As discussed in the past 2 articles, there are people talking about your business as we speak. Sometimes, its even nice and might be good for your business!
But to make it work for your business, to drive sales, the really important information is:
- Who are they?
- What are they talking about?
- Can I positively influence the conversation?
- How can you join in the conversation and why would you want to?
Globally, roomsXML deals with thousands of travel agents per week. Mostly it’s on sales, queries/issues or complaints, but sometimes over coffee, Shriraz or a Sauv Blanc we learn a bit more about them.
In my dealings with many of these agents, and as related by Martin, across many industry segments, most ask customers ‘where did you hear about us’? Which is great, but then they don’t do anything with this information. In not doing so, they may be missing out on an opportunity.
Here’s an example:
Travel Agent: How did you hear about us?
Customer: My friend, Joe Smith told me about you.
Travel Agent: What did Joe say?
Customer: He told me this secret about how you…………………………. Airport transfers………………… Room upgrade………..& hassle free experience
and so on
From the above, we can deduce from Joe’s recommendation, what was important to Joe and the customer - such as ‘airport transfers’, ‘room upgrade’ & ‘hassle free experience’.
One of the best things we can do? Tell Joe we appreciate him and his referral.
Secondly, keep a record of the things these customers mentioned as being important. If you are able to identify a trend where certain items are important to your customers, you have the potential to carve out your own niche in the market place as someone who ‘offers airport transfers and room upgrades as part of their VIP service’.
If not, next time you pick up a conversation with a customer, your ice breaker is ready to go.
We have identified something worth talking about, someone who is speaking about us and we have an opportunity to keep the conversation going.
Next week; ‘knowing your customers’ – quick wins to increase sales.
Mark Luckey, Managing Director; RoomsXML & WebSource Pacific writing for e-Travel blackboard