Over the years, the way we sell has changed. From when most sales were made face-to-face, salespeople now can reach markets of millions of potential customers from all over the world. The same goes for the travel industry – the number of potential clients online is endless.
Yet when it comes down to it, we’re still using the same selling tools our great-grandparents used – the techniques may have changed, but the name of the game is still the same. But just because technology has changed the way we sell doesn’t mean we need to forget the fundamentals of selling.
According to a marketing survey from Teradata, improving customers’ experience and satisfaction ranked as the fifth most challenging problem for marketers. So, let’s take a step back and ask – why does this only rank in at fifth and not higher on the priority list? To help with this, we’ve dusted off our lab coats to dig through the science of selling (and why the lost art of knowing your customer better than they do has been put on the backburner).
Let’s take it back to the basics of sales. Knowing your customers is needed to be successful in growing your business. If you don’t know who you’re marketing and selling to, how do you know what to sell?
However, there’s one thing that is even better than knowing your customers: knowing how they behave. Behavior is what drives our decision-making as consumers.
Knowing your customers is fantastic (and needed!), but knowing how they behave, well that’s the sweet spot you really want to focus on. Without knowing how they behave, it’s impossible to be able to anticipate their wants and needs, and ultimately, close those sales (because that’s what you’re here to do, right?).
To quote Steve Jobs, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backward to the technology. You can’t start with the technology then try to figure out where to sell it.” Today, Apple ranks in the top five brands in the world, known for its customer experience. That’s what all successful businesses have in common: they know their customers better than they know themselves.
So how do the world’s top brands translate that into a competitive advantage for their business – and how can you do the same for your travel agency?
Here are a few areas to take a look at where you can learn more about your customer’s behaviors:
How are your clients engaging with your website? Do they resonate with the content, or are you consistently fielding questions left and right? If clients aren’t finding the information they need on your website, it might be time to revisit the content and see what needs updating.
Which emails are getting the most engagement? Are your clients interacting (or more importantly, not interacting) with certain email sends or topics? Take a look at your messaging and send cadence to get a grip on how your clients are behaving with your emails – then turn that around and utilize what you’ve learned to better service their needs.
Are clients sharing your content? Social media is a great resource to expand your reach for potential new clients, as well as showcase why your current ones should stick around for more. If your followers aren’t engaging, encourage them to like or comment with some fun, interactive content. Don’t forget the power of user-generated content as well! Share stories and photos of how you’ve helped make your clients’ travel dreams a reality.
When it comes to knowing your customers, remember that the only thing that stands in your way is you. Talk to them and get to know them – a simple conversation can lead to infinite possibilities.
This never-ending quest for many small business owners to truly know their customers inside and out can be quite overwhelming. But understanding your clients can help you as a travel marketer position the product your selling (i.e. making those travel dreams come true). At Avoya, we help independent travel sellers do just that.
Our goal is to empower travel professionals with the best resources to be more successful than ever before. With programs for both experienced travel professionals and entrepreneurs new to the industry, we have the resources designed to help you get to know your customers and make more sales that you ever thought possible. To learn more about the programs available to your business in the Avoya Travel Network™, fill out the form below to contact us today and get started.