THE E-MAGAZINE THAT FOCUSES ON THE REALITY OF SELLING TRAVEL
TURN ON YOUR INNER
SUPER SELLING AGENT PERSONA
Oh yeah, I love it when you sell like that!
SELL IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT!
TABLE OF CONTENTS – ST AUGUST 2013
SUPER SELLING – GETTING YOUR PIECE OF THE PIE
HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW? CREDIT CARD TRAVEL INSURANCE
SUPER AGENT CREATIVITY
SELLING YOUR SECRET ORB
CREATING SUPER AGENT SLOGANS
OWNING THE NEWS (AGAIN!)
YOUR NEXT READ “RELENTLESS PURSUIT”
GET DOWN TO (GOOGLE) EARTH
TEAMING UP TO WIN MORE BUSINESS
SPREADING YOURSELF TOO THIN
READING SELLING TRAVEL ON YOUR E-READER
SUPER-IMPOSING YOU Guest Article by Steve Gillick
CANADIAN TOURISM RESOURCE GUIDE
THE SOCIAL CONVERSATION
TRAVEL AGENT REVOLUTION
CTIE CERTIFIED TRAVEL INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE
READING MATERIAL – YOUR TRADE PAPER CONTACT PAGE
Publisher: SMP Training Co. www.smptraining.com Contributors Steve Crowhurst Steve Gillick Cory Andrichuk
Selling Travel is owned and published by Steve Crowhurst, SMP Training Co. All Rights Reserved. Protected by International Copyright Law. Selling Travel can be shared, forwarded, cut and pasted but not sold, resold or in anyway monetized. Using any images or content from Selling Travel must be sourced as follows: “Copyright SMP Training Co. www.smptraining.com” SMP Training Co. 568 Country Club Drive, Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada V9K 1G1 Note: Steve Crowhurst is not responsible for outcomes based on how you interpret or use the ideas in Selling Travel or on the Selling Travel Website. T:250-738-0064.
EDITORIAL – august 2013
SELL IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT!
It’s one of those things. In fact it’s many of those things. So much coming into our daily lives that we can get distracted from what we are supposed to be doing. If you are in the retail travel trade as a travel agent, travel consultant, travel counsellor or any of the other titles bestowed upon you, you are without a doubt in sales. There is no escaping that word or the action behind it. Sales is selling and to be successful at selling travel, you must SELL IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT. So what does this mean, to sell it like you mean it? Well we can start with your website. It just has to be business-like and in this case it must, TELL IT LIKE IT MEANS IT.
ANNOUNCING A New Sister Magazine
The information on your website should be easy to read, easy to click to and deliver the most current and up to date information your client/s are seeking. Somewhere in there is YOU, making sure your content is always cutting edge. Next we have your personal sales persona. That would be you in the flesh, you online, your social connections and even how you ‘appear’ in your emails. Everything you do and say and send out will have your sales stamp on it. If you want to truly turn on your inner SUPER SALES AGENT persona then it’s time to factor in more closing opportunities. To do that, to ramp up the closing opportunities, requires that you are well versed with how to use the variety of tools at your disposal. Your head office, your host agency, your franchisor, your group, your consortium all offer you the next generation of business building tools. Your job is to learn how to use them. Now you can consider yourself fully armed and ready to do battle in the selling travel arena. Let’s introduce you to a few more tools that will help you create that SUPER AGENT status. Here’s to a very successful month. All the BEST! Steve Crowhurst, CTC Publisher and New Business Generator email@example.com 250-738-0064
You can find it HERE.
GETTING YOUR PIECE OF THE PIE…
As a Super Agent you just have to be good, better, BEST at selling. You can enter the realm of SUPER SELLING if you decide that’s where you want to take your career. A Super Agent could actually sell three or four world cruises a year, each worth a cool $100,000 give or take a category. Let’s go for four at $100K and calculate the ROI as 10% just for this article. Okay – that’s $400,000 at 10% so this Super Agent had made $40,000 in four sales. What else is there to do?
You get the idea. It’s all about selling up, selling large, selling to generate a supersized income. If you want to close your piece of the pie, then it’s time to study up on the old and new and the future methods of selling travel. Whilst the Baby Boomers and the Zoomers and the Joneses (if we are to label the generations you sell to) are still around then you have the traditional ‘come and see me’ style of selling to use. As you know Facebook has been taken over by Baby Boomers and Seniors and Generation X… the Y’s have migrated to other social networks. Facebook has become the so-so network for families and friends and is now pretty much done to death. Everyone is on it to share baby pictures AND travel pictures too. In this case you’ll need to hone your engagement skills and increase your visibility related to all things social. Then there’s the Next Generation of SUPER SELLING that only SUPER AGENTS would undertake. If you read about the travel agencies of the future as Thompson of the UK see them, then you’ll know how much of a stretch you’ll have to make (and invest) if you want to stay as sharp as the cutting edge of TAs-Ng. Embracing all things tech as applied to promoting travel is one step in the right
direction and then learning how to sell and close from each new platform is another. There comes a time when all your imagery and video have done what they are supposed to do and that’s create the urge to travel. Now it’s time to secure the sale. Close the deal. EMAIL is still #1 and the most solid tool in the online, digital tool box. With the latest versions of Outlook and by using Windows Live Mail you can take advantage of so many tools that for instance allow you to send an album of photos. The use of WordArt in the latest versions of Office play nicely too. No more strange looking mesh and fuzzy text. Now your e-client will receive nice crisp lettering like this:
A text email can still work if you want to keep it to the no-fluff basics. Better to go with an email program such as Constant Contact or similar where the templates are ready made. You just fill in the blanks, click and send. The main thing here as you know is the call to action.
