THE E-MAGAZINE THAT FOCUSES ON THE REALITY OF SELLING TRAVEL
PLUS The O&M The EDGE The Frontline The BDM
CREATIVITY IS THE ULTIMATE RESOURCE. FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN TURN YOUR CREATIVITY ON AND UP TO GENERATE THE NEW BUSINESS YOU NEED AND WANT
In this issue CREATIVITY & NBG
EDITORIAL – Getting Creative
THE O&M – Everyone can Generate New Business
Get ready. Set. Create! Okay some of you made the dash and some of you are still at the starting line, and that’s okay. Many times it’s worth pondering a while before committing to those creative urges. Trust me! I know these things. That create urge and surge need to be tempered by experience. Yours or someone else’s. The combination of experience and creativity can be the ultimate resource for travel agents and especially if your timing is right and you have the moola to support your new and best idea yet. This issue is all about that creative urge and surge. Tap into yours with care and you’ll be able to generate those extra commissions you were planning for. Don’t forget, if you need help with anything you read in Selling Travel I am as close as your email or Skype button.
Best regards, Steve Crowhurst, CTM Publisher www.sellingtravel.net firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/sellingtravel Skype: smptraining1
FRONTLINE – How to Start Your NBG THE EDGE – Finding the Flow to Go With CORY ANDRICHUK – Creativity is a Mindset Shift GROUP NBG CRUISE NBG INSURANCE NBG STEVE GILLICK – Tell It Like It Is! MARKETING NBG EVERYDAY NBG THE EXTREME BDM – Turning Your Agents into NBG THE NBG CREATIVITY CAMP
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.
There is a lot of bumf and fluff out there today about being creative and getting creative and having your creative ideas smashed by some boss bully or team mate Neanderthal and all of that takes us away from what could be simply one really nice day! I speak from experience here as I have always suffered from being creative. I do say “suffered” as it can be both a blessing and a curse. Back in the day of white shirts, grey suits and maroon ties you were supposed to just “do your job” and not think about the company direction. That was big picture stuff reserved for the manager sitting up front. Ah, such sweet memories. Today, thank goodness, creativity is a sought after gift, talent and competency. If you don’t have enough, many firms will help you skill up and train the team so that each and every day, the level of creative thought is cutting edge. We even have creative thinking tools, software, online chat groups and companies that specialize in developing the stuff that’s beyond your talents – how nice to outsource your creative needs. To revisit the curse of creativity: this generally happens when you, your mind, your brain taps into, senses, conjures up, spins‐off, removes, resets, adds to, subtracts to arrive at a moment in time. Now some people cannot switch this off. It happens each and every day, day in, day out. There are so many ideas being thought up that none get done – and there’s the danger. So you must learn to purge, to control the thought processes, to have a sounding board and to eventually come to understand that not all ideas work. Not yet anyway. So they need to be shelved for now. Jotted down in the black book to be reviewed when ‘things change’ and the idea is better suited. Okay, let’s explore how you can become an NBG and get that new business generator switched on and going at full throttle.
Let’s go make something happen! Let me know what you need! Creatively Yours!
Steve Crowhurst Author, Trainer, Columnist, Keynote Speaker, Publisher and world traveller.
If you do not have one, better get one. I call it the Black Book. It can be a physical hardcover book with blank pages or it can be an online journal. Whatever you use it’s a place where you can record your ideas by hand, voice, text, pen and quill if you’re a throwback. The Black Book of ideas also contains the ideas of others, big companies, signs and slogans. All of this input will serve you well down the road.
How’s that team coaching doing? We talked about it last month and the focus then was coaching your team to sell more insurance. The theme this month is based on getting your team to be more creative in their approach to attracting new business.
If we follow in the footsteps of a few famous book titles there must be 1001 Ideas to Create Before You Die. Or, 501 Creative Ideas That Can Help You Sell More. There’s also a 301 series and of course the 101 series. The First Thing You Must Do As the owner / manager, the O&M, you must make it easy for your team to think and be creative. You’ll need to create the right atmosphere, not atmos‐FEAR! You are not asking everyone to come up with new ideas each and every day. That’s a tough order and your team will pitch any old idea just to keep you warm and fuzzy. What you do here is this: you tell your staff that you want them to be aware of new business opportunities. If you have the experience, you can also show them, and instruct them in how this works – or how you want it to work. That’s the first thing you do. Tell your staff it’s okay to think up new ideas and you want to hear them. Generating New Business Through Awareness This is our focus. Not so much creating a new idea every day, but trying to generate new business everyday – much of which will happen right after the idea of how to make it happen morphs into reality. What helps a person generate new business is simply to be more aware. If you create an image in you mind of Sherlock Holmes you’ll get the concept – you must look, you must see, you must listen for content and intent, you must think about what wasn’t said – it’s just a matter of being aware of your client/s and then questioning them about certain key points.
