Sponsored – Strategies to Combat Comparison Travel Shoppers
Online Travel shopping is a challenging competitor to a Travel Professional but How do you overcome it?
Combat Comparison Travel Shoppers Strategies Written By: Melissa Land, Marketing Coordinator – Dugan’s Travels
Today’s travel shopper is extremely savvy. They are following influencers on Instagram, getting ads featuring dreamy faraway places, and thinking about that next awesome vacation. As their trusted travel advisor, we can augment all that consumption by providing a customized vacation plan that ties those travel dreams into a realistic itinerary. So it can be a bit shocking when a prospective client replies to your quote by saying, “Hey, I found this for a lower price on www.(fill-in-the-blank).com. Can you beat that?”
Your first inclination may be an eye roll. You’re thinking, I’ve researched all the best options; how dare they comparison shop online?! And you start to panic that the sale may be lost.
But I challenge you to look at this situation for the opportunity that it is.
First: the client came back to you before they booked (or with enough time to cancel). They want to work with you.
Next: now is your time to sparkle. Our work is a craft; this is a great time to show your magic.
There are a few steps that an advisor can take to save the sale and promote your professionalism.
- Request a screen shot (or at least a web address) for what the client is referencing. Make sure that the lower price being referenced is for an identical itinerary.
- Are the flights the same? Is the hotel category the same? Is it the same cabin type, if this is a cruise? What is the rate code for their price? All of these elements influence the price. If what they have seen online is NOT the same as what you have quoted, explain that and make sure they understand what they are getting for your price (and what they will be losing by going with the lower price).
- See if you can work with the quoted supplier. Dugan’s Travels is affiliated with over 400 suppliers throughout the industry. There is a very real possibility that the supplier whose website the deal was located on already has a contract with our agency, and you can source the client’s trip through them for a commission.
- See if there are any promotions available that can help to lower your price or enhance your offering. Through Dugan’s Travels’ relationship with our consortia, Travel Leaders Network, we have access to many exclusive discounts, amenities and promotions that are not available to the general public but can help to lower your price or add additional amenities to enhance the client’s trip.
- Offer to match the lower price. MANY of the suppliers Dugan’s Travels is contracted with offer the opportunity to price match. Because of this feature, in many cases, our travel advisors do not lose sales based on price alone.
- Focus on your value. Remember – and gently remind your client – that your services as a travel advisor transcend price alone. Although you want to provide the lowest price in the marketplace, there are times when that may not be possible. If the client is comparing your services to a website that is offering prices or discounts much lower than your commission, you may consider letting that sale go. As a business owner, you must make a profit AND the service you provide has value. The client that does not appreciate that value may not be the one to provide your services to.
As a final tip, we recommend you evaluate online competitors BEFORE sending a quote to your client.People comparison shop online. This should not come as a secret nor a surprise. Prepare for this inevitable event by comparing your quote to a variety of online travel sites before sending it out. This way, you can guarantee that your price is in line with what is being offered – or prepare information in advance for why the client should book with you instead. Ultimately, preparedness if key.
The above post “Combat Comparison Travel Shoppers Strategies ” was taken from our agent education series, 2022: The Year of Your Business, profiled recently at the Dugan’s University 2022 Conference in Anaheim, California. To learn more about our host agency services including the agent mentorship program, or our live events, please contact us at www.travelathome.com/tpn. We would love for you to come and Work with a Family of Agents!
About Melissa Land:
Melissa Land is the Marketing Coordinator for Dugan’s Travels. Based in Southern California, her agency just celebrated its 12th anniversary of providing epic vacations for couples, families, and social groups. A self-professed foodie, Melissa enjoys cooking, live music and traveling
Combat Comparison Travel Shoppers Strategies