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Education resource for the group travel supplier


Wednesday, 18 April 2012 08:38

The Value of Sales Missions

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No matter how much money we spend on advertising, digital media, and smartphone systems, we just can’t replace the human element. This is even more evident in the group travel industry. A tour operator recently told me, “Suppliers need to understand that when we send them a group, it’s not just a booking. We’re trusting them with our reputation.”

That’s quite a heavy burden when you think about it. What does it take to earn this sort of trust? A personal connection? Absolutely. Can it be developed during a seven-minute appointment at a trade show once a year? Probably not.

This is where a well-planned sales mission can help tour operators see your product as an extension of their own.

Sales missions give you the ability to bring your product to where the tour operator is most comfortable. By meeting the buyer in the space, you’ve already bridged the physical distance between their office and your product.

If you want to give the tour operator what they need to sell your product, you have to understand how they work. The easiest way to see how someone works is to take a look at his or her office. You’ll be able to see if they prefer paper or digital media, trinkets or gift cards, traditional messaging or cutting-edge content.

By joining a sales mission, our clients have found more opportunities to build camaraderie, partnerships, and referrals with other suppliers on each mission. They’ve created new itineraries and themes that tour operators love. They’ve honed their pitch by listening in on others and they’ve been introduced to new clients by the people those clients already trust.

I’ll leave you with four simple, but meaningful, reasons to join a sales mission:

1. They work!
2. If you’re not making the call, one of your competitors may be.
3. It means a lot to the buyer that you’ve invested time and energy to visit them.  They won’t forget this.
4. You’ll learn more about the buyer and enhance your skills while on the road.

Written by: Stephen R. Ekstrom, owner of Fire Starter Brands LLC in New York. For more information on Sales Missions you can’t afford to miss or other services to help you reach more tour operators, visit

Read 1687 times Last modified on Thursday, 19 April 2012 14:18

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