Having a strong value proposition as a travel agent is essential to the success of your business. Since you’re reading this, it means you either run or work for a travel agency, or may be thinking about starting one.
Can you recall the moment that brought clarity as to why you decided to start a travel business? That “ah ha!” moment when you decided to start on this journey? (If you haven’t yet written that reason down, take a few moments to do so!) While reflecting on that notion, explore how that reason connects with the mission of your business.
To start creating your value proposition – find your “Why”
First, what is your “why”? What drives you to go to work every day and help your clients? What pain points are you solving for them? Knowing your why for your business is important. Write it down, memorize it, frame it, and hang it on your wall. Whatever you need to do so that your why is always top-of-mind. Businesses go stale when they lose sight of their reason for being in business in the first place.
To know your “why”, can you answer:
- “I am in business so that my clients can (blank) in order to (blank).” OR
- “The focus of my business is (blank) because my clients need (blank).”
Here are a few examples:
- “I am in business to provide opportunities for my clients to reconnect and create memories because time is their most valuable asset.”
- “The focus of my business is to create incredible adventure opportunities because my clients seek to expand their view of the world through experiencing different cultures.”
Know who and what your product is.
Next, the best way to be successful in sales is to know who you are selling to and what your product is. Can you easily answer?:
- “My ideal client is (blank) and my niche is (blank destinations)”?
Here are a few examples:
- “My ideal client is young families and my niche is Disney, Universal and other family-centered destinations.”
- “My ideal client is active retirees who are seeking bucket-list travels to premium destinations like England, Greece, and Portugal.”
- “My ideal clients are mainly solo travelers looking for adventure to places like National Parks, Central America and Alaska.”
Know the “where” in order to create your value proposition as a travel agent
Once you are comfortable and familiar with the who and the what, you can turn your attention to the where. What destinations are within your niche?
One of the cardinal rules of the travel industry is “You can’t sell the whole world!” It’s an unfortunate situation when advisors try to tackle the whole world. With the “whole world” mentality, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose the ability to connect with your clients. (How can you sell something to someone if you don’t even know what “it” is?)
Let’s be honest, you just simply can’t know everything about every destination. It is far more practical to develop a niche or a set of specific destinations that you can become an expert on. Once you develop your expertise, you will be able to offer far more value to your clients, and therefore become more profitable too.
Can you answer:
- “My niche is (blank), and some ideal destinations are (blank)”?
- “My niche is family travel, and the destinations I am an expert on are Disney, Universal, and Hawaii.”
- “My niche is luxury travel, and the destinations I am an expert on are the French and Italian Rivieras, Greece, Croatia and Paris.”
- “My niche is romance travel, and the destinations I specialize in are Hawaii, Bora Bora, Maldives, and St. Lucia.”
Consider how you can stand out.
Now that we know the who, the what, the where and the why, let’s talk about the difference. To know what you are really selling, you need to know what you are not selling.
You are not just selling products, though knowing what your product is and how to utilize the right products is important. The product in your travel business is the specific items of your client’s trips like accommodations or activities.
It’s important to remember that as a travel advisor, you are independent from suppliers, meaning you do not work for them directly. You may have certain suppliers you prefer or have built relationships with, but at the end of the day, your goal is not to sell their product for them. You work for your clients, not the suppliers! What’s more: you are not selling what everyone else is. All travel advisors sell the various aspects of travel, so identify what is unique to your brand and what it is you are really selling.
Your job is to sell more than just the pieces of a trip. Technology has made it simple for anyone to jump on their computer or phone and book a hotel or air tickets. What’s the difference then between this and what you offer as a travel advisor? YOU! You are the difference!
As a travel agent, you are selling your knowledge, expertise, and connections. You are selling your clients peace-of-mind and convenience. Clients don’t know everything you do, and you dedicate your time to research and planning, all so that your clients do not have to. As their travel agent, you gift them back their time – time they would have spent doing these things. You are selling opportunities and experiences for creating moments and memories, things that cannot be Googled or found from the opinions of others. You are building relationships and establishing trust with your clients by getting to know them and their travel style, so that you can craft a unique experience just for them.
It’s also helpful to understand what you provide to your clients when creating your value proposition. Read more about this and how you can better understand your role as a travel agent in our post “The Main Responsibilities of Travel Agents.”
Put your value proposition into action!
As you begin crafting your marketing plan for the new year, keep all of this in mind! When you take the angle of connection and authenticity in your marketing rather than simply showcasing products and things, you will then show your audience what it is you really sell. The next time you are batch-creating content, take a moment to look at your content from this new perspective.
You can even do this when utilizing Wanderlust Social bundles! Our new Travel Agent Value Proposition Content Bundle is the perfect tool to help you establish your value proposition as a travel agent. Get it now to ease some of the overwhelm as you navigate these next steps in growing your business.
What are some ways you can tweak your marketing plan to be more authentic and showcase what you sell? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments what you can add to your content to showcase what you are truly selling!