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Fire Starter Brands' blog features original content and thoughtful insight to help travel industry professionals build better products, attract more visitors and increase their efficiency.

Three Smart Tips to Build More Leads

By: Stephen Ekstrom | Founder of Fire Starter Brands LLC

Looking for new leads?

In a recent conversation with an industry colleague, we talked about about these three sure-fire techniques she could use to develop qualified leads at a well-known cultural institution.

No matter what type of business you have, if there is a need for outbound sales, there are three places to look for new leads methods.  This article will talk about each of those three sources and tips to help you land new business from each.

Existing Customers

Yes - your existing customers can be one of the best sources for new sales. Take a moment to reach out to everyone who's already doing business with your organization to remind them of the products, services and features you are offering now. Let them know about upcoming events, exhibits or activities that, based on their previous purchase history, they may find interesting. Try your best to schedule repeat business early so that you aren't trapped in a scramble to fill seats or goals at the last minute and reward those buyers for booking early.

Related: Tourism Seasonality - A Buyer's Perspective

Old/Lost

Keep track of every incoming call, inquiry or lead. Whether or not you're able to satisfy that customer's need today, old or lost business leads contain valuable data that you can use to promote future opportunities.  If you couldn't complete the sale because there was no availability - call that customer early during the next sales cycle. If the price was too high last time, call them when you have a special offer or excess availability that may be at a discount. If you didn't have the type of product to suit their needs, you may have it sometime in the future and this customer may be willing to buy. You may also use their past purchase history to predict their interest in new products/services.

New

This is, by far the most labor intensive source for new business.  Consider joining trade associations, membership groups, scouring the web and utilizing resource guides to find names and numbers of prospects that need to be qualified.  Be patient, be diligent and be friendly.  Remember that more than 80% of operators plan their itineraries more than 6 months in advance. 

Related: Make the Most of Your Membership