Reason # 3: Travel consulting is a people business. The more people you meet and know, the more opportunity you have to grow your business. It really is that simple. Yet, many travel agents shy away from the fundamentals of good solid marketing basics – networking, word of mouth and public relations. The tactics that make up these three marketing strategies are absolutely key to growing most travel consulting businesses. Your task is to create an association in the minds of the people you meet – when they think of travel, they think of you. Networking, word of mouth and public relations are the way you create, amplify and increase the strength of that association.
This is not to say that there are not other marketing strategies that will pay real dividends. But almost all other marketing strategies are extensions of these three basic tactical arrays. Social marketing, for example, is networking and word of mouth carried out in an electronic format. Advertising is a form of public relations. Smart travel consultants eager to grow their travel practice will learn the basics of marketing and work on their people skills.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that marketing skills are equally important, perhaps more so, than destination and product knowledge. You can have all of the product knowledge in the world, but if your people skills are poor, it won’t matter. However, with excellent people skills, you can discover your client’s needs and research what you need to know to satisfy those immediate needs. I’m not arguing that product knowledge is not important – it certainly is. I am arguing, however, for the importance of training yourself in the fundamentals of basic marketing and people skills. People do business with people they like.
Ask yourself these questions about last week:
- With how many of my existing clients did I speak?
- How many of my existing clients did I ask for referrals?
- With how many new people did I meet and discuss travel?
- On how many public relations programs did I work?
I promise you that the higher the number is for each question, the more business you are doing.
Want to grow your business? Develop your people skills and network, develop a word of mouth campaign and work though some public relations efforts. The results will show.
Tomorrow: Consistency and Constancy