Yesterday I had a great conversation with a woman who had been in the travel business for the past two years. The first 18 months were great and then it started to taper off and now sales are down. She wanted to know what she did wrong. It could be a lot of things, but let’s look at some of the causes.
When you first start a travel business most people are very excited, and talk to absolutely everyone about what they are doing. That’s great and generates lots of interest and people start contacting them for bookings (that’s a great thing, right?). But then they get busy “working” and stop “marketing”. And once the booking wave they are riding runs its course, business slumps.
So, what do you do if you find yourself in this situation? First, evaluate your marketing. How are you adding to your prospect list? That list is one of the most valuable assets you have. It should be growing all the time. If it isn’t, address that FIRST! Getting likes on Facebook and other social media platforms is great, but you also need those people to opt-in to your marketing. Do you have a system for that? If not, get one!
Once you have the list and are focused on growing it, what are you doing to reach this list? Do you have a schedule to guide your activities? A written schedule really helps new business owners keep on track. Also look at the mix of your marketing. Is it too focused on one thing? Or is your marketing too heavily focused on vendors? Don’t do their marketing for them! They have huge marketing departments. Your marketing should focus on YOU and what you have to offer. Your ezine and social media posts are great ways to do that!
Another dangerous thing that happens to travel agents is they spend most of their time learning and not enough time marketing and selling. It is very tempting to feel like you are benefiting your business by engaging in all those vendor-sponsored training programs, but is that the best use of your time? Sure, you need to keep updated on products, but don’t spend too much time on this.
What is your energy like? Are you happy and positive about your business? If so, you are giving off great vibes. If you are putting out negative energy, you can actually be repelling business.
Finally, are you engaged with a community that inspires you and gives you great ideas. Operating all alone isn’t effective for most people. You need to interact with others who are in the industry, even if it is just “virtual” interaction!
Taking a hard look at what you are doing and evaluating it for changes can be hard. That’s another reason to have a community. You can get ideas and advice from others who have been in the same place. But doing nothing will only get you more of what you already have!