CTAs – Call To Action = Close Ratio The SUPER AGENT believes in the ABC rule which translates to Always Be Closing. When you understand how this works you’ll be focused on doing everything possible to make sure you have covered off all the details – the client is well informed, fully informed and can now make an informed buying decision. ABC is not about pestering. It is about being on-the-ball, anticipating and asking the questions that need to be asked. Your host agency or consortium, group and franchise will provide you with proven CTAs and quite possibly offer training in how they work, how to construct them, and you should always ask HQ, from their experience, which ones have been proven to work. By ‘work’ I mean resulting in a sale. Note: As I write this, a call just came into my office. It was Electrolux calling. The very first words this chap said to me were: “… now I’m not trying to sell you anything…” – WRONG! So I said, “When you are, please call back!” What a great way to ruin the sale. He lied right up front. SUPER AGENTS don’t do this. They are committed to selling and in the same process creating the best of all vacations for their clients. So good that the client will be talking about it for years to come. The product is out there and the world is waiting for your client. All you have to do is get between them and that new fridge they were about to buy. If you didn’t know – that’s the enemy. All other products and services are the enemy to you closing your sale. So we need a call to action that suits the life and times of your clients.
Down Sizing We know that Baby Boomers are aging to the point of retirement, down-sizing and if they are healthy enough, travelling. This is happening right now and all you need to do is go fishing with your CTA firmly in place. CALL ME… YOUR DOWNSIZING TRAVEL SPECIALIST After the move-in you’ll need a vacation and that’s what I specialize in. Let me arrange a 100% pampered holiday that will tick every box on your list.
The challenge with most call to action statements or slogans, is this: they do not advise the reader what to do. Many are nice, but fluff. Tell your reader what to do: Call ME! If you say ‘contact me’ then the medium is missing. ‘Call me’ means pick up the phone. If you wish to be more precise you can use that phrase, too. Email me, is fine but it’s weak. Perhaps: email me and tell me your dream vacation is better. If you want your piece of that travel pie then you’ll have to cook up the best sales and service recipe you have to offer. Practice Makes Perfect Pie There you have it. Practice your slogans. Practice asking for the sale in word, in text, in person, by video, include a speech bubble on all your direct mail images…Tweet it and Facebook it and post it on your blog: ”I want your travel business and I’ll come to you.” All blogs should end with a CTA. Everything you send to your clients should have a CTA embedded in them. “Why don’t you come with us to Jamaica?” is a CTA. Simple.
HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT CREDIT CARD TRAVEL INSURANCE COVERAGE? In the Woman’s Day Magazine article there was a comment made about travel agents selling travel insurance to boost their commissions and also a comment that suggested to the reader that all they need for coverage when they travel is what their credit card includes. As a SUPER AGENT you’ll be all over the issue of travel insurance and well informed on just what credit cards actually include in the way of protection for their clients. The chart you see here is the chart you need to download and study. It was updated April 2013. Who knew credit cards do not cover hotel burglary! http://www.rewardscanada.ca/cccompare.html Make it a goal in life that no client leaves your side without being fully protected especially if children are travelling, too.
I’VE BEEN FRAMED! THEN WRAPPED IN PLASTIC. THEN MY EDGES WERE TRIMMED! I’M TELLING YOU, SOME CREATIVE SOFTWARE IS TOUGH TO WORK WITH – UNTIL YOU GET THE HANG OF THEM.
SUPER AGENTS UNITE! There is one tool in the tool box that every travel agent relies on from time to time. The SUPER AGENT uses it all the time. Each day, every day. I’m talking about creativity. It’s true to say that Creativity is the Ultimate Resource. I coined that slogan back in 1998 and it’s still relevant today. More so in fact. Your creativity should be enhanced by one to many of the software tools now available to you. No more hand lettering! No more hand cranking off copies! What an easy life we lead today, eh? And it’s made much easier still thanks to Adobe and Laughing Bird Software, Weebly, Issuu, SnagIt and more. The idea behind owning your own creativity and enhancing it by using these tools is that you can create fantastic graphics, alphabets, calls to action and even cartoon yourself or create a cartoon mascot to meet the younger generation who are reading Manga, graphic novels and graphic books at university too.
Join my Tour of Romania!