The NBG Dial shown above starts with Nuttin’ and ends up with a Eureka moment. At that moment, one of your staff has broken the mould and asked their client, “So, Mr. Evans, what is it you actually do for a living?” Your agent found out Mr. Evans is a very successful businessman who owns a large firm in town and travels extensively – but not with you, because “you only do leisure”. Another member of your team asked their client, “So, Ali, what do you do for fun after work?” and found out that this client likes to sing at their church and in the fall will be on tour – a tour that is not booked as yet. Your accountant just emailed and mailed some invoices and decided to add a small question in her signoff… “Where are you planning to go this year?” and wouldn’t you know it – she received a response or two. Generating NEW business is not that hard. It can be created with a little effort, thought and creativity. Why not bring the team together now and discuss this page?
YOUR NEW BUSINESS MOTTO The slogan under the title The Frontline, says: “Where Sales & Service Happen in a Travel Agency!” – I think we can add to that New Business Generation, too. The art of generating anything is to have a frame of reference and a deep understanding of how things work. Included in this how‐things‐work statement is information on and about your clients. This may sound like management stuff, but it’s not. All of this is in the domain of a high‐selling frontline counsellor. Gathering Intel Sounds like a spy movie doesn’t it... but you’re not going under cover, your job here is to uncover and you do this by asking questions. This is a skill. You’ll be selling and servicing your client as you start to ask questions both related and un related to their current trip. You are subtle. You fill in the time blanks, you throw out a quick question for a yes/no response. When you can pay attention you ask a W5 question that will result in a few minutes of response by your client. Timing is very important. Where’s The NEW Business? The new business you are seeking can be simply one more person to be added to the current list. It can be a corporate account moving their meeting based on your suggestion to a better more exclusive property. It could be a high end referral from someone you serviced a year ago. Many times you will not know where it came from or how it got to you – then again if you thought long and hard, you would realize that you did actually set things in motion months ago, or seconds ago when you asked a client about their favourite thing to do when on vacation. Frontline Font: PlazaPUit
When you ask these questions, it’s hard to know what kind of response you will receive. It’s a matter of listening real hard and letting the words that come back to you enter your idea / new business generator filtering station! Scenario: The response to what do you like to do when on vacation was: “Oh we like to tour old churches…” The bells just went off and you responded with, “Now that’s interesting. Are you religious, or just interested in old head stones… what’s the fascination?” Now you’ll receive the entire story. Jump ahead: within the next 20 minutes of conversation, you have offered your client the opportunity to come back to you to explore putting on an Ancient Church Tour. Once you learn how to engage your clients and fit in these fact finding questions you will receive numerous pieces of information that you can act on there and then. Proactive NBG Let’s move the weight and balance to you. No client involved. Just you and your knowledge, the brochure rack, the trade news and the fact that your agency needs new business. This is where you decide to put a no‐risk group together – possibly based on your own interests. This is where you select a specialty tour and start to mention it to everyone you meet and greet. Slowly you will build interested to the point where you’ll need to call everyone together to discuss the question: “Are we going or not?” The art of suggestion is another skill set you might want to study. There are ways to seed the conversation so that your client identifies with your new tour and just cannot wait to book. A simple statement, “We’re heading out on Tuesday the 25th… hope you can join us, we’d love to have you with us!” Now that’s a New Business Generator!
I just read something about home‐based agents not using this term in their marketing. It’s probably good advice. It means you’ll need to create a new personae, a new face, a re‐branding of how you promote yourself to the world around you. This requires that you turn on your NBG! So if you’re not going to be a home‐based agent, what will you be? There’s a few simple answers to this problem – perhaps one of these might fit: q Your local travel agent q Your community travel agent q Your virtual travel agent q Your neighbourhood travel agent q Your mobile travel agent When asked by someone, “Where’s your office?” There’s no need to mumble and stumble. Be quick and up front and reply with: “I don’t have physical address, I have a mobile office… which means I come to you, or I can meet you anywhere you wish. It’s part of the service I offer.” The Edge Font: Baby Kruffy
I’m looking for real‐time challenges that stop you from being the best you can be. Be sure to include your email and website links. Thanks! You’ll want to be talking up technology, using the Cloud, using the internet, using software, using social media… most clients and prospects are ‘there’ in terms of knowing what you are talking about. Once you’ve satisfied the location question, move on to your services and starting questioning your client about their next trip. If your car / van is your office then make sure it is fully equipped with brochures, a quality front seat desk / holder for your laptop – and it must be spotless. No coffee cups and brochures littering the floor. Purchase trunk organizers that are made for ‘travelling salesmen’ as these accommodate brochures. Signage: You should do this anyway, and that is turn your car /van mobile office into a billboard. Invest in a quality all‐ vehicle paint job or go with magnetic signs on your doors. The level of ‘paint job’ you go to will depend on how committed you are to your business. You might even attract co‐op funding from a preferred supplier who wants to be on your car / van with you. A co‐ branded car can deliver a terrific message to the local community. Switch on your NBG now and take this to what would work for you.
