Even if you can’t put a price on it, you know that getting a new client is more expensive than keeping an existing client. Despite this, many agents put the majority of their focus on getting new clients rather than nurturing those they already have. Why? Perhaps it is because they feel confident that they have locked up their current clients for life. But is that really the case? I bet if you looked at your list of clients for the past 5 years you might be surprised at how many you haven’t rebooked.
Sure, there are going to be clients on that list that haven’t been traveling (likely for health or financial reasons), but there are more than have been traveling and haven’t been calling you to help them. It happens to almost every agent in the business. For many agents they look back on their interactions with the client and can’t think of anything they did wrong. And they are right. They didn’t do anything wrong. But they didn’t do anything particularly memorable either.
CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) published results of a survey a few years ago that said that while most cruisers booked their cruise through an agent, they didn’t usually work with the same agent twice. The number one reason? The agent wasn’t particularly memorable.
Does that mean you need to discount or buy elaborate gifts for clients? No. For many travelers the “memorable” part comes after the purchase is made. Imagine a client books a vacation with you today for travel in October. Their deposit is due in August and you reach out to them to process that, and perhaps you send them documents just before travel, but what else do you do?
And after they return home what do you do to help them remember you? Please don’t make the mistake of thinking your client remembers your name or has your contact information. No matter how much they enjoyed working with you, it is very likely they can’t easily put their hands on your contact information. And when their co-workers tells them about the agent they work with, that could be the end of your relationship. You didn’t do anything wrong, you just weren’t memorable.
So, how do you make yourself memorable? Make sure you have a plan for periodic communication with the client between booking and travel. And after travel make sure you are in touch with them at least once a month. You may think that sounds like a lot, but research shows that it isn’t. And sorry, but posting on your social media accounts doesn’t count.
Do you have a newsletter you send via email? That “ezine” is a great way to keep in touch with clients. It gives you a great way to stay in touch with them and allows you to demonstrate your expertise. Do you have other ways you like to stay in touch? I’d love to hear what works for you. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will choose one person at random from the responses I get and send a great assortment of travel accessories that you can keep for yourself or give to clients. I look forward to hearing from you!