How to Sell Value Over Price
As a new travel agent, it is perceived that selling travel seems to be all about the “price.” Some new agents will scour the Internet and travel supplier sites to look for the cheapest prices, least-expensive excursions, lowest category cruise cabins, and off-the beaten path resorts, just so they can quote the lowest price to their potential client. Inexperience says “to be the best, you need to be the lowest.”
The phrase “you get what you pay for” is a cliché for a reason. Offering the lowest price, isn’t always the best. And trying to have the lowest price or setting yourself up to be known for “cheap travel” is a recipe for disaster.
When a travel agents focus on price and price alone, they end up being just a “vending machine” for travel, trying to compete with the travel megasites on the Internet. This is the worst mistake you can make as a travel agent when positioning yourself in the marketplace.
And besides, if your prices are the lowest, and your client chooses you because of it, they will probably only be loyal to finding that lowest price and not loyal to you as their agent. Your goal as a travel agent is to gain and retain clients, so you need to ask yourself, what about service and quality? What about YOU?
As you become more experienced, educated and confident with being a travel expert, what you sell becomes less about the price and more about the value you offer. A little tip…Instead of thinking of yourself as a travel agent, consider yourself a “travel professional.”
A travel professional is someone who is trained and experienced in planning travel and vacations for clients. Planning travel is about the services you are going to offer your client that will result in a stress-free vacation experience that will create memories to last a lifetime. These services can include researching and comparing vacation options, sharing your expert knowledge, coordinating excursions and arranging activities, answering questions, processing the booking, handling documents, and being your clients’ advocate before, during, and after their trip.
Over time as you become educated, try to visit destinations and resorts for trainings, so you can provide firsthand experiences on what is great and what just “looks great” on a website. Showing clients photos and videos that you personally took while being trained at these destinations, resorts, or cruises is the greatest marketing tool you can have when selling yourself, selling a destination and selling value, NOT price.
Remember, ultimately if you decide to sell on price, everyone loses. Your client loses because he or she may have not gotten the best service and product and you lose because you may not have gotten the sale. Warren Buffet said it best, “Price is what you pay, VALUE is what you get.”