Three Focus Areas for Future Success | Travel Research Online


Three Focus Areas for Future Success

I am going out on a limb here and say that your sales are down. Coming out of a pandemic, we are going to need every sale we can get to re-build our travel practices. Over the past 20 months, we (society in general) seem to have forgotten how to behave and interact with other humans. That will need to change. When it comes to sales and in particular selling travel, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels, and we need our “A-Game” to thrive once again. Complacency has a way of seeping into our world—I know it does mine; so here’s a refresher on three key focus areas for future success!

Answering The Phone

“Sally’s Travel, how can I help you?” may have worked in the 90s, but not today. This sounds boring. Is this Sally? You sound boring. Mix it up and show enthusiasm and excitement. This is usually the first interaction a potential client will have with you. Introduce yourself, say your name, and be excited about the call.  If you are too busy and bothered, it will show. If you are too busy, it is better to let a voicemail handle it until you can get back to them.

And a note on voicemail, that same enthusiasm needs to be in your message. Say you are sorry to have missed the call (and mean it) and let them know specifically when to expect a return call.

Qualifying The Client

Understand that no one wants to be sold to. Clients come to you for advice and guidance, not to be sold. Chances are they are already sold when they contact you; you just need to seal the deal. Do not launch into a litany of profile-filling questions like “what was your most memorable vacation”. No one has time for that, and it is very apparent that you are just fishing for information to regurgitate in a pitch that might not need to be pitched.

Identify the potential stumbling blocks and address them. Advising a cruise client to arrive a day before departure is not an up-sell tactic, it is a practical tactic. Remember, you are the expert, and they came to you. Ask the questions you need to ask to satisfy their need. And of course, you want to use the answers in your CRM to continue to build their profile. And you also want to keep your ears open for other information offered that might be useful like “yeah, I have another year of college loans to pay off and I will be able to breathe a sigh of relief.” What might you be able to do with that tidbit of info?

The Follow-Up

The initial follow-up is critical. As soon as you complete an initial conversation (in person, on the phone, email, web form, etc.) follow up with a thank you and recap the information and process that is to follow.

Follow up with a sense of purpose. In a typical booking, there are dozens of moving parts. Do not bombard a client with all of them in a dozen emails, texts, or voicemails (you did ask for their preferred method of communication, right?) Gather all your outstanding needs and bundle them in a single email or web form and keep them in one space. Of course, if there is a last-minute change or additional information is required, supplement it.

As we all move forward, we need to remember that our clients are coming to us much more informed than ever before. They are likely working harder than ever before and do not have the time or patience for wasting their precious time. And they know that we are not the only game in town and there is a willing competitor a few presses away on that smartphone in their pocket. As we look to 2022 and beyond, we must keep our eyes on the ball and make sure that we are focusing on the areas that really matter!


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