IN THIS ISSUE HOW TO SET TOURISM ALERTS USING GOOGLE HOW TO WORK WITH TRAVEL AGENTS IS YOUR WEBSITE WORKING FOR YOU? ARE YOU DELIVERING DAZZLING CUSTOMER SERVICE?ALSO AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR ANTHONY DALTON
SEPTEMBER 2011 In this issueHi and welcome to the first issue of SELLING EDITORIAL – “LET’S SELL MORE CANADA!” CANADA and a new adventure for me and SMP Training. The concept behind this digital magazine SOMETHING TO LEARN ON EVERY PAGE is to deliver innovative marketing and selling ideas that will help attract more visitors to your DAZZLING CUSTOMER SERVICE business, park, shop, camp site, location, destination, town, community, place, province etc. HOW TO SET GOOGLE ALERTS SELLING CANADA is also a place to share your IS YOUR WEBSITE WORKING FOR YOU? ideas and what has worked for you in generating THE TURN TO TOURISM WORKSHOP new business. You can help build the Selling Canada Community through your creative input. INTERVIEW WITH ANTHONY DALTON The content will range from sales and marketing WORKING WITH TRAVEL AGENTS ideas to owner/manager soft skills to working and selling in the digital age. If there’s anything SKYPING YOUR WAY TO REVENUES missing, feel free to request a topic that appeals to you and the tourism segment you represent. GET YOUR WORDLE WORKING Hope you like what you find here. Let me know by PHOTO SHOOT subscribing, bookmarking, sharing and rating. Thanks for reading. TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT NEW BUSINESS GENERATION QUESTION Don’t forget, if you need help with anything you see in Selling Canada I am as close as your email or BACKPAGE IMAGE Skype button. Best regards, Steve Crowhurst Publisher www.selling‐canada.com email@example.com Skype: smptraining1 T: 250‐752‐0106 Selling Canada is owned and published by Steve Crowhurst, SMPCHECK FOR WEBINARS HERE Training Co. All Rights Reserved. Protected by International Copyright Law. Selling Canada can be shared, forwarded, cut and pasted but not sold, resold or in anyway monetized. Using any images or content from Selling Canada must be sourced as follows: “Copyright SMP Training Co. www.smptraining.com” SMP Training Co. 568 Country Club Drive, Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada V9K 1G1
editorial Dear Tourism Professional: Welcome to the PREMIERE issue of SELLING CANADA! I hope this is the start of a long and prosperous relationship for all. It’s long been a dream of mine to work closer with the tourism community across Canada. I have a lengthy career in travel & tourism spanning some 46 years to date. In fact I first entered ‘the trade’ in August of 1965. Since then Steve Crowhurst my career has taken me from the frontline to management to senior Author, Trainer, Columnist, management, ownership and around the world delivering training and Keynote Speaker, Publisher keynotes to travel & tourism audiences in places such as Bosnia, Egypt, and world traveller. China, UK, Spain, Jamaica, Bahamas and then each major city in Canada and many across the U.S.A. too. As I travel around Canada Since moving to and exploring Vancouver Island the idea of working to help doing what I do, it seems I boost Canadian tourism feels like a good thing to do. So, the concept of this am always playing a role in digital magazine was born, supported by the Selling‐Canada.com website. I someone’s challenge in hope you like it and I hope you can generate more revenues for your tourism delivering customer service. business because of it. It amazes me how so many There will be no trade ads in Selling Canada and no political stance will be retail stores and hotel chains taken. All content will be devoted to helping you sell more Canada. The tips, that thrive on tourism train tools and techniques I will write about will suit most tourism sectors and their staff to chat “shop” in especially if you are an owner of a small tourism based business. front of the customer, guest or visitor and to practice the One of my core goals is to work closely with Canadian communities that see “I know you’re there, but I an opportunity in boosting their tourism infrastructure. My workshop called don’t see you” technique “Turn To Tourism” can be found here on the Selling‐Canada website. The during business hours! essence of Turn to Tourism is to show skilled but out‐of‐work individuals how to turn their skills into a tourism business. From forestry to fishing So you see, what I write there are many tourism opportunities if you know how to create them. about is real‐time situations, usually happening to me or My writing style is one of no‐fluff, no theory, clipped sentences, puns and witnessed by me and then I personal anecdotes with a dash of good humour. As a speaker – same thing! deliver on the remedy. Your comments on and about the Selling Canada e‐Magazine are welcome Then there are those shops, and wanted and appreciated. Help me grow the Selling Canada community hotels, attractions that truly by subscribing to and sharing this e‐Magazine with your colleagues and by all DAZZLE you! means let me know what your challenges are so that I can address them here in Selling Canada. Thanks for reading!
