Trust in your value, agents are told

Trust in your value, agents are told
By admin

Travel agents must sell dreams, trust their own ability and rid themselves of the fear factor if they are to become better at closing out a sale, a seminar has heard.

Consultants must also uncover what a customers’ major motivation is for taking holiday. Only that way can they genuinely tailor an itinerary which suits the needs and “wows” the client. That in turn will create the confidence to ask for a deposit.

The advice, delivered at a ‘closing the sale’ workshop at Travelscene’s National Consultants Conference, came as a survey revealed 84% of Travelscene agents fail to ask for the booking at the end of a consultation.

Sales and marketing expert Anthony Bonnici, from Move Mountains consultancy, began by telling agents they should quit if they believe they are in the business of selling travel.

“You should resign from your job and go home,” he joked with delegates in Alice Springs. “Webjet sells travel. They sell a hotel and an airfare. If you believe you are up against the Internet it will drive you nuts. You are in the business of selling dreams and experiences. That holiday of a lifetime. If you have that at the forefront of your mind you will do a better job.”

Bonnici said agents – along with sales people in many industries – wear “brain blinkers” which limits their belief and confidence in securing a booking.

Among the barriers are a fear of rejection if they do ask for a deposit and a fear of confrontation in the unlikely event of a customer becoming irritated at being asked to book.

Agents also “filter” information and pick out the negatives in a conversation. Such behaviour is not unusual but must be overcome, Bonnici said.

“A prospective client might say “I’m only looking” when they’ve also said many positive things about wanting a holiday. But we tend to only pick up that one negative comment and think that customer is not ready to book a holiday,” he said. “You must look for the positives.”

Agents who have previously failed to secure the sale after asking for a deposit will be plagued with self doubt, he added, underlining the in-built human tendency to dwell on the negatives.

“We emotionalise things. When we fail, we think we’re a failure,” Bonnici said. “Rather than focus on that, imagine what it would be like to close the sale.”

He urged agents not to sell on price or to assume a product is too expensive. “Re-affirm your value,” he said. “Never pre-judge people and what they can afford.”

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