For the past few days, we have been discussing the importance of possessing a marketing mindset that understands the necessity of an emotional connection with your travel clients. Most advertising seeks to touch an emotional “hot button” with a viewer that appeals to either a sense of well-being or a sense of fear. The most effective marketing speaks far more in favor of well-being and addresses the benefits to the client of doing business with the marketer. As we indicated yesterday, advertising and marketing that appeals directly to fear runs the risk of being viewed as manipulative and inauthentic. However, that does not mean that you should ignore the fears and concerns clients have about travel in general and working with a travel agent in particular.
At the core of every good marketing campaign is the effort to establish a relationship. Good marketing is empathetic with the needs, desires and concerns of the consumer. Demonstrate a real interest in your client’s welfare. Seek to understand the pain that travelers feel when they plan travel. Address those concerns in terms of the benefit to the traveler and invite further conversation about travel and its logistics.
- Fear of not getting a “good deal”
- Fear of spending too much money or spending poorly
- Fear of foreign destinations
- Fear of discomfort
- Fear of flying
- Fear of being away from home and work
People love to talk about travel – the need to share travel experiences is one of the great aspects of our industry. But also give your clients an opportunity to speak of their hesitations and concerns, and address them openly and easily. Your concern for their best interests will show through.Every good travel agent marketer has it – the marketing mindset. A travel agent who is also a good marketer knows that opportunity sometimes presents itself in unusual ways. The opportunity may come in the form of a recession – and a subsequent fall in the cost of travel – or in a chance introduction to a new client.
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Continue building trust with your newsletters, blogs and other client communications. Ensure that every effort implicitly speaks to core values in a consistent tone. Give your clients and potential clients lots of ways to get in touch with you: email, address, phone and website URL.
Finally, be a true consultant. Rather than “selling travel” assist your clients in making a smart buying decision. Empower them by providing insight, facts and honest recommendations. Answer questions in a straightforward manner without any deviation that might signal to the client that you are keeping information from them. Empathetically appreciate your client’s concerns in the travel planning process, address those concerns, and you will earn not only their trust, but loyalty as well.
Be there for the client and they will be there for you.