SOMETHING TO LEARN ON EVERYYou may have noticed that each page in SELLING CANADA is different PAGEfrom the next. The heading font, style, size etc., is not constant as you find in most magazines. The reason for this is to show you graphically as many fonts, styles and colour combinations as possible. A STUDY BY CRAYOLA PROVED THATSome of the layout ideas you’ll look away from and shudder (!), others you THIS COLOUR, DARKwill like, and others you will think “I can use that if I changed it here… and BLUE, IS THE COLOURhere…” and go on to create your own graphic, image or header, kick MOST PEOPLE SEEMEDstarted from what you saw here in SELLING CANADA. That’s the idea TO LIKE BEST.anyway. This result was true for Canadians and Americans.I have started to record the TITLE font style and listed it under at the bottom of each page – this will shorten the time it takes for you to source We, that would be usit in WordArt, Word or PowerPoint. The font used for all content or most humans, tend to let colourof it is Calibri. influence our purchases by as much as 60%.The same thing applies to the graphics and images I use to support the written information. Once again, hopefully you can learn from what you After reading the survey Isee and apply it, change it, delete it, own it and use it your way. changed the colour of my email text to dark blue.My graphics range from clipart, to comics, to line art, photos and also there are graphics that I create myself using The Logo Creator, Photoshop, Snagit and a few other software programs. The creativity comes in knowing what to crop, to study the sight As and when you use, lines in an image, to look at the change & apply the layout perspective of an image or ideas you see here – be graphic and crop as the mood takes you. This comes a little sure to let me know so I easier to me as I have been an can pass your ideas along artist and photographer for to other readers of many years. If you have any artistic talents then of course SELLING CANADA. Use any and all artistic talents in your travel marketing – hang your art in they will help you change your office. Start a conversation. whatever you see in SELLING Talk about your photos create relationships with like minded CANADA into something more customers, suppliers, travel agents suitable for your marketing and anyone that can help promote activities. your tourism business. I use WordArt to create many page titles. If you are not yet using it – give it a try. It’s in your Title Font: Blackoak Std version of Windows… somewhere!
IN EACH ISSUE OF SELLING CANADA WE’LL EXPLORE VARIOUS AREAS OF CUSTOMER SERVICE AND HOW TO UPGRADE THEM TO THE DAZZLE LEVEL. YOU WILL NEED TO CHANGE THE IDEAS AND CONCEPTS TO SUIT YOUR BUSINESS, LOCATION, CUSTOMER PROFILE ETC. ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL. CALL IF YOU NEED HELP. The Customer Service Plan (CSP) So where are we? You do all that work, spend all that Many tourism based firms start up with a business plan marketing money, slave over a website to get it right and and maybe a marketing plan too – and in the rush to then you wait to greet that customer, visitor from open, the customer service strategy is left waiting until France, Germany or Canada as they walk into your hotel staff are hired in. After that moment there never seems lobby, B&B, rent a kayak or book one of your tours. From to be enough time to create the CSP which is actually the that moment on, it will be your DAZZLING customer DNA of your business. The CSP gives your business life service that will either keep the customer coming back and it is your overall service that will bring those or push them away. Here’s the path to delivering customers, clients, visitors back for more and referring DAZZLING CUSTOMER SERVICE. you to their friends. First Things First What’s the plan? What’s the service outcome to be? Today, your CSP must be more than a smile and a warm Satisfied or happy customers? There’s a difference. The greeting across the counter. Whatever you do or say happy customer comes back and or sends their freinds. goes viral as you may know, therefore your social Next question: What is the most vital key service customer service must also be factored into your CSP. performance indicator to your business? What lever, if pulled, has the greatest impact on your bottom line? If Matching The Promise you cannot immediately answer this question, then you When you spend thousands of dollars marketing the need to think seriously about it. experience your clients will receive, it would be a terrible shame to lose them over a simple act of service that The Walk Through doesn’t shine. Yes it happens each and every day in your Chances are you’ve never done business with yourself or lobby, at your counter, upon check out and so many your team. You don’t see yourself or your service as places where the customer, guest, visitor meets you, others see it and receive it. Take the time to walk your staff, your brand – your service. through your business, step by step, moment by moment, to analyze how a regular or new customer The delivery of service brilliance at the DAZZLE level would be greeted, sold and serviced. After that, it’s all means you have fulfilled