Guest column by Cory Andrichuk
Can you relate to this photo? Great! Stop reading and carry on with your day or… the rest of Selling Travel magazine! For those of you that cannot relate to this photo, do not want to relate, OR find this photo intriguing please read on. In order to change your ‘Outcome’, we need to change your ‘Outlook’ (It’s easier than you think!). As a travel business coach, I highly recommend that we slow down long enough in life, at work, and think about it… your outlook to change your outcome.
Which way are you running? Are you running with the bulls? Are you walking with your head down…lost? Maybe you are not even in the race, but stuck on the sidelines? Maybe you stopped running altogether and decided to walk and talk and enjoy smelling the flowers, letting others ride on by? There are many signs warning you/ telling you to drive a certain way… and yet, some daring individuals (travel entrepreneurs!) run the opposite!
Whatever way you decide to go… go with creativity. Take the time to slow sown, maybe even stop and think about your next step. You’ve heard the saying… “Travel agents don’t plan to fail… they fail to plan”, says the expensive conference keynote speaker every fall at conference. Sure Einstein said it best… The definition of insanity… “Doing the we all want to be more creative, but how many of us same thing over and over, and EXPECTING a different result.” actually take the time to do it? My coaching suggestion is If you have been selling, trying to improve your salesmanship, to stop telling, selling, and marketing price and start marketing, online e‐marketing, and trying to develop new thinking, sharing, and asking good questions with your business, and not getting the results you want, but continue to team and your customers. Adapt with creativity and you do the same thing, wouldn’t that by definition refer to travel will have a business model that will survive for at least a marketing insanity? Maybe… couple more years or at least until Google, Facebook, Air So take another look at the photo, and think of how you Transat, and Carnival Cruise Lines buys everyone else in travel out… (SMILE that was a travel joke as of June 8!) running your business.
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Going for groups is a smart thing to do. Every travel agent wants in and that means you have some major competition. As you will know, a group these days can be as low as 10 people or five couples. The head count depends on the tour company, the cruise line, the destination, the transportation, the hotels and everything that goes into supplying you something to sell. There are books and more books on how you as a travel agent can chase the group business. The concept of NBG or New Business Generation, when it comes to group sales is based on learning how to identify group opportunities and then attracting either the group director, leader or, if you have to, each couple that will eventually make up the group. Finding the source is your number one activity. You’ll want to locate who in your community, or state or province or go country wide, is the go‐to person for associations, clubs, groups, gatherings and more. You can also start your own group leader connection and market to attract all group leaders to associate with you as you offer a variety of support services – the least of which would be a booking channel. The clever part of attracting group business is what I believe your suppliers are so good at and that’s naming the tour. Sounds small I know – but it’s not. Behind the scenes there are New Business Generators generating themes, and words and sentences and slogans and tour titles that are designed to attract and persuade a tour prospect to take a closer look. This is a skill and something you can learn very quickly by reading brochures and circling / highlighting keywords and phrases. Your Tour, Your Title I’m going to borrow from a new publication due out later this year that explains how you can think up tour titles for a new tour or, if you are into re‐branding and white‐labelling existing tours of your preferred suppliers, then this will help you, too. Sometimes you can jump on a current bandwagon to take advantage of what’s being talked about right now.
For instance, you might have noticed the buzz around the movie The Exotic Marigold Hotel – the theatres are full of 65 year olds, laughing at themselves. When this buzz is buzzing, your NBG should click into full gear and generate ideas on how you can capture this current interest and turn it into a tour. First here’s how you might conjure up tour titles and tour ideas related to Art History: An extract from Group Tour Titles & Ideas
Art History Art is in the eye of the beholder – and if you catch that eye with a dazzling display of graphical “eye candy” – you could lure clients to travel the world to gaze in amazement, walk in the artists footsteps, sit and paint what the artist painted… or just sit and sip wine to discuss colour and brush strokes. Be aware of what the trends are. Know which artists are on everyone’s lips. Perhaps check with galleries you intend to visit enroute. There are commissions available to you should your clients buy. Decide then what your focus will be. Will it be to see, stand, read, explore, discover, buy… what will be the core element of your art history tours?
