by Stephen Ekstrom | President & Founder of Fire Starter Brands LLC
Are you trying to land more tour & travel business? Did you know that there are really only four elements that every successful destination, attraction, restaurant and local sightseeing include in their marketing strategy. Yes, just four key elements.
Could it really be that simple? Of course. Take a look...
Part 1 - Relationships.
A tour operator must trust that their customers will have a pleasant experience when visiting your area or utilizing your service. The operators' reputation is on the line with every new product, service and vendor they utilize on each itinerary. Elbert Hubbard once said, "In order to have friends, you must first be one."
As an industry supplier, you'll need to go out of your way to demonstrate that you care not just about the operators' ability to pay for your product, but that you care about his/her professional reputation. You've got to take time to learn about the things that are most important to the operator, show that you are willing to go the extra mile and be able to back up your words with like actions.
A few great, inexpensive ways to break past the professional barrier to build a strong trusting relationship with tour operators...
Networking Events - take advantage of opportunities to get to know operators outside of the business appointment. Wrap up a site visit with a casual lunch, cocktail or dinner.
Sales Missions - take your message to the tour operator at his/her office. Demonstrate that you care enough about their business to personally visit with that operator. Join sales missions with other suppliers who may already be working with those operators, leveraging their relationships to help get your foot in the door.
Trade Affiliations - membership in certain trade associations shows that you share an interest in the health of the tour operators' industry.
Social Media - use LinkedIn to connect with clients, prospects and vendors professionally. Connect on Facebook or Google+ to learn more about the personal interests of those individuals. Use that knowledge to better connect on your next call, email or face-to-face interaction.
to be continued...
For more information on how Fire Starter Brands is helping industry suppliers connect with more tour operators or to schedule a complimentary consultation, contact us today.