When I talk to aspiring or established agents, I always ask what their challenges could be or they’re currently experiencing. I bet you can guess what I hear 99.9% of the time based on the title of this article.
Aspiring agents are scared they won’t market correctly and in turn their lead flow will come in dribs and drabs. Or, they’ll attract a client that doesn’t align with their vision, or even worse they’ll attract price shoppers and bargain hunters. They’re also apprehensive about the sales process – the who, what where, when and how.
Most of the established agents I talk to and work with might have a nice little business started, but just feel STUCK. Sometimes they’re depending solely on repeat clients, family and friends. And why? Well, maybe they’ve tried every marketing “trick” in the book (and spent a fortune in doing so), or thought they found the magic bullet in a general marketing course or social media webinar. Then…crickets. Regarding sales, maybe the processes they’re using are broken, inconsistent and totally generic. This could mean a low close rate.
In either case – marketing or sales – it’s important to understand what the common pitfalls are and how to overcome them. Let’s explore three for each topic here.
Marketing Pitfall #1 – Your branding is too generic
You know that saying…if you’re trying to appeal to everyone, you’re appealing to no one? That’s what we mean here, and it’s totally true. Branding should clear in what your business objectives are and should appeal to YOUR potential client base. It’s the common thread that is woven through all marketing channels. Be diligent about this! Consistency will lead to brand recognition!
Marketing Pitfall #2 – Your marketing is attracting the wrong type of clients
The right marketing should offend the wrong people – the people that don’t fit the profile of your ideal client – and ATTRACT a better fit. So, think about what you’re saying when marketing! Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer. What verbiage would you want to hear that would make you pick up the phone, send an email, or schedule the consult?
Marketing Pitfall #3 – Your business has no brand identity
This is not the same thing as pitfall #1. Here, we’re talking about YOU and who you ARE. So, think about that – who are you? Are you showing up as your authentic self in your business? Are others able to form a connection or bond with you? Putting your personal stamp on your business shows clients that they’ll be receiving a personal experience that so many clients are craving. Weaving in who you are creates that connection or bond. It builds the know, like and trust factor faster, and that will help establish client relationships that’ll last a lifetime.
Sales Pitfall #1 – Lack of consumer confidence
If you see yourself as lacking confidence in the sales process, a prospect is probably seeing or feeling the exact same thing. They NEED to have confidence in you, after all, you’re booking their hard-earned vacation that they’ve been saving for. So, start believing in YOU. That’s the best first step. Then nurture. Again, building that critical know, like and trust factor. You can also use techniques that will show your confidence early in the sales process; maybe in the email you’re sending to confirm a consult, or during the consult process itself. Ideally, take those measures well BEFORE the quote or proposal presentation.
Sales Pitfall #2 – You’re NOT positioning yourself as an expert
This works hand in hand with the above point. If you hesitate when explaining your value and expertise, your prospect will hesitate too. When I mentor both new and experienced travel advisors they often don’t realize they’re sending non-buying queues unknowingly. Something as simple as saying “Take some time to think it over and let me know.” In essence you’re telling the client their buying decision requires more contemplation instead of closing the sale right then. So, work to build your knowledge; learn, read, and practice. Are you going to be an expert in everything? It’s impossible. Accept it, work through it and around it. Then shine your light.
Sales Pitfall #3 – Lack of follow up
Have you ever presented a proposal then a prospect goes radio silent? We all have. Did you attempt to follow up with them? How many times? How? Or, have you ever fallen into the “I don’t want to bug them” trap? Yeah, me too. A recent study by ASTA suggests that six follow ups is the average needed to close a sale with a new client. SIX. So, our follow up processes NEED to be on point. Keeping this in mind, tweak existing sales processes to account for the necessary touch points. Then commit to executing. The follow up steps are part of the job!
So, there you have it, and we’ve only scratched the surface! There’s so much more to the marketing piece of your business and then your sales processes and techniques. If you’d like to hear more tips and tricks on these disciplines, check out my free Masterclass www.careersonvacation.com/masterclass and pop into our free group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/careersonvacation/. We hope to see you there!
Until next time, I wish you much love & abundance.
About the Author
Cyndi Williams is a travel industry expert, advocate, and growth consultant, top travel industry motivational speaker, TV show and podcast host, and CEO of Careers On Vacation. Cyndi received the Vanguard award from CLO Magazine, and the CUBIC award for her work in training and development. Her YouTube channel was named in the “Top 20 Travel Channels on YouTube”. She has been featured as an expert on every major media outlet: CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, HuffPost and Travel Weekly.
With her inspirational and high energy style, Cyndi has a motivated thousands of travel entrepreneurs on their path to growth. Her innovative approach and open heart for sharing her proven models for success is shining a light on what is possible in the travel industry. Her straight-to-the-point approach is a breath of fresh air for new and experienced travel entrepreneurs alike.
Her company, Careers on Vacation exists to support aspiring and experienced travel entrepreneurs with the training, tools, and resources to launch, grow, and scale their travel businesses. They do this by creating a supportive community, media, products, and motivation that encourages their audience to embrace their love of travel, build abundant travel businesses, and live their best lives. They believe that everyone can benefit when they follow their bliss to abundance, and adopt a growth mindset.