This quarter, Key Notes On Travel is collaborating with Dan Chappelle, aka The Wealthy Travel Agent, to Bulletproof your travel business.
In his first KNOT webinar – titled Get Your S.H.I.P. together: the C.R.A.P. that's stopping you from achieving your sales goals – Chappelle stressed the importance of being sales-focused. He urged advisors not to be distracted by marketing; that marketing is the responsibility of consortia and agencies. Session I dug deep into the "why to," while Session II: Kick-start your sales: Strategies of top-selling agents, honed in on the "how to." It was during his second presentation that Chappelle touched on prospecting. Particularly, in the context of success as it relates to return on (time) investment.
Here's what he revealed as the best and worst methods of prospecting for new business.
Answer: "Referral prospecting"
According to Chappelle, advisors benefit least from cold calling. He noted, "Cold calling is obviously the least effective and of least value. Mailing list leads and advertising, which is most of what your marketing is, is about halfway down the list."
Courtesy of DanChappelle.com
Instead, Chappelle reminded advisors that prospecting is a proactive method. P-R-O-specting.
"If we look at this [diagram], we see [that the] method that creates the most value, is the most efficient and most effective is referrals. At the top of the list is a prestige referral. These are your raving fans ... the ones who are going to stand up and yell how much they love you at the top of their lungs. Second is a regular client referral and endorsement."
Referral marketing should not be a new concept to advisors, but Chappelle challenges travel professionals to get firm on their numbers.
"I always ask people, 'How much of your business is repeat and referral?' They'll say anywhere from 50, 80, to 90 per cent. Then I say, 'How much is repeat and how much is referral?' Repeat is pretty easy to figure out; referral, not so much. They typically don't know what [that figure] is."
Chappelle then explained a strategy for mining an existing client list (and their network) for referral business.
"I will share with you the most effective way to build your business, with the type of clients you want, selling the product you want to offer. It's through client referrals. I call it 'referral prospecting,'" he explained. "The best way to get to a customer is to proactively ask for referrals. This is all based on a scientific study by Mark Granovetter at Stanford University called The Strength of Weak Ties and it's why people buy, how people get jobs. It's applied to a number of social situations."
Do you want to know more about referral prospecting and The Strength of Weak Ties – and how to use these strategies to grow your travel business? Sign up for Key Notes On Travel to watch Dan Chappelle's entire webinar series.
Did you miss Dan's webinar series Bulletproof your travel business?
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