Promote your Professionalism: It’s not all about you…

In the world of customer service and marketing, who’s Number One?

I’ll give you a hint… it’s not you.

You’ve got a killer marketing opportunity: A free ad in the community paper, an opportunity to include a free flyer at the local mall, or someone’s loaned you their database for a once-off mailshot.

It’s time to pick the perfect product to market. Of course, you’ve just been to Paris and you really loved it so without blinking you put together the perfect Paris package, print 5 000 flyers and wait for the phones to ring.

Have you stopped to ask yourself: “Am I giving my customers what they want? Or what I like and want?”

Resist the urge to impose your values, beliefs and preferences on your customer and define clearly who they are, and what makes them tick before making any marketing or sales decision.

Clearly profiling your existing and prospective customers is one of the keys to ensuring you truly resonate with your customers prompting to buy from someone who knows them, someone they trust.

The better you hit that bullseye, the more meaningful the message and with that a loyalty that you would not necessarily have cultivated with a shotgun marketing approach.

Here are some handy tips on how to profile them:

Demographics: Age, gender, race, income, education, family status
Geography: Residence, work location, recreation area
Behaviour: Planner, impulse buyer, frequency of holiday, date of travel, where they source information
Attitude: Likes, dislikes, interests, preferences, values, most pressing needs, preferred contact medium

Cluster those individuals who share a common need your travel company can satisfy. What does their attitude tell you about the services you need to provide? What does their behavior tell you about the type of marketing they need?

Then tailor your pitch to meet their needs. Remember it’s not important what you want and what you think they will respond to. Getting them to trust you means they have to be sure you understand what they need (not what you need) and deliver on it!

That’s the secret of being a 21st century travel agent…