on the promise marketed. about the experience. Whatever experience you’re selling you and your staff should have experienced it by Naturally there are elements of your product & service now – or at least, before the customer arrives. Has that you cannot control from the service point of view. everyone bungy jumped? Has everyone experienced the Tourism like travel is many times a Third‐Party Industry. best suite in the hotel? Has everyone been ice fishing, This means, for your client to realize what they seen the northern lights, walked the city tour, eaten the purchased, someone else other than you, or another best meal on the menu? You get the idea. Each and company other than yours, fulfills on the promise every member of staff must have experience the best of purchased. The very reason why so many companies your product. Then they can talk about it, service it, and have a contracted CSP with the firms they do business above all – SELL IT. with – they need service consistency. Title Fonts: Arial Black Next Issue: Dazzling Ideas You Can Implement
Staying on top of your game also means to be very well informed and in the current world of tourism… it’s a life saver. Open Google,Here’s how you can stay on top of the news click onyou want to receive using one of the many More, then…tools / apps that Google offers. even more… The idea here is to create a Google Alert so When thatthat each and every day, your email will be page loads,populated with an Alert advising you about click onthe latest information related to the topic or ALERTsubject you requested. One of those subjects would be your very own business. You need to know what’s being said, written about you and here’s a quick way to find out. Other Alerts can be / should be: q Canadian Tourism q World Tourism q Canada’s Economy q Terrorism q Your competition You get the idea. Decide what you truly need and want to know about. This is not meant to be a make work project. This is pure business know how that will serve you well as you make marketing decisions and invest your hard earned cash into a new venture – or not. As you know, Canada as a tourism destination has gained a few demerits thanks to the recent riots in Vancouver and past viruses that CNN eagerly followed. When this type of news hits mainstream you realize that you are now fighting to win back those visitors that were coming to Canada but now having second thoughts. Being ALERT keeps you on your marketing toes giving you a slight edge as you will know how to counter the bafflegab that’s being projected worldwide by news anchors I have requested Tourism in Canada as my Alert and chosenpitching on behalf of their own country’s tourism needs. the level of information I want.In other words, they will bash Canada whenever they can Now you would click on CREATEto get a leg up on that tourist who WAS coming to see ALERT. You can request as manyyou. It’s a game every department of tourism plays. Alerts as you wish.Setting your Google Alerts is a second string to your bow when it comes to the survival of your business.
WELL IS IT? ARE YOU GETTING DOZENS OF BOOKINGS, REGISTRATIONS, QUESTIONS AND SIGNS OF INTEREST? HOW ABOUT YOUR SHOPPING CART, IS IT FILLED, ABANDONED OR IS “I clicked it first!” NON‐STOP AND REPEAT SHOPPING GOING ON? ARE YOU GETTING PAST CLIENTS REFERRING NEW CLIENTS, CUSTOMERS, VISITORS OR GUESTS? If your answer to the above was YES on all accounts, no need to read this page! Okay, just kidding. There’s always something to learn. Over the years I have used many DIY sites as well as having a site I’m talking your logo matching professionally created which cost a few thousands dollars back then. your business model, your tag line Since that time of ‘then’, things have moved along very nicely and if supporting your mission statement you have an eye for layout, you can create a fantastic site all by and your colour scheme not yourself. An FYI about DIY… I did have four websites, 3 newsletters blinding anyone clicking to your and a couple of blogs (gasp) and certainly lived up to the hourly count website. Did I mention those fuzzy of 2 to 4 hours a day to maintain all that online activity. Now down to things that twirl or the flashing two websites and two digital magazines that house all those lights and siren sounds. Yeah... not so good those. And lose the newsletters and blogs. I now have time for coffee and the luxury of a counter too… 35 hits in five years is little blue sky‐ing once in a while. Here’s a few tips that will have not attractive! your website working for you versus you working for your website. The first thing to ask yourself is this: what do you want your website to do for your tourism based business? That’s it and then you can mind map from there. If the answer is to serve as a reminder of your location, a source of information, to a booking engine where reservations can be made and payment taken and processed then you’ll have different needs and wants and levels of expertise to help you. A small tourism business does not need to invest thousands of dollars these days. A large multi location firm will enjoy the luxury of cost proration and economies of scale. Let’s go back to the small business operator.
