Mind. Set. Grow! A Plan is Key to your Success
Everything starts with a plan. Last month, I focused on the first three steps towards what I consider the strongest, most reliable path to success as a travel advisor. Today, I’ll share the rest. Here at Nexion, we do well when our advisors do well. My hope is that by incorporating these things into your daily business practice, you will quickly begin to see the results for yourself.
Focus on Business Growth
Develop a tactical plan geared towards building your customer base. It’s crucial to know your target customer and determine the most effective and persuasive ways to reach them.
And don’t think purely in terms of customers. Who do you know who can open doors for you? Who do they know? Having a strong network can make or break your business.
Once you have that network, position yourself as a specialist and make sure your online persona tells your story. Ensure that your website enhances your brand and appeals to your ideal customers and prospects.
Leverage your current customers, since referrals and reviews are one of the most effective marketing tactics, with little to no cost to you.
Get active on social media to engage potential customers. Keep content fresh, share your pics and videos, find ways to interact with your followers.
As I always say, make time to work on your business, not just in it. By differentiating yourself, articulating your value, and telling a story that resonates, you position your brand in a competitive marketplace.
Look After Your Customers
Customer retention is more important than customer acquisition. It’s important for you to establish trust and credibility to keep your customers coming back.
Follow up on all inquiries within a timely manner. If it takes you longer than you anticipated, keep your customers posted.
Keep in touch before, during and after travel. Don’t over promise and under deliver. Always look for ways to add value. Be referable, so your existing customers can help bring you new ones.
Even more importantly, be empathetic – seek feedback and show that you genuinely care.
It’s just as important to know what your customers don’t like – make a note of it and keep it in mind for the next time.
Don’t allow yourself to sink into a state of cold, transactional indifference. Find creative ways to surprise and delight your clients to keep them coming back. Your current customers can be the best advocates for your brand.
Learn Effective Selling Skills
Qualifying your customers is so important.
Take the time to ask questions, open and closed, but make sure you’re also actively listening and let them contribute to the conversation. There’s a reason, after all, that we have two ears and only one mouth.
Ask about previous vacations. What did they like, or dislike? Throw in some “magic wand” questions – get them dreaming about their perfect vacation. What factors are most important to them?
Once you have qualified your customer, prepare one or two options that best match their needs. Keep control by letting them know you will reach out to them with a proposal within a reasonable timeframe. Make sure they know you’re working hard to find them an ideal vacation.
Power in Partnerships
Get connected with other advisors and suppliers. The travel business is a relationship business, so collaborate, learn, and teach. People do business with people they enjoy interacting with.
Stay focused. Pick your partners, and take the time to really get to know their products. Participate with your preferred vendors at local consumer shows or host your own consumer events.
Invest In social media ads or google ad words to promote your business. Join business networking groups or your local chamber of commerce. Look for cross-marketing opportunities with complementary businesses to expand your reach.
Leverage PR opportunities – reach out to your local media and distribute regular press releases
You can also write your own travel column or blog, or host regular podcasts. All great ways to position yourself as an expert!
Working Within Your Business
While I like to emphasize how working on your business is critical to your growth, you still need to be efficient and effective working in your business.
Optimize your workflow – find a system that works for you to stay organized and on top of everything that you need to do. Develop consistent habits, and always remember to post your sales at the time of deposit.
It’s not always fun. Advisors need to be quick problem solvers and be ready to help your customers when things go wrong
Be effective at customer resolution escalations by being clear and concise in your communication. Stick to the facts and always remember to be kind, regardless of how frustrated you may be.
Putting it All Together
Taken as a whole, these tips offer a tried-and-true path to success. We are so fortunate that we get to work in an industry that’s exciting and fun to be a part of. But that doesn’t mean it always comes easy. Like most facets of life, the rewarding things are often gained only through great effort, but well worth working for.