A Brush with History In Turner’s Footprints Blank Canvas Tours The Golden Frame Tour of … Art Galleries of …. Japanese Art Tour The Ancient Art of India Aboriginal Art of … Rock Paintings of…
Now let’s look at how you can create a tour & tour title around the movie The Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Try adding a little oomph to your titles by using WordArt or any other graphics program that resides in your computer. The Marigold Tour of Northern India In a Hurry for some Curry? Come with US to Northern India and explore this wonderful area of the world. Become ONE with your inner Marigold
Okay then. First we need to know all about the movie and it wouldn’t hurt if you went to see it too and perhaps even read the book on which the movie was based These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach. The Marigold Hotel sells itself as the best, exotic hotel for the elderly and beautiful. You have so much to work with here. First things first – this hotel does not actually exist – the building does however and it is the Ravla Khempur, a rural palace located in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan. Tour Ideas and Titles: You can start with the name of the movie – you won’t be first as a few enterprising travel agents and tour companies have already jumped on the bandwagon. Check out: www.greavesindia.com 1. The Best Exotic Marigold Tour 2. India for the Elderly & Beautiful
So as you can see… a little dash of creative colourful text adds big time to your tour and title ideas. How about starting your own MARIGOLD Travel Group for those people in your area who are, well… elderly & beautiful! You can start with the tour to India and then go on from there. Where else could your Marigold Travel Group visit? You got it – ANYWHERE! Perhaps your new Marigold Travel Club can reach out to India’s elderly & beautiful? Who knows what each petal will reveal? From the Language of Flowers
MARIGOLD: Affection, cruelty, grief, jealousy. The marigold was called Mary's Gold by early Christians who placed garlands of marigolds by statues of the Virgin Mary.
Is there anything NEW about selling cruises? You bet. Not everything has been discovered and there are always new ways to sell new waves. Thing is, they are still inside your head waiting to get out! Perhaps we can nudge them along right here. Your Cruise NBG… New Business Generator has so much to work with. Each and every new build is a moment to market. It’s a given. Any new entertainment feature – one more thing to talk about. Any new themed cruise offers you another group to market to. Same for new itineraries, special fares, two‐for‐ones – each can be turned into a New Business Generator. Selling The Emotion of the Ocean You could sell the motion and you could sell the emotion, the ocean offers you both. For many people, the cruise is actually second to being at sea. It really is the only way to get out into the oceans of the world as the old style freighters are not as available as they used to be.
The oceans of the world are just part of the ocean going experience and as you know, there are lakes and rivers that empty into the worlds oceans. These bodies of water also offer your NBG something to ponder and create something new. From luxurious barging to yachts, to river boats to small boat cruising to adventure vessels and if you have a clientele for it, ocean kayaking too. As cruise commissions come and go, and go more direct, you’ll need to sharpen the saw, sharpen that pencil and sharpen your creative skills. There is a lot more than deep water cruising going on. As mentioned you can cruise in so many ways that if you have not yet made the offer to your clients – now might be the time. You may wish to explore the freighter travel opportunity and adventure cruises too. There are huge luxurious yachts that can be chartered out for a week or more – great for corporate functions. Although it’s been going on for years, something “new” is MICE on Board. That’s right – selling meetings onboard a cruise ship to your corporate accounts. As I say, not new, done before and just gained some recognition. Could this be the New Business Generator for you? If you go for it, remember that this all about MEETINGS not cruising. If you do not know about how meetings work, how they need to be structured and how they can fit into and onboard a cruise ship then now is the time to learn. This I suggest, along with weddings onboard are your next money makers.
Last month the entire issue of Selling Travel was focused on Travel Insurance and Travel Safety. As it’s your number one revenue generator, it’s on the NBG list too in this issue. Over above the usual… what have you come up with to generate NEW sales of travel insurance? Are you standing outside your agency touting, wearing the branded golf shirt, driving a car with a travel insurance motif? How about holding workshops and webinars? The Follow Up Call This is not new, it’s old, but it might be NEW to some of you and it’s simply the follow up call to those clients who did not purchase any form of coverage. The usual method is to have the owner / manager call the customer and with some formality to it, recommend that the client be responsible and protect themselves – and with even more emphasis if children are travelling, too. The Post Disaster Call This might sound gruesome, but it’s not. When a disaster happens in the world of travel, you make the call to all those clients who still haven’t purchased insurance and you tell them that, “… I was just watching the news about the recent plane crash / hotel fire / riots in… and I wanted to make the call and ask again about travel insurance coverage for you and your family. It’s not sitting well with me that you are travelling without any protection whatsoever… tell me it’s not my concern or that you agree you should be covered. I just need closure on the file.” The Travel Safety Issue When events do erupt around the world or even close to home and at home, then the issue is more about travel safety which leads to travel protection through the purchase of travel insurance. Some agencies in the past have published costs of surgery overseas, to images of horrific accidents or humourous accidents where no‐one was hurt but the outcome of let’s say a car crash shows a car hanging out of a building. Not really funny – but can cause a serious nudge towards your client behaving responsible.
