Tying your marketing efforts in with Discover America’s theme of ‘Discover This Land Like Never Before’ is a smart move for savvy agents who want to sell more stateside travel…
They haven’t seen it all
America is one of those countries that requires a lifetime to see it all—and even that may not be long enough. The chances are that your clients have already visited the US and toured the same region many times—we all have our rituals even when we travel—but it’s within those rituals that the savvy travel agent will find a golden opportunity.
What do your clients like about America?
Ask your clients what they like about visiting America and where they like to go. Also ask them about their activities when they go to their favourite spot; this is very important as it is the activity that will open up new selling opportunities for you. Your mission then is to identify a new and exciting location for them where they can experience their favourite activity.
Selling to the senses
Travelling makes use of all six senses: sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste—and also our sixth sense, which is our ability to perceive the unseen world. Spooky I know, but there’s money in that unseen world.
The keywords naming each sense also serve as your marketing headliner. You can use these words to attract attention to your slogans, like: ‘Taste America for the First Time’ when you arrange a foodie tour or ‘Smell That Crisp, Clean Air’ when arranging a hiking adventure.
The sixth sense comes into play when you send someone on a spiritual journey. This could be to a religious centre or an ancient site where that ‘feeling’ is as real as touching iron. Your slogan could be ‘Imagine Their Presence’ if you’re building a tour around visiting the Ancestral Puebloan sites, for instance.
DIY or existing tours?
Should you create and market your own tour or should you sell into existing tours offered by your preferred suppliers? This depends upon how skilled you are. If you only have a surface knowledge then stick to selling your preferred suppliers; if your knowledge is extensive and you are good at putting groups together, then you can obviously develop, market, sell and fill your own tours.
The third option is to promote your FIT services and market yourself as the agency to call when your client wants to arrange an independent tour. Your focus will be on attracting groups that have nothing planned as yet, but want to have their own itinerary. At this point you’ll need to build contacts at Brand USA and Discover America AND work on a series of live consumer events where you can talk about your Discover America planning services.
Like the first time
Many times we can become complacent when marketing an age old, well-trodden destination such as the States. So, you probably need to approach selling this country as if you are marketing it for the first time. In other words, you need to get excited about it!
Ignite your passion
Okay. The goal is set. Your job now is to ignite your own passion to discover America once again—and as if for the first time—and then take that passion to the streets and online to sell it to your clients.