8 Ways To Blow It When Selling Travel [Infographic]


Selling travel is not hocus-pocus

A lot of those slick host agency offers try to get you to part with your hard-earned cash by convincing you that all you have to do to make money as a travel agent is “share your love of travel.”

Hey, being passionate about what you sell is great, but don’t kid yourself. Travel agents make money by getting commissions. They get commissions when they book travel products. And bookings require something called selling travel.

When I was a corporate sales trainer, I trained thousands of salespeople in a wide range of industries. Since I decided to focus on the travel industry, I have trained thousands more. And I can assure you that selling travel is not hocus-pocus. It’s not rocket science. It doesn’t require the hypnotic skills of an evil genius.

Selling is actually pretty straightforward. And it can be fun. But it must be done.

That’s why I really liked this new infographic from David Meerman Scott.

David is an acknowledged guru in the fields of Marketing, PR, and sales for major corporations. Because of the nature of the business-to-business world in which he spends most of his time, some of the points below do not align precisely to our business-to-consumer reality as travel agents. But selling travel is not all that different from selling other products or services.

But some of them, I think you’ll agree, really hit home. Think about the challenges of selling travel, then take a look at the graphic and see if you can guess which ones really stood out for me.


What to look out for when selling travel

What really resonates for me are Points Two and Six.

Too many travel agents think the Internet is their enemy (and, let’s face it, in some ways that’s true), but the fact is that the Internet does travel agents a great service by pre-educating consumers about destinations and modes of travel. So don’t be defensive when you hear, “Well, I saw on the Web . . .” Instead, see it for what it is, a golden opportunity to qualify the prospect in depth by asking open questions, especially ones that will get them talking about their desired outcomes – the kinds of experiences they want to have and the positive feeling they want those experiences to elicit. That’s what selling travel is all about.

The fact that someone talking to you has been doing research on the ‘Net is a good thing, not a danger sign. Studies and surveys of the industry have shown time and again that a significant number of people research in the Internet and then book with a travel agent. Why? Because they want a travel expert to confirm their initial findings and help design a truly satisfying vacation experience.

To put it another way, they are looking for the high touch to go with the high tech. They want to speak with someone they can feel comfortable with, someone they can trust.

Which brings us to Point Six. I’ve seen a lot of avatars like this from travel agents and I’m grateful to David for the insight. There’s a place for cutesy in travel marketing but your LinkedIn or Facebook photo is not one of them.

Even if you specialize in safaris and think using a photo of a lion is good branding, remember that your customers don’t want to sit down and plan out a very expensive vacation with a wild beast. They want you. You are the product in this case.

Other points in David’s infographic worth pondering are Points One and Four. Although in the case of Point Four, don’t allow yourself to be lured into giving away your hard earned knowledge to people who will use it to book travel themselves. That’s why the “Plan-To-Go Fee” was invented.

There’s tons of information on selling skills in the Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course.

‘How To Sell Travel Like A Pro’ Module 3

Students of the Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course can review the steps you need to know to successfully sell any travel product. From prospecting, to qualifying, to closing the sale, and much, much more.

Click here to access your course.

Don’t have the course? Click here.

David Meerman Scott is a prolific author and over the years I have found his nuts and bolts know-how very useful to my business. Like I say, his emphasis is on the corporate world and many of his strategies call for big budgets. But there’s plenty of inspiration for the little guy (that’s you and me!) as well.

Titles like “World Wide Rave,” “Newsjacking,” and “Marketing Lessons From The Grateful Dead” are filled with inspiration. If you’d like to check him out …

8 Ways To Blow It When Selling Travel [Infographic] was last modified: October 22nd, 2015 by Kelly Monaghan