Perhaps not to extremes – but if you have the confidence to use your own face and body, dress it up or down, snap a few images that you can then tweak within your graphic software, you’ll not only have fun, you will be free of copyright law. That’s right. When you use yourself as the ‘poster child’ and you use your own images taken during your travels, you will be free of any copyright infringement. That said, be kind to yourself and also your male and female friends who would pose for you – as you know, what goes online, stays online. The two head shots shown here were taken on my webcam (which takes 10 mp images) - then I messed around in Photoshop Elements 11 ($99) just twisting and turning, then using poster edges, followed by cutout. I lost track of all the tweaks, but I got to the point where I thought, hey that’s wild enough. I could promote a tour to see Dracula’s pad with that one!
You can remove the colour to leave one spot such as the lemon shown above… caption: “Have all your vacations been lemons?” Then you go on to sell your knowledge and talents. You’ll need a closing slogan for that too, such as, ‘… and my juice is worth the squeeze!”
The Female Cartoon I know many women in travel who prefer not to cartoon themselves and that makes sense to me. The option of course is to create a mascot or cartoon character to represent you and your business. When you take a look around the trade, especially suppliers and destinations, they often have a character ‘doing the talking’ for them. The roaming gnome for instance. Keeping It Businesslike So no cartoons for YOU! Which means you’ll be keeping yourself businesslike when you are featured in your marketing, promotions and social media.
Make sure your image features YOU as you are TODAY! This is an absolute. Do not use ten year old mug shots. If you do, you will lose all credibility when a customer sees you in the flesh. If you fake your image – what else are you up to? With a selection of great businesslike images you can build your creative slogans around them. Smart Phone Captures Use that smart phone of yours plus the photo apps that come with it and capture anything that says TRAVEL to you. The next image was taken at a movie theatre at the kids play area where for a coin you can try to hook a stuffed toy. I looked through the glass and I saw FAMILY TRAVEL. Look at those faces. There’s one for every relative.
Look who is showing up in the lower left. Is that Mickey or Minnie? Not sure, but now you know what I would be promoting something beginning with ‘D’ and ending in ‘land’.
You can find a stone lantern pretty much anywhere. Check around in local parks and gardens and even at your local Japanese restaurant. Shoot it. Make changes, add text and you’ve created your very own “Let’s Do Japan!” image.
Search through all your old photos – digital, paper and transparencies too – and find one that has a story attached to it. Crop it to 16:9 which would be wide screen as this is the size “we” as TV and video watchers are becoming more attuned to watching / seeing. Add your text or add a caption and then post it with your story line. Adding a call to action to your imagery is a great way to ask for the sale if you are not confident doing so in person. As you can read on the next image I have prompted the viewer to consider our tour. “Won’t you join us?” is a passive call to action. A stronger one would be, “We’re leaving on June 9th and we want you with us!” This shows your interest
in having your clients join you, more than being too aggressive. This is an invitation and people like to be invited. Saves them thinking yes or no. Now, when you next visit your local newsstand – check out all those travel magazines – so many slogans, layouts and ideas waiting for you.
Female Cartoons & Mascots Here’s three different types and styles of cartoon-mascots that you can explore.
Use something that represents your niche market. If you cannot find what you are looking for have them custom sketched to suit.
Silhouettes can be found in Microsoft’s Clip Art. Great for highlighting a certain type of tour.
This type of character is well used today and found in graphic programs.
Have a quality cartoonist draw a caricature of yourself in various travel locations.
TO SELL IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT Using every ounce of creativity in your mind, body and soul and using all the tools that are waiting for you, will help you sell it like you mean it. Some tools are already in your computer, in your smartphone, your tablet and others are on the shelf begging to be purchased. Check the Classifieds at the back of this magazine and click the links on the programs you want to review. Some offer free trials and others offer a discount when you purchase.
Some have a secret sauce, hot and zowie! Other’s have a secret this and that but YOU, you have a SECRET ORB. Yes you do. That orb is your world, the world you live on and the various places only YOU know about. Well at least within your own circle of friends, colleagues and clients. It’s this ability to sell your own world that can separate you from the rest of the trade in your community.
As a Super Agent of your niche it would be expected that you know everything there is to know and then some. Let’s assume you do have a grip on everything there is to know about your niche destination and the type of vacation you love to sell. Could be cruising, could be island based holidays, might be weddings, honeymoons or both… wine tours perhaps, ancestry, antiquing? There’s no short list of the possible niche markets that you can sell into. Each one usually has something different going for it and everything happens on our own ORB. Mother Earth. Selling The Secret So what is it you can sell me and others who want to know more? What’s the secret? Well before you tell me, better that you lure me in with your promotion of the fact that ONLY you know about ‘this’ and only YOU can sell it to me. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Secret beaches, coves, scenic spots Secret hotels, B&B, pensions Secret cafes & restaurants Secret local deals Secret routes, trails and hikes Secret photographic locations
What else could be a secret to sell?
My very own secret beach. I know where the best shells can be found. Also the location of a marked grave out there in the ocean, visible when the tide is out.