Your Own Safety Poster Somewhere in your city, town, village, hamlet is an artist who can quickly create a humourous poster of a traveller slipping, falling, tumbling… nothing too over the top, no blood, just the situation that “…you do not want to be in!” It targets the client and visually is puts them in the situation depicted on the poster. It’s subtle, it can be clever, it is NBG. The Social Share Aware If you are using your social media well, why not put out a call for the worst accident that happened to you when travelling. Collect and post the worst adding a message 7 out of 10 situations here could have been prevented with the purchase of travel insurance. A Glass Act If you have any agency windows, make sure there is a “We Sell Travel Insurance” banner in at least one of them, all them if you can make that happen. The Workshop This can be a New Business Generator as client sells client on the virtues of travel insurance and more. Most of your competition will stay well clear of anything to do with talking about travel insurance or how to travel safely. So the market is wide open for you. Invite your clients to a heart‐to‐heart and to meet your insurance provider. Let your clients who actually experienced travel trauma, talk about that experience and how their purchase of insurance helped them. Over to you. Keep thinking. Keep that NBG in full gear.
Guest Article by Steve Gillick, CTM email@example.com Are you a story teller? I am sure you have read a story out loud at some point in your past but I am talking here about relating a tale, describing an incident, conveying an experience, imparting advice based on your travels, and more. Some people think that their job as a travel professional is to ask the client questions, listen to their responses, and then answer their needs using the information in the brochure, the internet or other available literature. This is all fine and good except for one key aspect: Are you an order‐taker or are you a relationship‐builder? An order taker is very similar to the bureaucrats who run various levels of government or large corporations that you have to phone from time to time to ask a question, have an invoice explained to you, or request a service. (Ever try to get a quick response from your phone or cable provider?) An order taker typically responds by following company policy to the letter. There is no room for give‐and‐ take. There is rarely room for personality to enter the call. It is a cut and dry response to your phone call or visit. Relationship‐builders are those who see a client as a long‐term investment. You help the client enjoy their travels and they in turn, give you repeat business and word of mouth endorsement. Relationships are built through personal interaction, and really, the whole reason why the client walked into your travel agency or called you on the phone is that they wanted to speak to a real, live, human being, as opposed to making an impersonal booking on the internet. Your task is to appreciate your qualities as people‐person and build that relationship through smiling, greeting, eye contact, handshakes, calling the person by their name, sitting them down at your desk, listening and …story telling. And what stories will you tell them? Your experiences at the destination or in similar destinations.
The hotels you inspected, the attractions you visited, the restaurants in which you dined, the night life that you sampled, the funny stories, the cautionary tales (e.g. safety concerns on land and on sea), hints on getting through immigration…and more. Now there are some ‘out there’ who will respond to this by saying “it is the clients’ trip—they don’t want to hear about my trip” But I beg to differ. In a relationship‐building scenario, no one is suggesting that you monopolize the discussion. Rather, at the appropriate time, you inject your own personality into the sale and infuse your clients with confidence by telling them about your personal experiences. Talking Travel for some may be a challenge. But in a world of niche interests and the need to uncover the hidden agenda on each client’s wish list, a story can help open the discussion. Let’s pretend that your client is bound for Peru and may be a bit nervous about the typical traveller concerns of safety, what to eat, what to drink, where to shop, how to get around.
At this point you inject one of your ‘travel star stories” into the discussion. A star story is a tale of something you did that gave you great satisfaction and in the area of travel this is, inevitably, something you accomplished (such as riding a subway or taking the bus in a new city) or something you found (that incredible art gallery on a back street that none of the guide books mention) or something you challenged yourself to do and you found it to be amazing (such as sitting at a local bar where no one spoke your language and you ordered a drink or a snack and people were warm and friendly and helpful). So, at the right point in the selling process, you relate one of your travel star stories about the destination (or if you have not travelled there yourself, then you can use a star story from one of your clients. Just ensure that you don’t claim it as your own). To return to our Peru analogy, a travel star story might be how you spent the day in Barranco (one of the suburbs of Lima) and walked around during the day and you found a great little bar where you could order a beer and a sandwich and look out at the ocean and see some musicians entertaining the Sunday crowds nearby. The telling of this story brings up the idea of ‘safety’ so you may have helped the client by bringing up this matter yourself— something the client may have been embarrassed or reluctant to do. By talking about eating and drinking, you have raised the matter of safety to visit local cafes, bars and restaurants, and you have left the door open for the client to ask questions. And by mentioning the musicians, you have raised the matter of entertainment, and possible activities in the evening.
(Barranco, by the way, is very close to Candelaria which is one of the more celebrated peñas—local weekend entertainment venues—lots of singing, dancing, food and of course, pisco sour) Talking travel may be something that you THINK you are doing by chatting about needs and selling, while in fact you are just skirting the issue. Talking Travel is developing a relationship; it is engrossing your client in meaningful star stories that in turn, bring up questions and concerns and encourage the client to relate their own star stories—so again, you are building rapport and relationships. When you are talking travel, you are fulfilling the role as the consummate travel professional. And just think of the advantage you have over the internet. You have the opportunity to pass along your infectious enthusiasm for the destination through your stories and your people skills. Stories sell travel; telling and selling is key to travel sales. So tell ‘em and sell ‘em! Each story you tell can be a New Business Generator and especially if you do add that enthusiasm I mention above. Talk it. Tell it. Sell it!
