The six weeks or so between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is a special time in our home. Like most families, we have our “Griswold” like traditions. The biggest being, our annual tree excursion. This always takes place the day after Thanksgiving – no exceptions. As our girls have gotten older, their boyfriends have thankfully helped out. They have been good sports as we (my wife) often spend hours searching for that “perfect” tree.
Once we get home, the annual ordeal of getting the tree just right in the stand and then the decorating begins. This is one of our favorite traditions. When we travel, we always purchase a simple ornament from each country or city we visit to hang on the tree. As each ornament is strategically placed on a branch, we fondly recall each trip and what it meant to us. The wonderful family times we had including the teenage meltdowns (particularly the one in Budapest). Needless to say this process goes on into the night.
Our tree is a reflection of our lives – who we are and where we have been. This is what we like to share with friends and family, for you see, every ornament has a story. We collect stories and experiences.
The past few years, people are purchasing what they value and emotionally connect with the most: homes, automobiles, and vacation experiences. Yet, as an industry, we continue to focus on selling product.
The customer is telling us what they want; in fact, they are practically begging for it.
Vacation marketers (suppliers) get this. Just look at a brochure. They paint a vivid picture of the experience they deliver on the front pages and leave the deck plans, diagrams, and terms & conditions to the back pages.
I get promotional emails from several agencies every day. We are the ones driving the fact that consumers are buying on price – why wouldn’t they? It seems to be the only way we know how to get their attention. This is why there is so much competition among travel professionals. We all present the same products the same way. The only difference is usually price.
But what would happen if we started prioritizing the experience? Based on all the research, it’s what people want to buy.
Consumers rarely make rational purchase decisions; they buy on emotion. Price doesn’t deliver an emotion, but an experience will. Over the next few weeks a lot of families, like yours and mine, will be unwrapping their ornaments, reminiscing about their travel experiences as they trim their tree. Will your clients be among them?
Dan Chappelle is a professional business advisor and best-selling author. His training and consulting firm helps develop sales focused business leaders and entrepreneurs in the travel and tourism industry.
His book, Get Your S.H.I.P. Together: The Wealthy Travel Agent Guide to Sales, is available on Amazon.com. For information on the Wealthy Travel Agent Academy’s business transformation programs, visit: www.DanChappelle.com