Sell The Fact You Know The Secret As you will know, we are supposed to sell the sizzle not the steak. Same thing with your travel secrets. Sell the fact that you know and others don’t. SECRET BEACHES OF THE WORLD Come with me and let me show you the most gorgeous of secret beaches that you would never find on your own. You get the idea. You can apply this style of messaging to whatever your niche or secret might be. So, SUPER AGENT and master of all things in your world – what Secrets of the ORB can you sell? Where can we dine tonight in Paris that would be off-the-beaten-track where only the locals would go? How about Kyoto? London? Pago Pago?
“SO NOW YOU WANT TO KNOW THE SECRET TO THIS TRAVEL ORB…”
One of the best things you can do when you are reading supplier brochures, watching destination videos, attending webinars or watching a travel program on TV – is to listen for and capture key phrases and slogans. To sell it like you mean it means being able to attract your next customer through your very clever words, phrases and taglines. You cannot afford to be too clever or too creative as the message can be often missed by a busy mind. Keep it simple. Keep it direct. Keep it focused on YOU. Keep it focused on your promotion. A recent TV show updating is on Tutankhamun and all things new was cleverly called: “YOU DON’T KNOW TUT!” Very compelling, evocative as usually You don’t know… is followed by an expletive. So this known pattern causes our eyes to go there immediately and read it. A thought of “Oh that’s smart, that’s about...” and your mind fills in the blank.
1. A slogan notebook, journal (paper or digital) where you can record the various slogans and ad titles you’ll read and hear each day. The number is something like 3,000 ads each day per person… and if that’s true you should have an extreme number of slogans to use by the end of this week!
With permission you could run your own “You Don’t Know TUT!” tours to Egypt once the riots die down. It’s a terrific tour slogan.
2. Next you need to learn how to use WordArt in MS Word, MS PowerPoint and then you can create your slogans right in the document. Similar to what you reading / looking at in this e-mag.
And that is the idea here. As a SUPER AGENT you must learn how to push out the best and most captivating slogans and headlines to capture your existing client’s eyes, hearts and minds and also those drive-by, walk-by and social-by prospects. To do this you’ll need the following.
3. There are other programs that you can purchase and the one I use is The Logo Creator. It’s so easy to use and publishes a JPEG or PNG image which you can then cut and paste.
4. A key to sloganeering is to match the font and size of the font and the colour with your slogan. You want bold where you need it, large, small and bright or dark or shaded and shadowed. Sounds like a lot of work and it might be for the less artistic, however like all things – with practice, you’ll get it. All I can suggest here is that you study the font list in Word - for instance type a strong slogan and keep changing the font to see the difference. In the latest versions of Word you can highlight the slogan and just scroll through the fonts to see the changes.
OFFER THE BEST GUIDED TOUR THE WORLD HAS SEEN! Have you travelled or have you VISITED HAWAII 30 TIMES AND KNOW EVERY NOOK AND CRANNY… You get the message. You don’t have to go over the top with all the CAPS – you can use colour to make a bold statement. You can use simple BLACK & WHITE for a high end, luxury effect. When combining an image with your slogan, they should match and support each other. That means no t-shirts when promoting yourself as a luxury cruise specialist. If You Can Say It… We are so lucky marketing travel in this age of all things digital and especially now that we have video at our disposal. It’s been said before, a picture is worth a thousand words and video is worth a million words. So why create a printed slogan when you can say it on camera?
Supplier’s Brochures When you read your supplier’s brochures you’ll notice the tour titles that the graphics team have created. You can always copy their colour schemes and font style. When you receive supplier promotions in your email, same thing – look at the colouring, font style and layout. Your suppliers spend thousands of dollars to get these promotional graphics right – your education is FREE if you take notice. Slogans Featuring You Okay SUPER AGENT… what would you like to say about yourself? How would you promote yourself in a slogan? Think hard. Are you the best, or THE VERY BEST? Can you lead a tour around the world or can you
To do this we’re not talking a 5 minute pitch. We’re talking perhaps a 20-30 second clip. You on camera - let’s go with your iphone or your webcam. You are dressed the part, looking good, eyes right into the camera lens and you own your space and you say: “Come with me to… for an unforgettable…” Now you add your slogan, call to action and you are ready to email and upload your promotion. Email Video Today you can email your video promotion and slogan through Constant Contact, BoomBoom and also create it in PowerPoint. Either way, video is top of the game right now. When there’s a choice, people click on the video, not the text.
Slogan & Font Examples Take a look at the following. You like some, love others.
