Travel agents need to stay visible and remind consumers they exist
Travel agents have to get out into their neighbourhoods, to network, promote themselves and be seen, one expert comments. Now that direct sales and OTAs are taking some of the business away – leading many consumers to believe that travel agents are extinct – it is more important than ever to be visible in the community. The three main aspects of successful marketing are to inform, persuade and remind, explained Anita Pagliasso, a manager of the US-based Outside Sales Support Network, an association supporting independent travel agents, during a recent presentation. Agents often forget the “remind” step, which can be done by sending a card, email or making a call to clients after their vacation.
“Just like local real estate agents, use your photograph and put it and your cards everywhere,” she advises, for example on bulletin boards in local cafes. Joining a chamber of commerce and small-business groups for the area can result in generating new business through face-to-face contact. “Get involved and go out and shake hands everywhere,” she says.