By: Julie Payne
An effective sales pitch is no longer a “pitch” in the sense that you throw information at your customer as a baseball player would pitch a baseball at a batter. A successful sales pitch must start with some background research, followed by a conversation (listening to the buyer, asking questions, and offering solutions), and close with a call to action.
Do Your Research
Prior to the conversation, it is crucial to identify your customer. Determine if your customer is a group leader, tour operator, or receptive operator. If they are an online travel agency, do they represent business-to-business services or business-to-consumer? What market segments do they represent: student, adult, seniors, international, or sports tourism? How much business have they done with you? Where are they coming from and are they currently coming to your area? Familiarity of their business will provide a comfortable start to the conversation.
Next, have a thorough understanding of your product, as there is a lot of competition in the travel and tourism industry. Why should the potential customer choose you? What makes your product unique? Is your product priced competitively?
The Sales Pitch
It’s time to communicate your product. Be memorable and engaging. Your sales pitch should showcase your product by highlighting area attractions, restaurants, and hotels. Use photos, videos, and virtual reality to portray your products and services.
If your time with the potential customer is short, be ready to give your elevator pitch. This 30- to 60-second, well-crafted business pitch should explain who you are and why a customer should choose you. Always have your elevator pitch ready to go.
For the majority of your sales pitch, you want the buyer to do most of the talking, while your primary role is to listen and offer solutions. Be prepared to address objections and concerns. You can quickly offer solutions by remembering the acronym B.A.N.T. for the most common objections: budget, authority, need, and time.
Call to Action
Even the most engaging, successful sales pitch will fail if you don’t close by asking for their business. Thank the customer for their time and then follow up by emailing or mailing them your product and regional offerings. Be creative with a personal note, gift, or message.
Your sales pitch should be a reflection of you and your product. Be prepared. Be “you-nique.” This will lead to a memorable conversation and continued success in your pitches.
Julie Payne, CTIS, CTP, is project manager for RLB Marketing LLC, which provides marketing and business development services to small and medium-size companies and organizations, with a niche in tourism.