May 12, 2017 #AskMeredith, Blog

Marketing may seem terribly complicated when you become a travel agent.  Truth is, it can be at times, especially with all the online options available.   But when it comes down to it, marketing is a simple science. The study is human psychology.

I learned a while ago from marketing Guru Dan Kennedy, there are 5 steps up which you must lead your prospect for him or her to reach out to you and ask for your help.  I.e., pick up the phone and call you for help.

Most small businesses miss this. Many skip to step 2 and some even skip to step 3. When a client doesn’t understand your offer, you get no action. But, when you know these steps, it makes getting the phone ringing a lot easier.

Here are the 5 steps up which you must lead your prospect for him or her to call you:

1)  Awareness of the need and/or desire
In the case of a travel advisor, you must make your client aware of his desire to travel. He or she is busy and caught up with the daily stress of life. But when she’s spent the morning shoveling her car out of 12 inches of snow in her high heels to get to an important meeting, and then sees a photo in an email from you of the turquoise blue sea, white sand, blue skies and an empty hammock that’s calling her name, I can bet you she’s reminded of the desire to travel.

2)  Picking the “thing” that fulfills the need or desire
Your next step in the marketing sequence is to present to her that a quiet, Caribbean getaway is a viable solution to her frustration with the long winter, stressful schedule and lack of sleep she’s been experiencing.

3)  Picking the source for the “thing”
Now it’s time to insert yourself in the equation and why you are valuable to her. She doesn’t have time to spend countless hours on the internet looking for the right package and perfect location. You can make it all happen without her lifting a finger because of your expertise, recent personal visits to all the Caribbean islands and invaluable connections.

4)  Accepting the source’s price/value argument
IF you charge a service fee (and you should) this is where you list all the benefits you provide when working with a client. If you don’t charge a service fee, you still list the benefits of working with you instead of someone else. (Hint – this is why it’s important to specialize, target your market and own your value).

5)  Finding reasons to act now
The airlines don’t help us much in this business, but this is a rare case when they do. When in doubt, blame it on the flights. At this point you can mention that prices for flights are still reasonable, but are likely to skyrocket soon. Or you can blame it on availability, if flights don’t come into the equation. Your favorite little hotel right smack on the beach currently has availability, but with only 5 rooms, they may not last very long.

And there you have it. Your prospects must be lead up these 5 steps in your marketing efforts in order for them to reach out and call you. Mess up the order or skip some steps and your marketing becomes confusing and not worth the effort.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT:
Create a 3 or 4 part email sequence you plan to send to your existing clients, reminding them of their desire to travel. Focus on something specific like spring break, summer vacation, or a milestone birthday celebration. Just go through these 5 steps in your sequences. Try it! You might get the phone ringing!!!  If you want more guidance on marketing your new travel business and getting the phone ringing consistently, then check out our Travel MBA Program by CLICKING HERE.

By Meredith Hill