You get it, you got it, you can do it! Test as many fonts as you can. If you have a good memory, you only need to review them once. Make notes, capture and label them as I have done so on this page, and then you will have a quick reference / cheat sheet. In Logo Creator you can create like thisâ€Ś
Find more ready to copy logos at http://www.sellingtravel.net/free-logos.html
OWNING THE WOW! What a kafuffle that Woman’s Day Magazine caused in the trade. Then what a response the trade replied with. And it’s about time, too. So many times the trade voice sat quiet when it should be out front and leading the charge. To all the trade bodies that berated the magazine’s story about travel agents, we can say well done and thanks for OWNING THE NEWS in favour of travel agents. Now that the industry has flexed its muscle or at least reprimanded those that had it all wrong – you too can take note. Selling travel is ALWAYS about owning the news. You can wait for your trade appointed bodies to do it, or you can do it yourself and especially on a local level. Of course the response the trade delivered to the magazine was widely read within the trade itself, chances of the general public hearing about it, would be slim. That said, it is and was your job, and still is, to make sure that the information presented in the Woman’s Day magazine is not lingering and causing you a loss of business. If you’ve been off planet for a week or so, here’s the current link with the apology from the magazine. http://www.womansday.com/life/traveltips/should-i-use-a-travel-agent
The lesson learned is to stay on top of the news. Use the Google Alert app to bring news to your email inbox each time specific travel issues hit the fan. You can also use the RSS newsfeeds to have the news from CNN, BBC, CTV or your local channel also sent to your inbox. All it takes is a quick ‘eyeball’ of the headings and then you’ll be on top form and well informed. Depending on the news topic, you’ll be able to respond in good time on a local level. As you know, and it’s what I train on, Whoever Owns The News, WINS! You’ll want to be a winner each day every day – so stay informed. Get the facts straight and then deliver your rebuff, response and if you have to, your challenge to the purveyor of the original news release.
Here’s your next read, at home or when travelling – written by travel industry veteran, explorer, speaker, author Anthony Dalton. I’ve known Tony since 1978 and he is the real deal. When it comes to exploits he has actually done them as told in his book “Adventures With Camera & Pen”. More about Tony’s books right here: http://www.anthonydalton.net/
THE STORY… Canadian zoologist Gray Pendennis is pushing his limits. Desperate to find and protect a man-eating Royal Bengal tiger in a Bangladesh jungle, he is on a race against time as two bereaved fathers, whose daughters were killed by the striped predator, team up to hunt the menace. Working far from civilization, the three men are on a collision course beyond the boundaries of conscience. The rogue tiger’s kills escalate and the zoologist’s work is complicated by his fascination for a beautiful woman and her underwater archaeologist husband as they too join the hunters and the hunted where the mangrove forest meets the Bay of Bengal. A poacher – a high-ranking military officer – throws himself into the mix, adding another, deadlier force to the potent equation. The tiger, top of the food chain in his environment, uses stealth and cunning to gain the advantage, only to lose it as nature darkens the world. THE AUTHOR
Anthony H. Dalton
Now this is kinda neat! You may have already found this tool – but if not then this could be a bit of a find for you. Assuming you have the confidence to get on that webcam microphone and serve up a delicious and engaging voice to tour your clients along a digital route… this could work for you!
You can see in the image above that “we” are standing outside the Tate Gallery, London. In front of us would be Trafalgar Square and then by using the yellow lines you can mouse along those lines and narrate what your reader / viewer will be seeing when they book on your tour. You will be creating a digi-tour, a mini pretour to presell your tour of London. As a SUPER AGENT this type of pre-tour would be the perfect way to demonstrate your tour guiding skills and your travel knowledge. You can do this by saying such things as: “... and just down that street is a fantastic café and don’t
worry, we’ll be going there on this trip. Now, just to our left is the fabulous St. Martin’s In The Field. Down in the Crypt we can have a sandwich and also complete some rubbings of various artifacts and plaques….” You get the idea I know. You create your tour, wherever it might be, you explore the route with Google Earth and then you create a short recording to use in your online promotions. Send out the link, add and embed to your website, embed in your e-brochure using Word 2013. Here’s where you find your embed code…
Okay… save this link to a place you can access anytime you need it. http://www.gmodules.com/ig/creator?synd=open&url=http://dl.google.com/developers/maps/embedk mlgadget.xml When you click on this link you will see this image to the right. In the red box is where you will paste the name of your tour and you’ll do this by copying and pasting from where you saved your video tour – usually in My Places. Highlighting your tour, mine was LONDON PRE-TOUR.
Then paste your capture into the KML My Map box shown in the red box opposite. Your tour title will change to the encoded properties. Now click on the Get The Code button and your code will appear in the box below it:
Now you can embed your code in your website, or in your blog and once you do that the KML Viewer you see above will open and your Pre-Tour will play.
The PRO Version of Google Earth has a Movie Maker app that you can use to enhance your video production. There is a lot more to discover in terms of how you can use Google Earth to promote your travel, tours, resorts and even ocean going itineraries. Be patient. Take the time to learn and stay ahead of your local competition. Be the SUPER AGENT of GOOGLE EARTH!
TEAMING UP TO WIN MORE BUSINESS Whatever it is they’re looking at it’s got their attention. It’s got to be something very creative. Something that will make each of these super agents more moola. It could also be the outcome of these three putting their collective skills together to generate new business. That is the essence of teaming up to win more business. It takes like-minded souls to work together and put all their talents on the table and live up to their reputations.
Your next step is to find those, like you, who want to do something creative and also generate a new source of business. You’ll need to be compatible on most things, but then again, talented individuals are sometimes difficult to work with. Best to decide from the outset, who is to do what and set the responsibilities. After that it’s everyone to do what they do best and report in to the team, take input and apply it where it’s needed. When the money starts to flow, all is well. When it’s tight, there could be a fight.
