How frustrating is it when a prospective traveler phones, asking you to quote on a cruise, and you spend half your day researching their request, get back to him with great options, and he goes and books his cruise online?
If this happens to you, I have one very simple reply. You are fishing with the wrong bait. In other words, your marketing message is attracting the wrong type of client. My advice to you is enhance your marketing message so that you are promoting YOU, not just the products you sell.
Your ideal clients don’t buy products, they buy solutions – and that’s the huge value you provide. There are lots of tire kickers, bargain hunters, and “do-it-yourself” vacation planners out there. They happily take all the free information they can get. When you only market the vacation product, which is what you do when you promote cruises, tours or vacation specials, you attract price shoppers. In fishing terms, the bait is wrong, because it’s appealing to the wrong types of fish. These are NOT your ideal clients, because they will never value your services. Stop trying to convert them.
All you have to do is change your bait. Create a marketing message that appeals to travelers that already value the services of a professional and willingly pay for them. Get clear on the solutions you provide, not just the products you sell. Everybody is tuned into WIIFM – What’s In It For Me? Show your prospective clients what’s in it for them when they work with you.
A great place to start is by focusing on common motivators. According to Jim Edwards and David Garfinkel in their book “Ebook Secrets Exposed” www.ebooksecrets.com, the most powerful motivators are (in order):
- Make Money
- Save Money
- Save Time
- Avoid Effort
- Get More Comfort
- Achieve Greater Cleanliness
- Attain Fuller Health
- Escape Physical Pain
- Gain Praise
- Be Popular
Not every one of these motivators fits your travel business, but I am certain you can choose at least 4 that do. Decide which motivators fit your business – then craft specific examples of how this has already happened with past clients. Weave these messages throughout your marketing. When you market yourself, the solutions you provide and the experiences you create, you will attract your ideal client. People silently want to be lead. When you show them the way to the memorable, life changing vacation that you can create, your ideal client will seek you out and willingly pay for your services.
Now this does not mean you should stop promoting vacation products, by any means! In fact, I urge you to use all the fantastic marketing materials provided by travel vendors. All it means is that your marketing message is missing a very important piece – YOU.