With an increasing number of home-based travel agencies, coupled with a growing number of travel management options, competition for the traveler’s dollar is as competitive as ever. But many agencies, and in particular their owners, are not very successful in marketing their travel services.
Moreover, the agency glut has led to a buyers market. It appears that fewer and fewer agencies are willing to accept the challenge and are beginning to seek shelter from larger, better-connected organizations. But even these groups are not immune to growing competitive pressures.
A suggestion: The amateurs need to decide if they are going to get into the game—or get out. It is time to make a real commitment. It’s as simple as that. Those in the business for the travel benefits need to find profitable work elsewhere so they can start buying their weekend junkets to Las Vegas.
The true professionals, those in the business to pay their mortgages, feed their families and send their kids to college, need to hone their business skills and sharpen their competitive edge.
But the good news is that there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Travel professionals simply need to take a refresher course in sales and marketing basics.
Although the competition is becoming intense, the rules of the game are remain the same:
- Rule #1: Find someone who is receptive to your help, knowing there are many more “candidates” who are not. Build a target list.
- Rule #2: Find out how you can help these people. Some will require more help than others. “One size will not fit everybody.”
- Rule #3: Do your thing. Help them and then do a little more to prove to them they hooked their wagon to the right horse. (Poetic license.)
Sound foolishly simple? It is. Then why aren’t more agencies back in the game playing by these rules? A more pressing question: Are you?
Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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