“People don’t buy products, they buy solutions.” Meredith Hill
A few years ago, my daughter overheard me saying this quote above. She looked at me, and in her 9 year old voice of reason said, “that’s really smart, Mom.” It’s a marketing concept that seems so simple, but so critical to the success of your marketing.
95% of the travel businesses messages out there miss this entirely. Go online and all you see are ads promoting travel specials. Go to any travel agency website and you will most likely read about how many years they have been in business and how their specialty is something like cruises. But these are NOT solutions.
A grand majority of all small businesses don’t get it either. But until you can shift your message to this place, you will continue to feel frustrated with your clients….because you will naturally attract price shoppers and bargain hunters. Are you attracting less than desirable clients? If so, read this article and incorporate some changes.
How does one shift their marketing from selling products to selling solutions? There are 3 steps.
1. First figure out WHAT solution you provide.
You may have to think hard on this one, but as a travel advisor, you solve many problems. What is the biggest problem you solve? If you don’t currently solve a problem, then find one to solve. Here’s a great example. There are lots of fanatic dog lovers in this world. They LOVE to spoil their doggies and they HATE to leave them. They might love travel, but haven’t indulged in a long time because they don’t want to leave “Fido” behind. You can become the solution provider by specializing in travel for dog lovers. You can become an expert on destinations, resorts, hotels, and even tours for people who want to bring their dogs. You could also become the expert on the best doggie day care places, websites for dog clothes, etc. The list goes on.
This is a real problem for them and you step in as the solution provider. Not many other people are providing this solution so you don’t have competition AND your clients are willing to pay you more. In fact, I doubt you will ever get the argument that they can book it cheaper on Orbitz.
2. Figure out WHO you provide the solution for.
It’s so important to be clear on who you are targeting. Money loves clarity, so get clear on your ideal client. In this example, your ideal client is clearly a dog lover/fanatic. You could get even more clear on your ideal client by narrowing it down to women dog lovers over 50. Or gay dog lovers.Now that you know what solution you provide, and who you provide it for…it’s so much easier to craft your marketing message and figure out where to find them. In our example, you could reach out to local dog food specialists and figure out a great joint venture opportunity. Or you could advertise in a specialized magazine, which would cost a small fraction of what it takes to advertise on a grand scale.
3. Last, you want to figure out WHY you provide that solution.
There has to be passion and experience behind what you choose as your solution. If you don’t like dogs, it really makes no sense for you to pick the specialty in this example…for 2 reasons. For one, you won’t be able to relate to your ideal client and offer advice, help, solutions before they even ask. Secondly, running a business can be hard and you will encounter both peaks and valleys. You need something more than money to get you through the valleys. You need passion about it. You need a strong why. A good why in our example could be a dog lover themself, who wants to donate a portion of proceeds to the ASPCA.
Go through steps 1, 2 and 3 to pick your specialty by focusing on a solution. If you need help, consider purchasing the Make Money Selling Travel Blueprint or private coaching with me. My Nail Your Niche Private Coaching Package is specifically designed to guide you through the process of defining, or refining, your specialty.