This is always a challenge when working as a team to produce new business. When things are going well – everyone is happy. When times are a little rough, there could be some finger pointing. Just so you know. Assuming everyone does their bit, let’s explore how you can form a team of talented travel agents and go make some money. Choosing Your Team Who are these people you can work with? Look around you. Anyone within the company? Any fellow ICs you could work with? How about any competitors you can approach? Never be afraid of chatting with your competition. Often they too would like to do something different and spread the risk and spread the energy too. All you have to do is put the feelers out. The Promotion And The Territory Okay. You have decided on who you would like to work with. Now it’s all about the promotion. You might have already decided on the promotion before you made contact with the team to be. We have a tour to sell. We are going to create an FIT of Europe. We are going to select the countries and the itinerary and then we want to fill at least three or four tours. We know that the profit in group travel is in repeating the same tour – so we want more than one departure. The Territory applies to each member of the team and where they will promote, sell and close the sale. If you have chosen to work with someone in another state or province that’s fine. You will all be selling into the one tour product and the three or four dates.
This type of collective / team approach generally requires each member of the team to pay their way and contribute to the overall promotional fund. If you are positioned across the country then it would be a national ad campaign. If you are all local, and let’s say located at each of the compass points around the city you all live in, then it would be a local promotion. You would have negotiated with the supplier some form of coop arrangement or not. Depends upon the financial stability of your chosen supplier. Sharing The Pot The decision needs to be made as to how you will share the money you make. Will the profits be split evenly or will you each earn according to the percentage of business you sold? This is a topic that needs to be discussed prior to going ahead with your joint – team promotion.
So, who do you trust? Who is out there that you know has the skills and talents you would like to add to your own? If you belong to a host agency or consortium or group, could you arrange to pay commission for any bookings your colleagues send your way? The team of talent is a great way to turn on your Super Agent status. The Power of Three - remember? It’s August. You have time to plan your Spring 2014 Super Agent Team-Up promo to wherever it is you want to sell.
Now here’s a metaphor for you. It’s a little cheesy but hey, the idea came to me on the spur of the moment. The image below could be the equivalent of your agency brochure rack. It could also represent the number of destinations and suppliers you try to sell each and every day to anyone that asks.
There is a time, which is about ‘right now’ that you should set aside a few minutes to take a hard look at what’s on your sales table and reduce it to the few you can truly manage. That ‘few’ could be brochures, suppliers, destinations etc. Remember the famous quote by Gary Charlwood of Uniglobe who said, “Minimal Product, Maximum Revenue” – and that was back in the 80’s and it’s still a quote to live by, present day. We are in the era of the niche, so make sure you are not spreading yourself too thin. Focus and concentrate on one to three products. Know them well and then go sell!
My good pal Mike T., mentioned something about symbols in an email and that sparked a thought about labyrinths and how these special places have not been talked about too much as a niche that you can sell. You might have to lean more towards the soul searching side of your personality and dig for those natural world vibrations that are still within you if you can tune inwards. A labrynth in this case means a series of circles, a pathway that repeats and turns on itself which someone like you, me and your clients might walk to gain a meditative state or simply to de-stress. That’s one part. The other part is where these labyrinths are located. One of the most famous is in the Chartres Cathedral, and you can Google images of the labyrinth itself.
So now put your mind to the niche group. Start to explore who might, in your community or across the country, be interested in journeying with you to walk the labyrinths of the world. Now that would be an exciting thing to do don’t you think? You can find labyrinths in temples, churches, fields, on the beach and freshly carved each day and many wonderful soul replenishing locales. This niche would fit nicely into your Religious Travel & Tours specialty, so if you have sold faith based tours and have a clientele looking for something the same but different – now you have something to think about. Check to see if you have a labyrinth in your city and host a gathering there to introduce your new niche program.
You can subscribe to SELLING TRAVEL Magazine and also create a ‘stack’ which means you add each new issue of Selling Travel to your ‘stack’ and then you’ll build a collection to review when you wish to retrieve an idea or a slogan or something that would help you sell more travel. You can also share each issue with your colleagues, post it on your travel trade social network, leave a comment and more. Always check the SELLING TRAVEL website, too. You never know what’s new and always check the free logos and tips.
The E-Reader has become a very handy tool for book lovers when they travel. Itâ€™s also possible to read an e-book on your netbook, notebook, tablet, laptop and desktop plus your smartphone with the applicable apps. If you want to download and read an issue of Selling Travel on your own e-reader device then you might need to read the appropriate information on how to do that. Once you download the selected issue of Selling Travel from the Issuu website, you can follow the steps at one of these links below. I have left the full link for you so that you will know the path.
Complete overview of e-Readers and Formats This list is impressive. Youâ€™ll note that the PDF format is the number one format read by 99% of all e-readers. Keep this in mind for when you create your own e-Book documents to share with your clients. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_e-book_formats
INTO DESTINATION SALES! Guest article by Steve Gillick CTM
Terms of Reference: Super: above, over, on top of. Impose: to put or place into or upon.
