No, I have not gone off the deep end here. Last week, I ended up buying a new lounge chair when a local company called me up and asked. I was not in the market for a new lounge chair. I did not need one. But, the price was right and I bought. And you know what? I may be in the market for a couch and coffee table in the next year; and guess who I will likely be calling? And that is what got me thinking.
Cold calling is generally maligned. People imagine the vacuum cleaner salesman tossing dirt into your home (flashback to that I Love Lucy episode) or the irritating door-o-door encyclopedia salesmen of the 60s. But it doesn’t need to be that way.
Now to be fair, I really do not expect a travel counselor to make a call and hang up with a booking. It could happen, but I certainly would not count on it. The fact is that cold calling works, not every time but often enough to make it worth your while.
Use technology to your advantage. Use the Facebook search feature to find people in your area that have shown interest in some sort of travel. You can likely do a Google search to get a phone number or email and reach out. If this sounds too time consuming, look into outsourcing it. Right now, Fiverr has a lot of people looking make a few extra bucks from home.
Make sure you are prepared. Preparation is even more critical now than if someone called or came to see you. If there ever was a time to be sure your vale shines through this is it. Most people will not be in the buying mood when you call or email them. But they may be receptive to talk.
This is the beginning of a relationship.
A sample opening (on the phone) might go something like this:
Hi there Ms. Smith, my name is Tammy Travelpro and we are a local travel agency based here in Yourtown. While no one is really traveling much these days, we wanted to reach out to make sure you had our information on hand when things begin to open up. It will be a new complex world of travel for sure and we are prepared to help you navigate it. Unfortunately, a website is not going to be able to do that effectively. Anyhow, would I be able to email you some information about me and our agency?
And there you go. Permission to start a relationship. And when you send that info (sell sheet on your agency and your bio), you need to make sure they are encouraged to sign up for your newsletter—give them the link and be sure to set the expectations on quantity and timing.
Reaching out by email? This might work:
Hi there Ms. Smith, my name is Tammy Travelpro and we are a local travel agency based here in Yourtown. While no one is really traveling much these days, we wanted to reach out to make sure you had or information on hand when things begin to open up. It will be a new complex world of travel for sure and we are prepared to help you navigate it. Unfortunately, a website is not going to be able to do that effectively. Anyhow, I am attaching some information about me as well as our agency and you can just keep it on file for when we are all comfortable moving about the world again. We’d love to earn your business.
PS: If you are interested in keeping up on the status of travel, an occasional deal, and what is happing with our agency, here’s a link to sign up for a b-weekly newsletter)
Simple. Not pushy. And establishing your value—helping the client to navigate travel in a post pandemic world. Which, by the way, might be a great topic for a hosted Zoom Presentation.
As we all wind or way through staying in business and coming up with ways to thrive in the future, we need to consider all options. Old school may be new school. What worked in 2019, may not work in 2021. What didn’t work in 2019, may be just the ticket for success in 2021.
Keep your eyes open, and I am sure you will see an opportunity.
Do you have any ideas or thoughts? Leave a comment!