The main reason websites exist is as a promotional tool. A Hide The Email tool that will attract a customer, visitor and guest as they The tourism business is famous for hiding emails. Not surf the Internet using keywords to search for the sure why, but there it is. Tourism is all about people ‐ information they are looking for. Your website then, first real people with real money, personalities, hopes, and foremost should be responding to those search dreams and the desire for a wonderful vacation with engines that those prospective clients are using. Google YOU. The challenge is, YOU are not featured or found. and Yahoo seem to be leading the charge in terms of the most used search engines. It’s good to know how people Your hopeful guest can however find Info and Admin and arrive onto your website as you can then, if you wish and even Sales and of course Reservations. The question is, with money available, work an ad & promo campaign that where have all the people gone? Amazing! Where’s the gives you more exposure when certain words are searched. customer service here? If you are the owner / operator get your name out there, up there and stand out as For instance “B&B in Manitoba” might be a search term. If someone who truly wants to meet and greet and serve you had initiated an ad campaign around such words on the customer. Dump Mr. Info and Mrs. Admin. Sounds Google for instance then your website would be featured in like a legal team. the sponsored column to the right. You can review more details on the Google site. We’re not getting technical Lose the Hit Counter here… just looking at how you can make your website work This is a must do. If you have a hit counter still showing a little harder depending upon your remit. on your website – get rid of it. Sure thousands upon thousands of hits could be something to boast about, The Instant Info Connection but then we’re in sales, not hits. If your counter shows I’m not sure why it is, but it seems so many companies hide 150 hits and you’ve been in business 3 years… guess the information that will help generate more interest and what, no clicks for you! possibly a sale. You want to make it as easy as possible for that person who just landed on your home page to access Images you. Forget the website – it’s only one step between you As an owner buy yourself a quality semi pro camera and and that person chatting about when they should come get shooting. Nothing but the best imagery should be and stay at your hotel, B&B, ride that attraction, visit your shown on your website. If we’re talking guest rooms, a museum etc. Back to your home page… where does it nice wide angle shot. If we’re shooting the restaurant… “say” call me, click here, live agent, have a question? make sure it’s crowded. An image of an empty restaurant doesn’t sell anything. People want to see Generally the Contact Us tab is to the far fight, top right people doing what they are planning to do. Forget the above everything else in a colour that blends too well and thumbnails too… large is the size you want. Large and can’t be seen, or bottom of the page in very fine print. glorious sells. First things first: get that contact information on your Your Image home page. Add your “click here” button, make it larger, I know, you don’t like to be photographed. Too bad. If brighter, attractive. Push that phone number out there you own it, your picture is going up on that website and too, make it nice and large. Of course everything must look right next to it should be your warm “Welcome…” It’s like it’s meant to be there. your greeting, as if you were actually delivering it in person. Same for your staff, your team. Not just the Your website guru hopefully is more than a techie and has suits, everyone! If I work the stables… I’m on your some marketing know how. Few do. Most are expert at website too. It’s all about keeping it real. It’s all about what they do – but once again, not in sales. You need a the people that will help create the experience for your marketing and sales expert to advise you and you need that guest, visitor, customer. website techie to expertly make it all happen. The reverse of this is death. Chances are YOU know exactly what you Last Call want – and if that’s the case, write it down, hand it to your There’s endless ways to make your website work for you. web technician and let them go to work. Listen to their Too many to state here, but you get the idea. Keep an ideas of course, but always ask the “So what?” question. eye open for my workshops & webinars on this very “So how will this generate sales for me?” A sale would be topic. If you need a website critic email me here. wonderful – at the very least, a request.