With everything we have going for us and all the things, features, products and services your head office, host agency, YOU and your suppliers put on the table, still the biggest challenge is taking any and all of “this” to market in such a way as to generate NEW business. The Art of Generating New Business is in my blood, I guess it comes from the artistic genes in the old family DNA that I tap into when I need to. For some, for many, for most agency owners and managers I meet, they tell me “Good for YOU! But try dreaming up ideas when you have an agency to run!” Hmm, good point. I’d take that and run if I hadn’t been there and done that – as in having run my own agency AND created the ideas to generate new business. I also appreciate that not everyone has a creative streak and that they rely on suppliers or members of staff to come up with ‘this week’s idea’. One thing you learn is not to leave it too late before coming up with the next idea. It should be well planned in advance and that alone will save on the stress and the rush and tear. From experience I know you can plan your entire annual campaign in a weekend. All it takes is focus and plenty of input and plenty of discussion with excellent data to refer to. DATA 2 DOLLARS One of my favourite workshops… it’s all about how an agency owner / manager should have excellent data and then turn that data into dollars. This means having facts and stats that are graphed out in such a way as to present to the reader (you) the peaks and valleys of sales ranging from ALL to niche and type, by supplier and destination. You can go as deep as you wish and first time around this is the ONLY way to go. Once you have this information in front of you, you can start to tap into your NBG!
Your graph will look something like this as you connect the dots and line‐graph each peak and valley. Now it’s clear to the eye as to when you should market each specific type of travel in order to generate new business. Next: you complete a similar graph based on the sales and or revenue flow for each month for the last 5 to 10 years. Then you determine the average per month and graph that line. See below.
You can now see the generic DNA of your business. These peaks & valleys are specific to your business based on your location, your clientele, the area you service, the type of products you sell and how you market – all of these things produce this line. Now you can decide where and how, along this line, you intend to generate new business. To do that, you will focus on the graph showing each type of travel sold and plan to boost the low periods, OR, boost the peak seasons even more. GLOBAL WARMING & PEAK SEASONS Whether you agree with the global warming issue or not, we know that our weather systems are changing and ‘peak’ seasons have moved. This information is important to your marketing plan.
Here’s a plan for your NBG to start working on: First I want you to write down the amount of sales and revenue you wish to generate this year. Next you’ll check each sector from Air to Hotel to Tours to Cruises to Insurance and decide the growth in each that will accumulate to the sales & revenue target you stated as your goal. Now you can plan using your graphs to plot when and how. Now you can tap into your NBG and get that marketing mindset in high gear. Reach for a paper or digital calendar / planner and let’s get busy. On the graph below you can see two low periods have been circled – let’s say that this line represents tour sales. The two lows fall right into Europe’s spring season and summer season. With some additional effort in marketing and starting to market back by 3 months or more, you would be able to boost your sales and revenues for what is showing as two low periods on your chart.
If the weather patterns have changed and summer is coming earlier, or being forced into later months then you’ll need to consider this in your plan and market accordingly – even pointing out to your clients that ‘SUMMER IS COMING LATE THIS YEAR…” and it’s possible that the good weather for coach touring in Europe falls into the off season, meaning pricing is better. Your slogan might say: “Enjoy an Indian Summer in Europe this year…?” THE PRE PLAN CUSTOMER SURVEY If you have not completed a “Where are you going this year?” customer survey, it’s never too late to do one. You can simply phone each client and ask or you can send an email, or you can send out a survey through companies such as Survey Monkey or Boomerang. You will ask your clients to tell you where they want to go.
You also ask when they want to go. This information is usually gathered the year previous so that you enter the new year with a graphed out plan of when your clients suggest they are going to travel. This information when plotted over your current graphs will show you how much business you can expect – although it’s not guaranteed of course. GENERATING MORE OF THE SAME OR… Another question for you: will you generate more of the same type of business you’ve been selling for years or will you introduce something new? Many times when you keep selling what you’ve always sold there comes a point when there is just no more business to be had. Your clients have been there and done that and after 5 cruises or 5 coach tours they are resting up, booking with someone else or doing it all themselves unless you spice up their travel life with something new. When you decide to offer something new, there is a risk. So your new offer be it product, pricing, destination, travel club or whatever it is – it should fit your existing customer base and serve their needs and wants, OR you are going out to generate a new client base for your new idea. Group business is always waiting for you. Adventure travel is ripe for fit baby boomers and active seniors, cheap mass‐market cruising has been done to death but there are still many people who want to eat their way around the ocean! You could try selling more upscale cruises to a more upscale cruise client. Luxury travel is always waiting for you. Women only tours are there to be had too. You could develop and offer tours based on your own travel passion and preferred destination. You’ve got 195 + countries, 300 niche markets, 100,000 places plus cities, towns, routes, scenes, castles… yes, you have so much in your marketing bag that you will need to do some planning before you jump in and start promoting something new. But NEW is where it’s at. Keep thinking. Keep planning. Be the NBG travel agent in your area and get your clients out to enjoy a new experience this year. There’s still time!
