September 21, 2017 #AskMeredith, Blog

With so many DIY options for travelers to book their own vacations, a great question to ask, when you become a travel agent, is what does it take for a traveler to want a travel agents’ help? Marketing guru, Dan Kennedy, actually has the answer for you in his 5 steps to getting a client to reach out to you and ask for your help.

Most small businesses fail to realize there are so many steps in the process. 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 to getting a client to ask for your help. When you become a travel agent, it’s YOUR job to lead your prospect down these steps through your marketing:

  1. Awareness of the need and/or desire

In the case of a travel advisor, you must make your client aware of his desire for travel advice, wisdom, and/or expertise. You do this by claiming your expertise with content marketing (NOT supplier marketing). What this means is write helpful blog articles, post tips and opinions in your social media. Give away the best and they will pay for the rest.

  1. Picking the “thing” that fulfills the need or desire

Your next step in the marketing sequence is to present to your prospects viable solutions to specific situations. Write about clients that just celebrated their 5 year anniversary and how much they loved the moonlight dinner on the beach. Write about the multi-generational family that met on a cruise for a family reunion and how all 26 of them sang Happy Birthday to grandma celebrating her 75th.

  1. Picking the source for the “thing”

Now it’s time to insert yourself in the equation and why you are valuable to him or 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 and invaluable connections.

  1. 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).

  1. 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 down 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.

Do you want to become a travel agent and are hungry for more marketing advice? Check out Gifted Travel Network’s Travel MBA program – the travel industry’s most leading-edge, comprehensive travel agent training program. Just go here: www.getyourtravelmba.com.

By Meredith Hill