A workshop for communities, existing and start-up tourism based businesses, government departments, industries in turmoil, skilled but out-of-work individuals who want to turn their hard earned skills, talents, stories, legend, heritage, myth and more, into a tourism based opportunity. This workshop was inspired by the need as I saw it to help Canadian communities, towns and industries and more so the skilled and talented people who find themselves out of work, who could, with the right information, turn their talents into a tourism based business. That’s the nub right there. Tourism is a very attractive industry and it is a quick The traveller wants safety and security. road to failure and a ton of debt if you enter the Canada is the gem they are looking for. industry ill prepared. You wouldn’t’ go into the bush alone without the right training and equipment and you Here are some of the topics we cover in the program: shouldn’t venture into this unknown territory without the right tools either. The World of Travel The World of Tourism As a world wide industry tourism is number one. The World of Inbound Visitors Despite all the current and future traumas to hit the Where Do You Fit In This World? world, travel and tourism always keeps going. The only What’s YOUR Story? times is did actually stop was during WW1 and WW2. Where’s the BUZZ? Other than that the business of tourism has always Why Will They Come? moved onwards and upwards. What’s The Attraction? Can They Get Here from There? Seasonality – Here and There As a country, Canada is a gem to sell when compared What’s The Start‐Up Cost? to the challenges and situations other countries find What’s The Ongoing Cost? themselves in. Although the ‘competition’ has world When Will You Break Even? treasures in abundance the risk of travelling to those What Will Success Look Like? countries is a marketing plus for you. Data‐2‐Dollars – From Numbers to Marketing In the Turn to Tourism workshop you will grasp the Work to bring this program to your community and enjoy immensity of the tourism challenges faced by other the economies of scale of my “fill the room’ pricing. One countries. From terror to drugs to weather, war and the price and you can have 5, 10, 50+ people attend. Email for path to democracy and continuous riots – these more details. countries have a tough road to haul when it comes to attracting visitors other than journalists. The time is Watch for my series of Turn to Tourism Webinars too. right for you to turn to tourism and sell Canada. Delivered right to your desktop computer. No travel costs involved. Title Fonts: Arial Black
Interview with Canadian authorDalton is a prolific writer, having published 11 books in 9 years. He is a focused man with things to say, record and put into the written word. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and has travelled far and wide. At last count he had been to 127 countries, sailed 6 oceans and 13 seas. He has travelled on 24 major rivers; trekked across 6 deserts, and flown millions of miles. Always an adventurer in heart, mind and spirit In 1994, he joined twelve members of the Cree First Nation on Dalton has done what many only dream about. a traditional York boat voyage on Manitoba’s historic Hayes Some of these experiences are recorded in his book River between Norway House and Oxford House. “Adventures With Camera and Pen”. While canoeing the second half of the Hayes River from Tony happened by my office on Vancouver Island Oxford House to York Factory on Hudson Bay in 2000, he this month and so I took the opportunity to participated in a television documentary on great Canadian interview him about his life and his books. rivers for the Discovery Channel. Born in the UK he arrived into Canada in 1957. I There are not too many places in Canada that Tony hasn’t didn’t meet him until 1979 when he walked into my seen. His favourite places in Canada are split between the travel agency in Edmonton as a BDM for what was rivers of BC and the rivers of Manitoba, the Hayes River in then the original Westcan Treks (started by Allan particular. Most spiritual place ‐ his property on Mayne Island. Ronneseth). We became good friends and had a few lengthy chats. During one of those chats it was I asked Tony, “If you were selling Canada, how would you do obvious Tony should be writing books. Pretty much it?” He quickly stated he would use his own photography. I that was it. He just did it. liked that response as it is one that I often talk about. Using your own images to sell your own tours & services is simply a His travel articles and photography have been must do. More about that in upcoming issues of Selling published in newspapers and magazines in 20 Canada. countries and 9 languages. To listen to the full interview you can click here – and you’ll To go back in time, Tony has spent most of his life be whisked away to the SELLING CANADA website. My thanks travelling to remote areas of the world, again to Tony for visiting and chatting with me. experiencing things that you probably wouldn’t believe unless you were standing beside him. From journeying world‐wide, outwitting border guards in Pakistan and fighting for survival in the Arctic – Tony has also travelled Canada extensively.