How long can you keep your mind in extreme NBG mode? Let’s go for 24 hours minus sleep time! You’ll have your preferred note pad with you – paper, digital, voice recorder, planner, Dragon app for your iPhone and any other gadget that can record your thoughts. Scary that! Okay, not ALL your thoughts then, just the new business generation thoughts. The fact is, wherever you go, whatever you see, touch, feel, read, hear, taste… all of this can excite your NBG senses and lead you towards a new idea that will generate new business for your agency. Many times we stick to what we know and we stick to our own trade and industry when it comes to new ideas. When you take the time to look over the fence into someone else’s business backyard, you will find all sorts of activities going on that could be applied to your business. The activities will range from colour schemes to slogans, to techno‐tools, to service concepts and advertising layouts and more. As they say, it’s a wide world out there and if you remove any blinders you might have on, you will automatically tune into a thousand new ideas each and every day. The challenge at that one‐thousand idea point is to learn how to filter what does not make sense to follow and what does make sense to chase.
Keep your eyes on the road but glance at the billboards – some of them have great slogans!
We know that cameras and photography are associated with travel. We know that books are associated with travel too – guide books especially. Mobile phones, iPads and mini‐laptops are associated with travel and now there are hundreds of travel apps that can be downloaded too. The Ng NBG – that translates as the Next Generation of New Business Generators… will be born into the world of travel technology – they will arrive with their own QR code on their foreheads and a GPS chip tattooed on their forearm. Until then, we’re back to using the current senses you have access to. Words that drive your everyday NBG are mindful, observing, conjuring and then taking your senses to the next level that allows you to think and process the information that just arrived. I often visit a book shop and look at the huge coffee table books that are usually a photo essay featuring one country or another. All I need is one glance and I can see the book offers images, descriptions, locations, routes and maps and all the things I would need if I wanted to plan a tour to this part of the world. If you like to read, then you tap into all the travel blogs and there are hundreds that might be of interest to you. You know that most blogs are written by people actually on the road. Others are written by armchair travellers – so beware the truth of what you read. There might be information being blogged that tells you, “Hey, my clients would like that!” So now you have something to work on. Making use of your agency window if you have one means changing it every week to keep it fresh and exciting. If the same old stuff remains in your window week after week people just stop looking. You must treat you window for what it is – advertising space that is the price of your rent.
Here’s your window above. What’s playing in it this very moment? When was it last changed? Are you watching the seasons, are you promoting something ‘down the road’… can you add a time sensitive offer to attract business today? Do you have an attention getting slogan? How about your email address, phone number or a huge QR code? The next piece of advertising real estate you own is your website home page. Same questions as above. Your website/home page is the virtual version of your agency window. If you do not operate a B&M agency then your website / home page is your #1 advertising real estate. You should be directing all your clients to read your site. Better if they just phone you and make a booking – but that’s an outcome of much more push marketing by you and your team. Use your emails, your car, your t‐shirt, your business cards, your invoices, your social media – use them all to send clients to your website. Make sure your website mirrors your agency window in terms of products and offers. When they land on your website, make it a thrill and so much so that everyone will want to join your email list, your travel club, your newsletter list, your quick trip list, your cruise club… something needs to attract visitors to your website to “join” your agency. As your list increase so will your New Business Generation opportunities. The join us campaign never stops. Your frontline team must always suggest and push for each client to join the list.
The next step in the world of Ng NBG is to master the techno tools and software that allow you to create truly fantastic videos, magazines, brochures, posters, headers and slogans and slide presentations as well as audio podcasts. This is where you can exceed the competition – in how you promote yourself to the consumer. I’m talking Animoto, Adobe Premiere, Elements, Magix, Adobe Acrobat, Issuu and delivery methods such as Skype, webinars, live streaming, eBooks, eMagazines and apps for your clients smart phones and tablet computers. When you learn how to use these tools you are going to be one very next generation travel agent tapping into not only the current baby boomer segment but also the younger traveller in their 40s, 30s and 20s who are 99% tech savvy, who love the YouTube experience more than an email and if you can send an offer in a comic format… you will be ahead of the game here too. Back to basics: take a hard look at the tools you have to use. Take another hard look at the business you sell and the customer profile you sell to. One more hard look – stare out at the future of your business and decide if you are going to generate new business or stay as is. Somewhere in there is the answer to the tools you will need, how you must think about ideas each day and what to do with the ideas once they are generated. As the saying goes: ideas are a dime a dozen. They are also 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration if they are to get done. Try to attract an NBG team – people that can assist you in your NBG efforts; people to keep you on the straight and narrow, focused and not off on a costly tangent.
Last but not least. Keep watch for my soon to be released webinar and workshop on NBG. It’s coming soon!
