Despite the rumors, travel agencies are very much alive. The ones that came out of COVID are stronger than ever and are doing record business. Unfortunately, along with that strength comes strengthened competition, and it becomes more challenging to set yourself apart from the agency down the street—or across the country. So how do you do it?
First off, let’s agree that we all sell the same product; there are very few suppliers that are exclusive to specific agencies. And while pricing may vary a bit, it is not significant enough to make that much difference. What wins the sale for the best agencies is the presentation of the product. How well do the agents know the product? The destination? How well do they know the client? And how close they are to “top of mind” in the client’s head. So how to get there? Here’s a thought.
Mike Marchev always says if a client is not thinking about you, they’re forgetting about you. So with all things equal (price, knowledge, product, etc.), be different! Be memorable.
Did you send your clients an April Fool’s email? Wave season is waning, and we should all drum up some spring and summer trips. Graduation is around the corner.
Imagine an email touting a “new” cruise line with some ridiculous amenities (ok, so many of the new amenities are pretty out there in real life, so it may take some creative thinking), but zip lines between sister ships or unique opportunities to drive the ship and be the captain. Maybe it’s a new ship capable of accommodating a medium-sized town, and everyone is signing up to cruise. Hype it up. Make it ridiculous. And have the “learn more” link head to your site disclosing…
And continue about how great the actual amenities are on the new ships and how affordable they can be, and offer some specials that are not fooling around. Be humble and have fun with it.
“Travel is a fun experience, and we like fun. I hope you enjoyed our April Fool’s foolery and when it comes time to travel, please keep us in mind.”
A simple promotion like this will bring three types of people to the surface.
- The gullible. These believed it all—hook, line, and sinker. And when they click through to get that deal, they are going to laugh.
- The skeptics. They saw through it right away. But they are clicking through to see what else you have come up with, and they too are going to laugh.
- The grimaces. They may or may not have bought it. They will also likely click through, scowl and close the window. You probably don’t want them as a client.
But through this all, all joking aside, you have touched your prospects on a day that they least expected it. And you can bet they will not be forgetting you for a bit. And that makes Mike Marchev happy!