How to work withFor many owner‐operators of small tourism businesses there is a huge opportunity to work with the retail travel community. Do it right and you can boost your sales and visitors. Do it wrong and you’ll be up to your armpits in debt! So here’s a few ideas on how to make this connection work for your business. The phrase ‘retail travel community’ refers to travel So let’s go on the assumption that you understand the agents both here in Canada and overseas as in around role a travel agent can play and you intend to put some the world. Although many in the travel and tourism skin in the game as you develop the best relationship industry expect the travel agent to disappear ‘very possible with the travel agents you choose to do soon’ this is not likely to happen at all. The travel agent business with. This is like hiring an employee by the has developed a resilience that few tourism based firms way. You must interview and you must ask critical have managed to achieve. This resilience factor all questions – or you could be fooled into thinking a started back in the mid 90’s, when the airlines dropped windfall is about to blow your way. their commissions from 9% to 5% and then to the sound of zero! Overnight, travel agencies lost 30% of Niche to Niche their normal, usual and expected revenue. Imagine that Study your business and determine what niche it falls happening to your business. Anyway – long story short into over and above the generic eight tourism sectors. – they survived. They changed. They re‐invented. They Whatever type of business you own, operate or got back on a different horse and went into battle once manage there is always a niche or two that will fit your more. business model. You need to know this before going off to work with travel agents. One of the curves learned was the new found profitability to be had in so‐called “niche” markets. Your provincial tourism body may offer travel trade Agencies moved into weddings & honeymoons for initiatives that connect you to both travel agents and instance. Adventure was huge too. Spas the same. suppliers / wholesalers who promise they can fill your Family travel a big hit. As you read this, you should be tours, rooms, boats, lodges and so on. Fact is – it ain’t thinking about whether or not you have something that gonna happen that way and here’s why. No one at the a travel agent could get behind and sell for you. other end is trained to SELL your product. I’ll get to that issue in a moment. One of the main reasons tourism businesses do not do business with travel agents is the payout of 10% to 15% Back to your niche. There are over 350 niche markets in commission that travel agents earn. Now one key point the world of travel and they range from Archaeology to to keep in mind here is that travel agents only earn Zoology. Then, hold on, there are niches within niches when they sell something. Although so many operators and that’s something that you are rarely advised about. balk at this – I gotta tell you, if I was paying out $50,000 It takes some drilling down to find your niche within a in commissions to selected travel agents, it would mean niche, but it can be done and it’s well worth it. that my business is booming! Let’s say your product can accommodate the weddings Naturally that 10%‐15% has to be factored in to the and honeymoon niche. A niche within that niche would cost of doing business and it might just be that if you be extreme weddings and or honeymoons. That would really cannot afford to pay a commission, your pricing mean a bungy‐jumping “I dooooooo!” Or a ceremony might be too cheap. Just a comment. conducted atop a mountain or glacier.
Niche Decided, Now What? Travel Trade Shows Once you know how your basic business format, model Attending a Canadian multi city travel show or going and generic client base can be expanded upon, you’ll overseas can be very costly. You can always have seek out travel agencies and suppliers that first, someone represent you but then they can’t sell YOU as understand your business and then demonstrate that you can sell you. The price for someone to hand out they are currently selling such a product, vacation, your brochure is a losing proposition. Either you go or niche to their existing client base. You must not accept make it a no‐go. At a trade show, chances are you will their word – you need to see evidence. A common not meet or chat with the travel agents you need and phrase in the retail trade is “Oh yes we sell a lot of want. You can however, do your due diligence and then that…” That would mean two or three bookings this arrange to meet your chosen group online. year! Ask for details. Beware The Brand The Sales Training Program Not all major travel agency brands have the capability Here’s one of my favourite rants – the tourism industry to represent your business as you would like it done. If tends to mix up product knowledge with sales training. you offer a high quality, high priced product or service It’s not the same thing. I have to say that the majority you will find a few interested companies with of government agencies do not know how to sell. They recognised brands. The deciding factor is always the know how to market. They know how to throw a party. frontline. HQ might create an excellent marketing plan They do not know how to sell. So beware of investing however when that client walks through their door, the time and energy into the wrong, but well intended sale of your product is contingent on the sales activity. capability, product knowledge and interest in selling your product of the front line person. This brings us The only person to train travel agents and suppliers on back to your training program being a mandatory how to sell your product is you. If you take off to meet feature that you and you alone deliver. and greet a room full of travel agents to tell them how great Canada is – you’re dead in the water. It’s a long The Home Based Agent Opportunity haul from knowing about Canada to selling it (it being There has been a slight revolution in the retail travel your product) on your behalf. trade and it centers around travel agents working from home. There are some excellent home‐based agents You can quite quickly put together a decent sales who at one time, owned and operated a travel agency training manual, features & benefits, keywords and and then decided the smart way to go was to sell from phrases to use and then, mixed with product home. Working only for their best clients and in the knowledge, glorious images and maps etc., you’ll be process giving up the hassles of paying rent and human setting up your agency and supplier contacts to win. Be resources etc. sure to build into your sales training program at least three to four rounds of role playing or customer Dealing with a home‐based agent requires the same simulation training. It’s the only way for you to judge if due diligence as mentioned before. They must share they “got it” or not. your ideas and interests and fully understand your product or service and show evidence that they have Online Conference Call Follow Up an audience for it and finally that they can actually sell Okay, you’ve attended the WTM World Travel Market it. You might be encouraged to do business with some in London, UK. You made contact. You have returned of the large hosting agencies – however, be warned home. You can still deliver your sales training session once more – a brand does not a sale make. A few, direct to the desk and computer screen of the agents highly interested, well trained agents will make the who were excited about selling your product or service. sales you need. You do this via a conference call, a webinar or Skype. Easy to set up. No cost to anyone. It’s targeted and you The New and Next Generation of Travel Agent can even record your session for your UK contacts for They will not be dying off – so better to reach out now. instance to replay in‐house. Travel agents continue to evolve and adapt. The latest move is to embrace social media and networks. This If you are not yet on Skype – explore it here: means they are in contact with thousands of potential www.skype.com clients for your product.
