It’s almost impossible to imagine how we would cope with Covid-19 without the internet. How would we communicate without email, Zoom, Skype and access to online research? We would surely be even more isolated than we already are.
Yet we all own a tool with a history dating back to 1876 and which may be your surprise ‘secret weapon’ during these tough selling times.
It’s your phone. I think we all agree that even if clients are reluctant to commit to booking now, we want to retain them for when the new world of travel – whatever that might look like – reveals itself.
Why should you pick up the phone to call your clients? Travel is personal and it shows that you care; that you are taking the time, not by sending out a one-size-fits-all eblast or Facebook posting (let your marketing team take care of that for you), but by talking to them one-on-one to see how they are doing. You don’t even have to talk about travel: family and work concerns might be the scope of your chat.
Secondly, it might give you a good idea about how they’re feeling about travel. Some may declare they don’t think they’ll ever fly again. But others may want to chat about how much they miss travel and can’t wait for all those restrictions to be lifted.
Thirdly, it may give you a reason to follow up with them again, if they say the first trip they want to take when ‘all this’ is over is a European river cruise or a carefree all-inclusive trip down south. It will give you a head start on research on their behalf.
Whatever happens, each conversation will give you items to follow up on and even a great excuse to contact them down the road. Maybe even by phone!
Lynda Sinclair, CTM, is the Senior Vice-President – Leisure at Vision Travel, which has an ever-expanding and vibrant program for independent agents. With over 30 years in the Canadian retail travel industry Lynda says she “Lives and breathes what goes on at the front line.” She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org