Don’t sell, seduce your clients | TravelResearchOnline


Don’t sell, seduce your clients

People don’t just want to be educated about the fabulous trips you can plan for them. They want to be seduced.

That’s right, seduced.

Being seduced is an exhilarating experience. Of course, we want to be educated and make rational decisions that optimize our goals. But we also yearn to be romanced, swayed, enchanted, and swept swept away in one fell swoop. We seek brains and beauty. Is that an unrealistic paradox?

It doesn’t have to be.

First, don’t confuse seduction with deception. Being seduced is fun. Being deceived is not. It’s unfortunate, but look around and you will see that many advertisements have confused the two. But the best brands pursue “honest seduction,” touching the consumer emotionally as a way to begin a genuine, mutually rewarding relationship.

There are few people that have not been seduced by Apple. Apple seduces consumers, and their customers love them for it. While there’s plenty of educational content to be found deep within their site; take a look at their home page, their stores, emails and any of their advertising and you will see that they rely more on the visual seduction than any technical information. I have a MacBook Air and an iPad; and to be honest, I could not begin to tell you the specs. But I can tell you that it looks cool, and most importantly it works reliably all the time.

There is no reason that you can’t create that same type of marketing for your agency—albeit on a much smaller scale.   We have already beaten to death the notion that price is the deciding factor—it isn’t. So with price out of the way, why do so many agencies create marketing promotions that highlight the price? $399 Bahamas Weekend!!!  Cruise for $50 per person per day!!!!  Hello? Do you want to eat? Imagine yourself out on the town one night and an attractive person catches your eye. They can seduce you with a shared drink and stimulating conversation. The smell of their perfume or cologne may enthrall you. The way they lightly touch you as your talk may thrill you and send chills up your spine.  Or, they can tell you that their rate is $250 a night plus the motel room! Your call!

What led to the seduction? The visual clues. The scent-ual clues. The tactile clues. The non-verbal clues.  Do you have these clues in your marketing arsenal? Here are three must-haves for you:

Video—self-made or from YouTube. Nothing speaks louder than video. Video will bring a customer into the experience. Short of actually traveling, it allows then to see and feel what the experience may be like. Watch this experience and tell me you weren’t seduced. I dare you!

Photo albums. You travel. Your clients travel. Make sure you ask for copies of some of their photos. Host them on Flickr or another photo sharing site and catalog them by destination and by resort/ship, etc. If I have a client on the fence about a week at Beaches Turks and Caicos, I will burn a quick DVD and include client and agency photos from past years for that particular trip. No marketing fluff here (and I do believe that as a whole, travel suppliers come very close to that deception line with their marketing materials), just real people just like them having a great time on one of my trips!

Testimonials. Testimonials are great. But they are inherently boring and immediately suspicious. We all have them on our sites. “Oh, Mary did such a great job with our trip to blah, blah, blah. And we will recommend you to all of our friends, blah, blah, blah.”  First of all, what makes you think anyone believes those? Testimonials are easy to write and impossible to verify.  But, they are a necessary evil and should be a part of your overall marketing. But instead of letting your customers read about how great you are—let someone else tell them.  When your clients return from a trip, ask if they can be used as a future reference. Ask if they will allow you to share their email address and phone number with customers who are interested in a similar trip. It is not imposing. It is flattering. But the greatest benefit is that your new customer will be blown away. For decades, I was a PC guy. How did I come to buy my Mac? From hearing other users tell me how great the product was and how it would fit my needs!

Are you seducing your clients? Tell me how in the comments!



  One thought on “Don’t sell, seduce your clients

  1. Betsy LaVier says:

    “Watch this experience and tell me you weren’t seduced. I dare you!”

    Seduced? NO!
    Appalled? Yes!

    I’m still trying to uncurl my toes from them desperately trying to cling to my tile floor. I was scared out of my wits, out of breath, and am still feeling slightly queasy. Who had the guts to work on originally building that path?

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