Getting Your Message Out to the Travel Trade You can work through your local tourism resources or you can seek out companies in the business of taking your message / promotion to market on your behalf. Today of course we’re talking emails and e‐newsletter and e‐flyers. Chances are your money will be well spent by seeking response in Canada and the USA. If your customer base is drawn from Europe or Asia or any one of the 200 +/‐ countries in the world then you’ll seek similar mass market emailing opportunities. In Canada and the USA for instance you can reach 5,000 travel agencies, 30,000 travel agents and in the USA 20,000 agencies and some 60,000 to 100,000 travel agents. The head count for home‐based agents has not yet been compiled. Companies that can handle your e‐marketing push to travel agencies are eTravelMail, MailPound and here in Canada Quick Presse, Travel Information Network and Baxter. To Recap: q Know your product well enough to develop q Complete your due diligence re evidence that niche markets and then niches within that niche your new found partner can actually sell your products q Create sales training programs and train all travel agents representing your products. q Beware of brands that cannot deliver. q Invest in the travel agents that can sell your q Develop the best website you can afford and products by offering a decent commission. create a travel agent area that is updated consistently YOUR WAY TOHave you found SKYPE yet? If not, There are some rules to using it as a That fee allows for 10 video professional. No lurid pictures on the feeds. In other words you can now is the time. Join the instant wall behind you – remember you’ll chat with 10 customers, a communication pioneers and be be on camera. group tour perhaps, all at the same time, live and on ready to chat live and in person to No off‐camera cursing by your team camera. your customer, to a supplier and to a mates – the webcam mic will pick it travel agent. up. All you need to get started is a webcam for your desk top Remember to end the call – click the computer. If you use a laptop Some travel firms have made the move to use SKYPE red button – before saying any next chances are the webcam is in their reservations department – allowing their res’ words. The caller / customer may located in the lid. Ready to go. team to look their customer in the eye and close the still be online and that means they Create a free account at sale. This is not new technology anymore – every set can still hear you. Once you know www.skype.com and you will of Grandparents Canada wide are chatting with their the dangers, everything else is easy. soon be chatting Canada and grand children via Skype. If they can do it – so can Skype allows you to show your worldwide. Add your Skype you. If you operate a small business Skype is an ideal screen, send files and images and address to your emails and communication tool for you to use. more. website. Promote your new service. There are a few dangers however. Here they are. The business version of Skype will cost you $100 / year.