Superimpose: To place something over or upon something else; to add a distinct feature or quality to something e.g. He superimposed his travel experience on the bland itinerary to create an amazing journey of discovery for his clients.
Let’s face it. If travellers did not want your input into their vacation plans, they would make their own travel arrangements. And we know that some are quite happy to do so. Others have tried it and discovered the pitfalls when they chose the wrong flight, didn’t leave enough time for a connection, didn’t have the proper travel documentation, chose the wrong hotel, ended up at the wrong destination and basically, didn’t schedule time on their own holiday to enjoy themselves and appreciate the value of the experience. So it is a ‘given’ that travellers already in your database as well as your first-timers and new referrals, are looking to you for your input. At this stage they don’t want an order-taker, they want a personalized approach to the whole concept of travel: “Ask me questions about what I want to do” is the attitude, along with the proviso that “If you hear something in my reply that doesn’t make sense, please let me know”. The implication of this is that travellers recognize travel counsellors (agents, advisors, planners, consultants) as travel professionals. This is what you do for a living. You live and breathe travel on a daily basis and therefore it is assumed that your knowledge of the
profession will result in an amazing and successful travel experience for the client. And what exactly can you add to the travel destination? How about 1. Your job experience Whether you took a formal travel training course or learned the trade through apprenticeship, you have (even if you’re just starting) seen the good and the bad about the industry as well as a pretty good idea of how people react when their dream vacation is ruined through mistakes, over-bookings, missed flights, resorts under renovation and promises that don’t materialize. You have learned from your experience and can now apply those lessons to your own clients. The word ‘experience’ means ‘knowledge gained from repeated trials’. This becomes the key to your success— knowing what works and what doesn’t. 2. Your networking experience No travel agent is an island! Even if you are home-based, you still have a support group through your host agency or through other home-based consultants. This means that if you have questions about a property or a procedure, you
have your own back-up system. The knowledge you share and the knowledge you gain by talking and listening to your peers can be applied directly to your client bookings. 3. Your supplier experience The so-called ‘keys to the kingdom’ lie in the supplier-agency (or agent) relationship. Over the years you establish a trusted core group of suppliers, many of whom have, themselves been in the industry for many years, and they become your advisory group as well as your “help!” group. They are usually in a position to pull off miracles when required. Your clients believe you are the genius when it comes to securing an upgrade or changing hotels. Well you ARE the genius but it is because you nurtured these key supplier relationships over the years and can use them when appropriate. It’s really a win-win. The supplier wins through repeat business (and through their relationship with YOU) and you win by having the use of their expertise. 4. Your travel experience Travel professionals love to travel! Use your experience, whether it is business or family travel, to knowledgeably discuss destinations with your clients. You can relate to the restaurants, hotels and transportation situations because you’ve been there. You can relate to the tourist attractions and perhaps even some of the niche travel interests, because you spent time exploring the destination. Use this to your advantage. You can show your clients your photos or videos, regale them with tales of what you did-- but even more important, you are the expert who can, based on your travels, determine if a destination will suit the needs of your client, fulfill their dreams and value-add to their vacation
time. While it’s all about them…it’s absolutely ok to fit your know-how into the equation. 5. Your client referral experience Satisfied clients are usually more than eager to tell their family and friends about the great services you provided. Referred clients are themselves eager to know what YOU can do that their former travel agent was not able to do, or what you can do to enhance the travel experience that they could not do by themselves on one of the online booking engines. This is your opportunity to show your stuff but it also means that the challenge is there for you to ‘go one better’. Never let satisfaction or praise allow you to become complacent. It should be a clarion call to do even better each time a traveller travels. 6. Your association or regulation experience Many agents belong to a professional agent or agency association with a professional code of ethics. In addition, many (especially in Canada) must abide by local rules and regulations governing the sale of travel products and services. These ‘rules’ become a positive addition to your credentials. By the very fact that you have to abide by rules, you can announce to your clients that you are held to strict guidelines when it comes to customer service, resolving disputes, handling their payments, providing truthful and current information, and more. It’s all about what YOU have to do to service the client. It’s a confidenceenforcing exercise that will assure your clients that YOU are the right person to be entrusted with their upcoming travel experience. fulfill their dreams and value-add to their vacation
7. Your professional development experience You are the embodiment of your credentials, and a major component of those credentials are the professional development programs you have taken over the years: courses, webinars, seminars, conference sessions and updates. They all count and they all contribute to making you a more successful travel agent. This is how, despite your many trips to Europe, you know what’s new as of today, or what festivals are ‘on’ this summer, or what new boutique hotels would be perfect for some of your clients. And it’s all because of how you superimpose yourself into the destination and the sale. 8. Your business generation experience Your goal is to have satisfied clients but also to grow the business, expand your
clientele, keep your products (and your marketing material) fresh and re-freshed to attract new audiences. Ensure that you ask for testimonials from returning clients as well as for referrals. Your desire to succeed and to enhance your business is an underlying theme to what you do. And you know? It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Success begets success. Happy Clients result in more business. Experienced professionals know how to sublimate their own ego and allow the client to be the featured attraction during every meeting and transaction. While after reading this article you may feel that it is “all about me”, you know deep down that it’s really all about the client. You are just using your own professional skills (cleverly and appropriately) to respond to the client’s needs.
