Tips for Selling and Marketing to Tightwads | Travel Research Online


Tips for Selling and Marketing to Tightwads

My next three columns will be focusing on different buying types. I will refer to them as “shoppers,” but I want to get something clear right here and now. There is NOTHING wrong with shopping. You do it. I do it. He, she and they do it. Lose the term. The majority of shoppers eventually make a purchase. Shoppers are good things.  Let’s begin.

Studies have shown that there are three classes of travel “shoppers:”

  1. Tightwads
  2. Spendthrifts
  3. Average

Tightwads are price-conscious, so it requires different strategies to sell successfully to them, as compared with spendthrifts and average customers.

There are a number of tried-and-tested strategies which can get even tightwads to part with their cash because they can’t resist a great deal.
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The most obvious way to sell to tightwads is to offer them a “deal.” There are a couple of ways to do this.  The first is to genuinely offer a discounted price that will make your product irresistible. Personally, I do not like the sound of the word “discount.” I think it cheapens your place in the relationship.

The second way to boost your perceived value so high that they can’t resist a “great deal” is the “value-stacking” method. In this method, you list all of the elements in the vacation with a “real value” next to each one. Then you total up the value listed. Once you’ve done that, you offer the entire package for a reasonable price. The comparison between the “real value” and the quoted price will make even the stingiest buyer considering your offer in earnest.


Bundle two or more of your services is also a way to capture attention. The new price won’t be as high as the total of the two services put together, but it will increase the value for each customer passing through your sales funnels.

You also want to create a bundle of high-perceived value by offering things in the bundle that clients won’t be able to get anywhere else. You can stack your value without spending a lot of money. Create checklists, fact sheets, tip sheets, how-to videos, and other free items that enhance the traveler’s experience. They will take some time to create, but they won’t cost any extra. Add the value-stacking technique above and make it clear that the items are exclusive, and you should have no trouble selling your brilliant bargain bundles.

Annual Memberships

I don’t know of any agencies doing this, but it may be a good enough reason for you to try it. You can promote membership by waiving your management fee to all members for a period of 12 months. For conversation sake let’s say you charge an annual fee if $150. At the end of the year, you and your members can decide if both parties in the relationship are happy with the deal.

Memberships work for airport airlines and credit cards, and it just might work for you. The primary selling feature is that you will respond to all numbers efficiently and in a timely fashion. You could also arrange some form of special deals with your preferred suppliers. There are no rules here other than to use your imagination and introduce a little bit of your creativity.


Southwest Airlines, and any number of other carriers have gained much attention by offering last minute lowball fares to certain destinations. The bottom line is that this marketing tactic works. The question remains, however, which services you can offer for a designated time that would make sense to both you, and your clients. You may have something up your sleeves here, I’m afraid in this case I am only of little help.

Use these tips and tricks, and even tightwads will want to do business with you.


Mike Marchev Mike Marchev has plenty of stories, strategies and tactics to keep you on top of your game. Ask to be placed on the distribution list to receive his periodic Motivational Memo. Click Here to Join Now.
For information on Mike’s 6-Week Online Selling Course, email Mike at with the words “sales course” in the subject box.


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