Barry Kantz is the host of the popular Home Based Travel Agent Show podcast. Below he shares words of wisdom with the Group Experience travel tribe about how to grow your home-based travel business.
Check out the Home Based Travel Agent Show for more great ideas and helpful resources!
Why is the phone not ringing?
I had an unfortunate misconception of marketing when I first dipped my toes into the travel business more than sixteen years ago. My thought process was that if I placed an ad in a local newspaper, the clients would start ringing my phone. I sat by the phone and nothing happened.
Marketing means building relationships
What I didn’t realize at that time is that marketing and selling depend on relationships. As Scott Keopf said on one of my early podcasts on the Home Based Travel Agent Show, “if you’re home-based, you’re a home waste.”
His point was that you have to go out and meet people! Nurture relationships through which people get to know you, like you, and trust you. These are essential if you want them to be comfortable handing over their hard-earned money to you.
Why it matters
Why is this relevant now? It’s relevant because, after eighteen months into a pandemic, we are making a comeback. We are transitioning from a locked-down world where the norm for conducting business is from home to resuming life beyond walls… while still conducting business from home! Meeting people on Zoom is commonplace, and our home environment has become relatively safe and comfortable for most of us.
Time to connect (or re-connect) in person
If you have been in the travel business for a while, it may be time to make a few phone calls. Reach out to clients who booked vacations with you every year (except last year, of course) and meet with them to just chat over a cup of coffee.
If you are fairly new in the business, make the most of your community contacts. Go to the Chamber of Commerce meetings, chat with people after church, or mingle with parents at your kids’ sporting events.
Let people connect or re-connect with you. People are starving for those in-person connections after a year’s hiatus cooped up at home. They are ready for that vacation or tour with family or friends.
It’s a new world for home-based travel planners
The world has changed in sixteen years. We have a whole new set of marketing tools in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, and podcasts. But, one thing hasn’t changed, people still want those personal relationships where they get to know you in person. Don’t be a “home waste.”
Find out more about how to grow your home-based travel business
Listen to the latest episode of The Home Based Travel Agent podcast as small travel market expert Kevin Cabe shares new resources and tips for creating tours and growing your business.
Keith Snode, COO of Group Travel Odyssey and travel industry pro, weighs in with helpful hints as well. You won’t believe how easy planning your next group trip and expanding your reach will be!