what they want.