CAUTION! ONCE YOU WORDLE… YOU COULD BE LOST FOREVER! WHAT IN THE WORLD IS A WORDLE ANYWAY?Wordle is a tool for generating “word clouds”. You type in your text and watch marvellous Wordles develop. It’s a tourism marketers dream. However, be warned, as mentioned above. Once you Wordle… you’ll never be the same again! Here’s a little more info from the Wordle website. The program gives greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, copy and save for use on your website, in your image gallery, business cards, mouse pads, print them on your gift shop t‐shirts, tote bags etc. Here’s where and how you Wordle. Click to this link http://www.wordle.net/create and then start adding words into the space under the phrase “Paste in a bunch of text:” Remember, the program favours words that appear frequently. So, using your marketing smarts, type in the word you want featured prominently about 5 times. You can see on this page the outcome of typing in the word Tours and other supporting words numerous times. Once you have your words typed, you click the GO button and then all is revealed. It’s actually quite marvellous. Now you can play with the fonts, and various colour schemes. I’ll leave it for you to play with. Wordle also offers a gallery where you can explore and view what other Wordlers like YOU have created. There are some terrific ideas there, just waiting to be discovered. You can also use a word cloud to instantly describe your If you create a superb Wordle that SELLS CANADA and you can part company, your service, your food menu, your tours – it’s with it, share it, offer it to your tourism colleagues, send it to me unlimited. How about your mission statement? So one last and I’ll include it in the next issue of SELLING CANADA and I’ll also thing then ‐ enjoy Wordle‐ing and before you start better upload it to the SELLING CANADA website. say goodbye to your family. Once you Wordle – they won’t find you! It’s addictive. Soon you’ll be saying, “Hi, my name Perhaps a new event: is Steve and I’m a Wordler” The Great Canadian Tourism Wordle Word Off!
If you believe that a picture says a thousand words, then chances are you have a lot to say if you were to check your Picture File and look at all the images you have taken and also those your clients have sent you over the years. Hopefully you still have them. All these images are your immediate ‘stock photography’ – waiting to be used in some way shape or form to promote your tourism business. Take this little guy below. If I was you, and he was photographed close to your business, chances are you might be able to support Bird Watching Tours of some kind. So when you’re out and about in your own neck of the woods and looking through that view‐finder, start to think about how you can turn the image you’re looking at into a new niche for your business. You never know what might come to mind. Steve Crowhurst
Some people love it, others not so much. Some people read business books, others not so much to never. Training & Development and continuous education is the corner stone to growing your tourism based business. It will also grow your team, grow your next manager and even grow your next partner or buyer of your business come the time to sell. As an author, columnist, trainer, workshop leader, webinar presenter and keynote speaker you can imagine the amount of reading, researching, creative thinking and role playing I have to do to stay on the edge. If you ever attend one of my workshops or webinars you’ll know that I don’t do “slow” and I don’t deliver old and reworked material. I make it a point to always develop my next program from scratch. My training format is “no fluff, no theory”. You could liken my day‐to‐day preparation and daily search for new ideas to help you grow your business – to you and your business and all the things you do every day to generate another sale, another customer, another group. The difference is I also work for you. It’s true. Everything I do each day is one step closer to helping you grow your business. So, when you can, when you have time – let’s talk. Although I look like a suit in the above picture, my style of deliver is very much holistic, all‐encompassing and no‐one is ever embarrassed. I use good clean humour and personal anecdotes to make my point and I always use the talent and experience in the room. From boardroom to stage to one‐on‐one to outdoors on an adventure course – I am comfortable in all situations, locations and audience profiles. If boosting your sales & service is on your agenda, we should talk soon. 1‐250‐752‐0106 Top: Montreal workshop. Centre: Jamaica with Bert N Ernie. Lower Left: Trying to make Lemonade. Lower Right: Staying on the cutting edge! Title Fonts: concursoItalianBTN & DESIGN
Here’s where we challenge your NBG skills and pose a question or scenario to you that you can read and then answer in your own time. There’s no correct answer. No time limit. No glory if you solve the situation to your own satisfaction in 30 seconds or less. This is purely to get your mind focused and thinking about creating opportunity. Okay here we go. As you can see in this picture I like to help out clearing the trees when they blow down. Assuming you own this land, a huge storm hits, and there are one or two old growth giants that have fallen. Put on your NBG hat and start thinking tourism. How could you turn this situation into a tourism project / business for yourself and or your community. You can ad lib in terms of tree type – cedar, spruce, fir… it’s old, large and now on the forest floor. Turn it into opportunity. Note: this project comes from my Turn To Tourism workshop – there are 16 opportunities here. Go! 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. There are potential tourism opportunities like this one falling around you almost everyday. You can if you wish, develop an opportunity mindset and many times turn major events into massive opportunities.
ON THE BACK PAGE OF EACH ISSUE OF SELLING CANADA YOU WILL ALWAYS FIND AN IMAGE TO REMIND YOU OF THE BEAUTY AND DIVERSITY OF CANADA AND WHY YOU SELL IT TO A WORLD WIDE AUDIENCE. Yoho River John Pitty