Host agency Nexion Inc. challenged its members to generate $1 million in incremental business by mining client information from Trams ClientBase and cold-calling their clients during a three-month period this past spring. Several Nexion agents actively participated in the challenge and they exceeded the target by registering $1.14 million in sales during the Dialing for Dollars campaign. The campaigns success also underscores the ability of Nexion agents to effectively promote travel.
“From the initial ‘Dialing for Dollars’ idea conception to the various ways our members reached out to existing and potential clients during the campaign, it was a lot of fun to see the collaborative ideas shared and executed by these Nexion agents," said Nexion General Manager Jackie Friedman. "Of course, we are all thrilled that the campaign generated enough sales not only to meet our $1 million goal, but to surpass it.”
The reward for the “Dialing for Dollars” participants: simply proving to fellow Nexion members, suppliers and most importantly to themselves that the economic gloom and doom bombarding them is no match for the concerted, consistent efforts of people with a plan to succeed.
Nexion set up a Dialing for Dollars group in Nexion Town, its social networking community, where participants shared sales successes and ideas through their blogs. Any members who had resolved to work their database and increase their sales were invited to join and share their tactics, sales and successes. Nexion kept track of aggregated sales through April 30, with a goal of having more than $1 million in collective sales. Some of these tactics included:
* Agent cross-selling and up-selling to increase per-trip revenue: Agent Peter Milward said that his Dialing for Dollars sales represent 58 percent of his total sales revenue for the months of January to April. Milward used a combination of tactics, including culling Trams’ ClientBase, looking for leads from his sales pipeline and cross-selling or up-selling existing bookings. “By following up on sales leads, I closed new sales that I otherwise might not have made,” he said. “I also found that cross-selling/up-selling could increase my per-trip revenue up to 20-25 percent – all for trip components that my clients want and value, such as post-cruise hotel, theatre tickets, transfers, etc.”
* Matching travel promotions to client preferences: Agent Ron Adcock, who gave Nexion the idea for the Dialing for Dollars, looked at Nexion’s preferred suppliers and their current promotions, followed by querying Trams’ ClientBase to see which clients and prospects fit the promotion. “I was amazed at how my clients responded,” he said. “While they may not have bought the promotion I was offering, it gave me a chance to see what they were looking for by asking the right questions.”
* Creating targeted email campaigns: Agent Mary Krueger used Trams’ ClientBase to e-mail targeted clients with promotions, as well as calling clients who were already booked to add vehicle rentals, insurance and tours. “Every 10 days I find a great vacation deal and use my ClientBase marketing tab to email clients who fit the right profile for the trip,” she said. “The results have been great. I also repriced ‘dead files’ and contacted those clients with new dates and destination ideas as well as added clients from the past who were not yet in my database so that they could receive marketing promotions.”
* Capturing new business opportunities: Agent Steve Lincoln had a 9 percent increase in sales over the same period in 2008, in part because of his Dialing for Dollar efforts. “My idea was really fostered when my wife and I drove through the campus of a local university. I commented to her that the student parking lots were filled with expensive cars, and that students have money now.”
Lincoln began checking websites of the three local colleges in his area. “I knew that they offered study abroad opportunities, but I never ventured to capture some of that business.” He contacted each of the professors, introduced himself, and asked for the opportunity to provide a quote for both student and professor travel needs. “I did not get a response from a few, but for the ones I did hear from were thrilled to have someone take over the burden of the travel arrangements,” said Lincoln. “I never intended to become a student travel arranger, but I quickly realized that there was a great opportunity to capitalize not only on school-related travel, but also more traditional trips as professors inquired about potential spring break or summer vacation travel.”