We all know that one of the “fastest paths to cash” as an entrepreneur selling travel is through groups. However, putting together groups and filling them are two very different things. One of my greatest frustrations with the industry is that no one is teaching travel agents the most effective way to go after groups. The most commonly understood method is to grab some groups space on a cruise and then spend endless weeks pounding the pavement and chasing people to fill it. Let me be blunt: this does not work.
How do I know? Because I was successful at getting and filling a group but only after learning the hard way. While I didn’t use the above approach, I did make another common mistake. I spent many, many weeks putting together groups that never traveled because I chose the wrong “pied piper.” Eventually, I did figure out how to find the right “pied piper,” put together and fill my very own group with an excellent pied piper and it was awesome. That’s my group in the photo above visiting the Cape of Good Hope, the most South-Western point on the continent of Africa.
The solution: Joint Venture Partnerships. This is a strategy that can be VERY lucrative. Business owners in the GIFTE community, using this strategy have booked six-figure river cruise groups, traditional cruise groups and land based tour groups that are netting them $30,000 – $75,000 in commission. Yes, that’s for 1 booking.
How is it done? The basic concept is to partner with a business owner who already has a PLATFORM of engaged followers that are ideal prospects for the type of travel you want to sell. For example, if you want to put together a River Cruise group because you love the experience, think about the common or shared interests of people who like to go on River Cruises. They are likely to love food, wine, exploring Europe, art, history, classical music etc. Where are they hanging out on a regular basis? One place is wine bars. Another is small winery wine clubs.
Instead of trying to fill the group yourself, partner with a business owner who has these types of people as their existing customer base. For example, as with the above reference to wine bars or wine clubs, you could partner with the owner of the wine bar or winery by offering a revenue share in exchange for escorting the group. So it’s not only a free travel experience with their best customers, they get paid to go on it. And they should! They will be working….hard! The other benefits to the business owner is that it deepens the loyalty amongst their best customers and it’s a very unique thing to do that differentiates them from their competition.
Partnering with business owners or heads of non-profit organizations is not just a great idea…it works!!! It’s worked for many members of GIFTE. It’s netted $30,000 – $75,000 in commission. Get 2-4 of those a year and you have a thriving business. It can work for you.
To learn more about this strategy, refer to Module 6 of the Make Money Selling Travel Blueprint, www.makemoneysellingtravel.com.