SELLING INBOUND, INTERPROVINCIAL OR CROSS CANADA TOURS? YOUR TRADE CONTACTS ARE ALL HERE.
Hey Cassie how’s it going? It does eh?
Sure sounds like it. Wow you have been busy.
What’s that about then?
Now I’m impressed.
I’ll say it again, it sounds very, very impressive and it’s what I read about all the time in the travel trade press. Hey you’re living the life! Oh well, nothing like you that’s for sure. I can’t match your social media successes. Bookings? Oh yeah, absolutely. Big time. Just closed a large group to Europe – 45 people on that tour. Have a world cruise booking just wrapping up, should be about $175,000 for that one and overall I guess I’m booking about thirty new clients each month… but as I say, I can’t do social like you do it.
CASSIE Great actually. You know this social media stuff really works. Yes. It took me a few months to get it, but now I have accounts with Facebook, YouTube, Pintrest, Twitter, LinkedIn and three others. Isn’t that fantastic? I know and here’s the best thing, it’s so much fun. Honest. You get to share and socialize and the key word, the main thing, the big kahuna of all is to engage the client... and I have to say, I can do that very well. Well I ran quite a few contests where my social contacts can enter to win a free trip. I also sent out photos of my recent cruise, wrote a blog about cruising, pinned a number of images… quite a few of my posts went viral. Hold on, you haven’t heard the latest… I generated a 50% uptick in LIKES on my Facebook page and over 500 people shared the image of me a bucket of beer being poured over my head! Great eh? I have to say this social media marketing is the way to go. I’m getting very well known and it hasn’t really cost me a dime other than the free trips I give away.
I guess so. But enough about me, what about you? What have you been doing? That’s a shame. Perhaps I can help you? Do you have any business coming in?
I guess I’m doing it all wrong then. I just call my clients by telephone and send some an email then I follow up by calling their mobile. I do the same thing when they refer their friends… I just call them up and chat about their trip. This year I should do close to… well, let’s see… I guess about another half-million dollars in referrals, so overall probably about a million-five. In commission? Well I guess, as you say, that social media marketing takes time and you have to stick with it to build those connections. Sounds like you are on a roll so keep at it. I’m sure it will pay off. Are you doing any travelling? Yes for sure. I’m just back from a 3 week safari, a small group and I stayed on to tour by myself. That was great. Next week off to kayak through Europe and then back to lead another group to China. Yeah but I tell you I suck at social media. Just can’t get it going. I know it will come back to bite me, but by then I hope to have a team of tour guides working for me and perhaps by then I can chill out and travel more! Anyway, better get going. It’s been great chatting with you Cassie… you are my social media guru for sure! Bye for now!
Well that Cassie sure knows her social media!
Err… you mean you generated all that business without using social media, without engaging first? Come on. It can’t be true. I mean I haven’t closed a booking in weeks. It takes time. You have to build the conversation first don’t you? You can’t just call a client and sell them… can you?
WOW! I haven’t broken $25,000 yet? No, sales!
Not really. Can’t afford it yet. How about you?
That sounds so wonderful!
Yes, wonderful to see you again… and don’t forget to start planning your social media marketing campaign… it really does work!
I’m broke but well LIKED!
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If you have not found this side of Google, itâ€™s worth a look, or a diveâ€Ś and on that note you can use this tool for promoting your scuba diving niche. CLICK the image to view and start looking for lost cities!
The newly redesigned Certified Travel Industry Executive (CTIE) program is a bold collection of courses and online training focused on the critical skills that today’s travel professionals need to succeed. Graduates will learn how to grow their business while earning recognized industry credentials. The CTIE certification is parallel to the Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) certification, thus, representing the pinnacle of travel industry professionalism for seasoned travel professionals who are interested in advancing their career. NEW: It is no longer a prerequisite to earn the CTA designation or test out of CTA prior to enrolling in CTIE. NEW: While studying for your CTIE, you will enjoy Premium Membership benefits such as white papers, expert webinars, podcasts, blog posts and much more. NEW: All courses are completed online in The Travel Institute’s Communiversity. NEW: Interest free 12 month payment plan is now available. The CTIE program is perfect for travel professionals in non-consumer sales roles such as: Suppliers Host agency executives Consortia leaders Marketers
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That’s right. I’m giving two-thumbs up for The Travel Institute’s CTIE program and recommend you check it out. At the same time look for my management webinars & workbooks that will indirectly support what you learn by studying the CTIE content. Click on The Travel Institute’s logo below for more information. Read TAM here.
Selling Travel supports all other travel trade magazines and encourages you to explore the following publications that deliver news, destination information and more tips, tools and techniques. Round out your daily intake of knowledge and this will help you sell more travel. The following logos appear in alphabetical order – click the logo to visit the website.
Make sure you subscribe and read not only the publication but also each website as many websites offer more than just news & views – there are also Guides and Supplements that you can use for in-house training and development.
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