5 Tips to Help Travel Agents Close More Sales
Written by: Amanda Bailey on November 11, 2016
The idea of “selling” gives some travel agents anxiety. However, if you consider your interactions with clients as conversations, rather than sales pitches, promoting yourself and upselling might be a little less daunting.
Check out these tips for improving your interactions with clients, so you can boost your travel agency’s sales!
1. Become Needs-Focused, Rather than Product-Focused
Get in the habit of selling a vacation as an experience, not as a product. What does your client need in order for their vacation to be satisfying, or in order for them to justify spending their hard-earned money?
Travel suppliers have different reputations associated with them, but when a client daydreams about their vacation they probably aren’t picturing a specific logo or brand. They are picturing themselves escaping their daily routine. You can provide that escape. Guide them through the sensations they’ll experience on their trip: the relaxing views, the refreshing drinks, the fascinating tour. Paint vivid pictures with words, so your clients are able to imagine themselves enjoying their vacation, before they even leave!
2. Don’t Assume You Have to Price Match
When someone comes to you asking if you can match a price they found on Expedia/Travelocity/Groupon, your first response doesn’t have to be “yes.” That automatically justifies their belief that cost is the only thing that matters.
Instead, ask them why they choose that specific resort, sailing or destination. If they respond that it’s because it was the cheapest trip they found, they probably won’t be your ideal client. If they give you some specifics of what appealed to them about the trip, that opens the door for you to suggest something that will wow them even more.
3. Ask the Right Questions
When you are initially qualifying your client, always ask open-ended questions that give the clients the opportunity to tell you what they really want. Effective questions like, “What’s the coolest vacation you’ve ever taken?”, “What lasting memories do you want from your trip?” and “What are the top 3 things on your list for this trip?” will give agents a clearer picture of the client’s ideal vacation.
After you’ve asked questions, make sure to listen closely to the responses and record the information your clients shared so you can reference it when making recommendations.
4. Ask the Questions Right
When getting down to specifics, phrase questions in a way that opens their eyes to possibilities they might not have considered. Rather than asking, “would you like to upgrade your room?” steer the client towards specific options by phrasing the question as “would you prefer the standard suite, or the swim-up suite that includes butler service?” If you only ask them if they want an upgrade, they might not have even known butler service was an option!
It’s also smart to word questions in a way that shows your consideration for your clients. “What is your budget?” is a straightforward way to determine how much a client wants to spend. However, by asking “what are you comfortable spending?”, you are showing that your client’s comfort is your top concern.
5. Exude Passion
Remember that clients want to be excited about the trip they’re planning, and their travel agent should be their biggest cheerleader. Smiling shows enthusiasm. It’s as simple as that. Smiling even comes across when you’re talking to someone on the phone.
Go into conversations assuming that people want to buy travel from you, rather than thinking you’ll have to persuade them. People do want to book travel, but they want to book it with someone who loves travel and wants to pass that passion along to their clients. Don’t be afraid to show your enthusiasm – it could be contagious!
Up your game with these sales strategies in conversation so you can build stronger connections with your clients. Happy clients equal increased bookings, and increased referrals!
For more information on how you can start your own travel agency from home with KHM Travel Group, fill out the form on the right or call 1-888-611-1220.