By Emily Peters
Recently, we’ve been chatting about close tactics, like using the latest travel news to get your clients out the door. But how pushy should you be? How often should a travel agent take “no” or “later” as an answer?
The Soft Sell
At MTravel, we regularly speak with individuals who are interested in joining our hosting program. Unlike some host agencies, we tend to employ the “soft sell” approach—a more subtle, client-driven process to becoming a member of the MTravel fam. The soft sell relies on building relationships, trust, and encouraging clients to Why do we do this?
Relatability and trust, for one. We mean it when we consider our hosted travel professionals to be family, sharing common interests, values and outlooks. We know that starting a travel business is a loaded decision, and you have to feel comfortable with your host as a business partner. If we pressure someone into joining when they’re not ready, can’t afford it or are simply not a good fit for our program, the partnership will fail—rendering the whole selling process largely a waste of time.
When to use the Soft Sell
Use the soft sell with the savvy client who knows what they want and with whom you have a natural accord. Be confident in what you offer, let them know that you’d love to work with them, and let their emotional connection to your personality lead them back to you.
The Hard Sell
Now, all this mutual goodwill between you and your clients doesn’t mean that the soft sell approach is always best. The hard sell emphasizes the benefit of your travel expertise at every phase of the conversation. It anticipates objections and has the answer prepared—how this cost, this destination, this supplier, these activities and your expertise will provide unique benefits that would be impossible with any other option (or any other travel professional). In short: you’re here to buy, I’m here to sell, let’s do this.
Hard selling, where it can often result in a faster close process, can also alienate clients who are less amenable to pressure. Once again, deciding which track to take is largely determined by how well you listen to your client.
When to use the Hard Sell
Use the hard sell with the client who is unsure about what they want and/or is easily overwhelmed by lots of options and opinions. Use the hard sell approach with clients suffering from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out on a good deal) who need someone to give it to them straight and advise them to book today, not tomorrow. And always use the hard sell when someone literally tells you they’re ready to book. Take their credit card number and move forward!
The Soft Sell vs. Hard Sell – Which is Better?
The wonderful moral of the story is that you do not need to choose! The clever travel professional will listen to their clients and then determine between soft and hard. The less you speak, the more you’ll hear—so prioritize your client’s feedback and you’ll never go wrong. Good selling!
Are you ready to start your independent travel business with MTravel? We are here to help! Contact us here or call us at 800-870-5799. Be sure to check out our website at www.MTravel.com and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.