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Education resource for the group travel supplier


Thursday, 03 January 2013 11:09

4 Tips to Capture Tour Operator Interest

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It's never too early to start planning for spring and summer vacations. In fact, now is the perfect time for tour operators to digest the feedback from their customers and start sourcing new products, experiences, and services to offer in the coming year.

Smart tourism marketers know, understand, and appreciate this cycle. They realize how important it is to maintain brand awareness after the guests have left. So, how does a company capture the interest of a tour operator?

We often fail to realize that tour operators puts their reputation on the line with every trip they plan. Operators must feel comfortable with their suppliers; they have to know that their customers are going to be taken care of when visiting our museums, restaurants, hotels, theaters, cities, etc.

Here are a few pointers for connecting to tour operators:

  1. Be persistent. No reasonable person will buy a car from a manufacturer of whom they've never heard. Tour operators won't just throw you business because you made a single phone call. Use a variety of methods (phone, direct mail, e-mail, Web, advertising, personal sales calls, etc.) to build a steady drumbeat of brand impressions throughout the year.
  2. Be sincere. If you can't do something, be honest about it. The tour operator may have solutions you haven't even thought of. Plus, no one likes the sleazy sales person, so don't be one!
  3. Be personable. We've all been told, "it's about the relationships." Don't be afraid to get to know your clients, their tastes, their preferences. Join a Sales Mission to see them face-to-face and understand their work environment.
  4. Listen. Ask the right questions and listen carefully to the answer.  One of my favorite questions is, "What would it take to earn your business." Take note of the response and try to work those selling points into your presentation.

Written by: Stephen Ekstrom at Firestarter Brands

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