5 Tips for Sharing Your Value
There has been tremendous buzz around news articles that stress the value of booking with a travel advisor.
Endorsements coming from third parties such as Forbes, The New York Times, ASTA and ACTA, lend professional credibility to the positioning of “Why use a travel advisor?”
A good Consortia or Host agency will take it one step further and add its own value proposition to consumers.
For example, Virtuoso advisors offers "in-the-know, know-how and unbelievable travel perks." Expedia Cruises consultants offer "Spectacular Experiences" and an “Always There” promise. Travel Leaders advisors are certified experts and provide one-stop shopping for finding a “destination expert”.
I did a quick google search and it returned over 410 million searches on the topic of why use a travel advisor. I’ve boiled it down to the top five, give or take your own interpretation.
The top five reasons to use a travel advisor include:
Personalize the travel experience.
Handle the unexpected (which has risen to an all-time high in a post-pandemic travel era).
Others might include:
Passion for travel to a particular destination or niche
Extra mile effort
Reduce travel stress
First-hand experience with the destination or travel product
Relationships with trusted travel suppliers
.... and so on.
Before reading on, take a few minutes to create your own list using some of these, or by adding your own. OR: Take the expert challenge: Add one more reason to book with you every day for 30 days. Click here for my 30 Reasons Why Worksheet. Yet the problem persists. Why do consumers doubt the value of booking through a travel advisor? While the entire industry is making tremendous progress in standing up for the value of an advisor, change takes time. Furthermore, it would be a mistake to assume that the decision tree ends there. Travellers may decide to use an advisor for any or all of those reasons, and end up booking it themselves. Ugh! So frustrating! (Click here for my article on How to Spot a Tirekicker). You need to help consumers make the leap from booking it themselves to booking with an advisor to booking with you! The customer decision path:
When a customer decides to use an advisor is only the first step. The goal is to ensure that before you start working for free, you establish that the decision has been made to work with you. Notice the slight change of wording from BOOK with you to WORK with you because you do so much more than make the booking.
That’s why communicating your value needs to become part of every booking experience. Consumers are not mind readers. You need to strike up the conversation with the right questions. Then be prepared to share your value. I recommend creating your own “Why work with me” story using the points that industry experts say matter most. Here are some points to ponder:
How exactly do you save your clients time? Be specific. Is it time savings they seek, or is time that produces the right result
What is a specific example of the kind of savings you offer?
Give an example of a customized travel experience based on someone just like them.
Create a list of “unexpected” events and how you take care of them.
My expertise is in … and why it matters to your customers.
The sum of all your answers to "Why work with me" adds up to incredible value! Communicating it is part of the booking experience.
The bottom line: Know your own story. It helps you stand out by standing up for your value.
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Geraldine Ree is a bestselling author, business coach and travel industry strategist. She helps leaders and their teams elevate their performance. www.geraldineree.com
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