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Five Ways to Attract New ClientsMarch 15, 2015 By: Vacation.com
Your current list of clients can only take you so far up the ladder of success. In order to keep climbing that ladder, you need a steady flow of new business. Thankfully, finding new clients does not have to be a chore, especially if you keep the following strategies in mind.
Ask for Referrals
The easiest way to attract new clients is through a referral. People trust their friends, neighbors, and colleagues, so when one of your clients comes back from their vacation with a glowing review, that is the perfect opportunity for you to simply ask for referrals. Create a referral program within your agency that rewards your clients for every new client they send your way. The reward can be anything from gift cards and gift baskets to extra shipboard credit or free transfers on their next voyage.
Once your referral program is defined, publicize it to your clients every opportunity you get. Mention it in your email signature and business cards, announce it on Facebook and print a sign for your office. This lets your clients know that you are actively looking for new business and that you value their input.
Use the Power of the Press
Exciting things are happening at your agency all the time—such as being recognized for outstanding sales by a cruise line, gaining a new accreditation, graduating from a supplier’s education program, traveling on a ship’s inaugural voyage, even attending a conference.
Write a press release about these things and share your story with the local media. Press releases follow certain guidelines and are fairly easy to write. If time is an issue and your marketing budget allows, you can hire a writer. Just be sure to follow up with your local media outlets when you distribute a press release and let them know that you are available any time they need a travel professional as a resource for one of their stories. Potential clients feel confident working with someone who made the news.
Join Local Groups
Many groups exist in your community that meet regularly to discuss interesting topics or partake in worthwhile events. These could include the local Chamber of Commerce, professional networking groups, book clubs, fitness groups, sports leagues, volunteer organizations and charity groups, just to name a few. Join those that interest you and use that valuable time together to network and promote your services in a way that does not steal focus from the group’s true intent.
Host an Inspiring Travel Event
If you don’t want to join a group, bring the group to you. Host a fun travel event in your office (if you have the space) or in a rented area to showcase a particular destination or supplier. Some suppliers may help you offset the cost and send a representative to help out. If you’re focusing on a destination, be sure to treat your guests with food and drinks that are inspired by the area. Promote your event with an evite or through your favorite social media channel.
Speaking of social media, it pays to showcase your expertise online through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or whichever platform suits you the most. These social media sites make it easy for strangers to connect and converse over a common topic, and often that topic is travel. You can take the soft approach by positioning yourself as an expert and talking about your favorite destinations and travel news or you can pay for ads and target specific audiences that match your desired client demographic.
Try implementing a few of these tips above by scheduling a set amount of time on your calendar each week. As with any goal you are pursuing, break each item down into smaller steps to make it seem attainable. Above all else, have fun trying some new things. When you are having fun and truly enjoying your job, others take notice and will seek out your services.
This article is brought to you by Vacation.com, and was produced in partnership with Travel Agent Central’s sales team. Travel Agent Central’s editorial team played no part in developing the article.