Reason # 2: A company’s USP is its Unique Selling Point – something that makes it different from all other companies of its type. Is there something about your business that is so unique that customers would do business with you based on that one quality alone? A reason to do business with you rather than the agency down the street or online with Travelocity? If so, you have located your USP and are on the way to better understanding how to build a smart marketing campaign based on that uniqueness. If you have not emphasized your USP in your marketing, then consumers are likely to pass you over for any number of similarly positioned travel agencies – you are just one of the crowd.
Fortunately, most travel agencies do indeed have a very valuable asset that distinguishes them from all other retail travel companies or online travel agencies – people. Your travel agency’s human resources are not duplicated anywhere else. Somewhere in your personnel – whether you are a 500 person agency or a one person home based business is very likely your Unique Selling Point. It’s important for you to be able to coax your USP into a statement to which your clients can relate. Don’t settle for a statement like “great service” – everyone promises “great service” and merely repeating it in your own marketing campaigns will hardly differentiate you.
What about the way you use travel to change your client’s lives? What about your policy of working with clients for a lifetime to achieve all of their travel ambitions? What about that niche you know so well that all of your clients are dazzled by the absolutely fantastic quality of their travel experiences? Notice that at the heart of each of these USP’s is the client. Your USP is not a feature – it’s a benefit to your client.
Sit down and list the things that make you as a travel consultant unique. Is it your passion? Is it the number of years you have been in the business? Is it the destinations you have visited? What about your destination specialist training? Perhaps your unique insight into a particular niche market qualifies as a Unique Selling Point.
Once you have determined your USP, distill it down into a few coherent sentences that relate directly to a client benefit. Continue to work on your USP until you can reduce it to a tag line. Now integrate your USP into all of your marketing collateral – make it a central focal point of your brand. Once you find your USP, hold it out for the world to see and you will have fashioned for yourself a unique positioning in your client’s eyes.
Tomorrow: Networking, Word of Mouth and Public Relations