Since entering the travel industry in 1984, I have effectively uncovered a simple way to hold on to your valued clients. Notice I did not label them “customers.” I will explain why shortly.
Having recently been introduced to a shameful statistic, I thought it timely to give you my opinion on this subject. See if you can swallow this dose of reality: When interviewed, travel agents believe they retain 78% of their paying customers. When interviewed, paying customers believe this number is closer to 35%.
Let’s not quibble of a percentage point or two. The message is that travel professionals believe their retention rate is a lot higher than it is. Agents are losing customers at an alarming rate, and finding it more difficult to recapture market share.
In the interest of time, I will provide my secret remedy to this unnecessary dilemma. Here goes. Get ready for a “glaring-flash-of the-obvious.” Drum roll please: TREAT YOUR CUSTOMERS LIKE DOGS.
Pet owners know exactly what I am talking about. Those of you who have been in the company of “pet owners” know what I am talking about. The rest of you may be thinking I have gone off my rocker, and I have no plans to convert you today. As for the pet people, I need say no more. You get the picture and are endorsing my position as I wrap up this article.
As for the difference between “customers” and “clients,” a prospect becomes a customer when they buy something. Anybody can sell anything to anybody “once.” The first purchase is “nice.” The second purchase is “meaningful.” But it isn’t until the third purchase that a customer becomes a “client.”
When you come upon a new prospect, think about treating them like a dog, and then, focus on ways you can develop a relationship that will result in three transactions.
That’s my opinion. I’m just saying…
Mike Marchev is the author of the sales book titled Become The Exception and is a popular speaker at industry events. You can receive a complimentary copy of his Special Report titled “Your 12-Word Marketing Plan.” Email Mike and put the number “12” in the subject box. Also, ask about his 3rd Annual Training Cruise coming in November. Mike@MikeMarchev.com.