Hi I’m Steve Crowhurst, and if you join me for this webinar you’ll learn how you can become the best wedding planner or honeymoon maker in your community. I’ll tell you about traditional to new to extreme weddings and honeymoons that work for divorced couples, stargayzing for LGBT couples and even naked bungy “I‐doooooos!” Laugh and learn with me and then go make some money!
Go here to register: http://thetravelinstitute.com/training‐resources/webinars/ TWO BRAND NEW WEBINARS COMING SOON! CHECK HERE FOR DETAILS LATER THIS MONTH
On this page we enhance the sales relationship between supplier BDMs and the travel agent. Outcome: faster, quicker, larger, higher revenue sales!
ALRIGHT THEN. Here’s where you can boost your credibility and your agency account sales too! All it takes is a little thinking outside the box AND also inside the box. When you are thinking for your own company and generating ideas, usually there’s a fund to work with. Not as much as you used to be able to tap into but still you’ve got more to spend than the majority of your agency accounts. When you work on ideas for your company you are generally thinking outside the box as some say (not me and I’ll explain in a moment) and this means you are creating new sales boosting ideas based on what other suppliers are doing and what comes naturally to your creative side based on your collective experience. When you work with your travel agency accounts, the thinking process is reverse – you must go INSIDE the box. This is where I like to work – and it means you must be very good at helping the agency owner / manager utilize what’s inside the agency box. This refers to the talented sales team, the physical plant itself, the skill levels that are obvious and those that could be trained. As an extreme BDM, this means you have the creative ability to take a look at an agency and quickly determine how the agency owner / manager can start to generate new sales for your product with little to no cost to the agency. Let’s stop here for a moment: can you do this? Can you quickly assess what’s inside the agency that can be turned to a bigger and better use? Are you savvy about current technology, software, art and design, layout and scripting and social media too? Enough for you to lead the way and demonstrate HOW your ideas can be done? BDM Font: Baily
Just as with the travel agent community it is creativity and new business generation know how that will separate you from the other BDMs that are your competition. We have the BDM Mantra listed below and there is also another credo that you should keep in mind and that is – You Do Not Do, You Only Show HOW. This is very important to anyone who works as a field consultant – i.e. a BDM. You are supposed to come up with ideas for your agency sales teams to act on, and you are charged with showing them how the ideas works. After that you step back and let the agency account take the responsibility for the project. Many ideas are quick to think up and very difficult to put into practice – so be careful how fancy your ideas become. You do not want to be laughed out of the agency as a “great talker” dispensing ideas that just don’t work. As your creative juices flow, run your thoughts through the “So what? Question. It will keep you honest. After each flash of inspiration, ask yourself “So what?” It helps you drill down to what’s important and doable – before you present your idea to your agency account. Why not host a New Business Generation hour with each agency on your list. Monitor a session based on, How Can WE Sell More Of MY Product? You could also present this session as a webinar with all lines open – so the feedback is live.
Remember the BDM Mantra: “If I can’t sell it to them… they won’t sell it for me!”
Bring this workshop to your conference as a keynote or full day event and laugh and learn your way to NEW profits!
Bring a laptop.
Learn through doing!
Brain and body storming & interactive transitions.
Create as you go.
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Animoto Magix Issuu Word Acrobat Instant Presenter Logo Creator Snag It Slide share
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E‐Books E‐Magazines Ads Slogans Capturing Slide presentations Skype Dragon BrainShark
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Get the tips, tools and techniques that can be used as soon as you return to your agency.
Thinking Creatively The NBG Way SCAMPER Thinking INSIDE The Box Reading Between the Lines Observing, Recording Charging Fees Website Review Email Marketing
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Traditional 2012 Social media 2012 Blended marketing plans Niche Sales Surveying Clients Closing Techniques Tools for Ng NBG Press Releases And… yes, MORE!
412 PAGES 273 IDEAS 100s of VARIATIONS 700 LINKS TO MORE RESOURCES When you need a source of ideas to either implement as is, or to help jog your own creative juices, this is the book to buy. It took me over 25 years to get it ‘here’ and that story is on page 5. It was some journey. When I started writing it, the IBM Selectric was the word processor of choice! What a laugh. Some suppliers have purchased a copy for each of their Business Development Managers, host agencies have made bulk purchases for their members and individual agents have written in to say this book is their idea bible.
WHEN YOU BUY THIS BOOK YOU WILL RECEIVE 2 HOURS OF IDEA TIME WITH THE AUTHOR AND 10% OFF YOUR FIRST STATIONERY ORDER WHEN PURCHASED THROUGH BIG BARK GRAPHICS EASY TO USE E-STORE!
It also, as you can see, comes in pill form, a cure for the common creative block! Okay, just kidding, but it is available in E‐BOOK format if you prefer to read it on screen! For e‐Books: firstname.lastname@example.org
NO OTHER BOOK LIKE THIS ONE – AND IT’S CURRENT!
PURCHASE THE SOFT COVER FROM
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