During the pandemic, we've seen a dramatic surge in travel advisors charging fees. In order to offset the increase in time to make each booking, lack of cash flow, and more demanding consumers, a service fee, is a welcome source of predictable income.
Why then, for some, is it still so hard to introduce fees?
For most advisors, charging fees to new customers, especially those who want to “pick your brain” on a cheap air ticket, is an obvious solution.
The more challenging barrier to overcome is to charge past customers who previously did not pay a fee or to charge fees on top of lucrative, high-ticket products that others may not be charging fees for.
A useful distinction is to separate fees from the customer or product type.
Whether it’s a new customer or a high-end product, neither is the primary reason that service fees enable your business to thrive.
A fee is not about the $50, $200, or even $1500.
A fee is a line between shopping and buying that allows you to go to work
on creating a trip of a lifetime for people you care about.
Let’s consider a fee from the consumer's perspective.
When seeking travel advice, a service fee is generally the farthest thing from a consumer’s mind.
They come to you for one reason:
You have answers to their questions they cannot find on google.
Whether they are researching, shopping, dreaming, or collecting ideas, it’s all on “borrowed” time. Your time.
Your goal is to bridge the gap between shopping and buying by drawing a line.
On one side of the line is your friendly, helpful response to help clarify where they are on their customer journey. It's an investment in learning more about what booking this trip would mean to them.
On the other side is your unique ability to deliver a trip of a lifetime to people you enjoy working with.
Not everyone makes the investment and that's ok.You are not meant to work with everyone. You are meant to become indispensable to people who value your worth.
Your decision needs to be, how do you get your ideal customers to see the value and cross that bridge?
The most important upsell you’ll ever make is to yourself. Your conviction on how life-changing it is to be a high-valued customer of yours is life-changing.
It’s not how much it costs, it’s how much you are worth.
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