COAST offers the following recommendations and suggestions for you to bring and/or offer during your sales appointment with North American Wholesalers.
- • ALWAYS call in advance to make an appointment. Wholesalers are very busy and do not appreciate “drop-in’s”. Unless under very special circumstances. Ensure you have received a confirmation of your appointment.
- • BE ON TIME Many staff are on staggered work schedules and re-scheduling staff will have been set in place to make time for your appointment.
- • BUSINESS CARDS – Have a good amount with you and bring to all appointments.
- • BROCHURE PACKET/USB FLASH DRIVE – Have a sample of company brochure with you and review their stock as well as provide a USB complete with images, any video content, your company logo and any other information or packages you would like to present.
- • DO YOUR RESEARCH – Review Wholesalers brochure and/or website to see ahead of time how your product will fit into Wholesalers range of products. Be prepared, you may need to ‘tweak’ or ‘adjust’ your products in ways that may tailor more appropriately to the wholesaler—be open to what can be done.
- • RATES – Have NETT rates available in hand for your appointment, with a copy for the Wholesaler. If necessary, provide Gross selling rates as well.
- • COMMISSION LEVEL/ INBOUND OPERATORS – Know ahead of time what commission levels you offer. As well as be prepared to offer future incentives for higher commission levels if an option. Great to offer some motivation. Most Wholesalers anticipate 20% commission levels—This allow Wholesalers to offer an expected 10% to the travel agent. Some wholesalers may expect 25% at the start.
- All the wholesale bio’s presented advise who they use as their Inbound Tour Operator—be prepared to know whether your company works with the same Inbound Tour Operator.
- • BOOKING INSTRUCTIONS – Know your company procedures and preferences. Find out ahead of time, if possible, or during the appointment to establish booking procedures. You need to resolve now how your product can be easily booked and thus easily sold. This could involve some accounting procedures to be clarified… pre-paid, monthly billing, pay via inbound office etc.
- • TRANSFER OPTIONS – Best to prepare in writing ahead so it may be given to Wholesaler’s Computer Tech to put onto company system for itinerary planning and preparation of documents. Wholesalers will need to know whether tour pickup is feasible and/or if arrival departure transfers apply. Provide details and information as it applies to your product. Timetables too if there is a set schedule.
- • SPECIALS – Bring any “Specials” you may have. Offer incentives on these specials (if an option) to reservation staff if you feel the Wholesaler might consider, never hurts to ask. Introductory Specials are a great way to introduce your product to a Wholesaler, followed by a staff presentation to familiarize them with your product will promote a better sale. Once established you can still provide “Specials” via email broadcasts to Wholesalers or approach individually not only to the Inbound offices but to those based in USA & Canada directly. Sometimes new information can travel slowly. Same for product updates.
- • NEGOTIATING TOOLS – Have in mind some negotiating options such as famils, higher commission goals. Find out how you can get your product into the company brochure? Priced too high? Availability issues? Offer preferred room category options… (eg. always booked on floor levels within newest wing of the hotel. Add breakfast to a room rate). All of these can have time and/or productivity constraints. Seek arrangements for next year if this year is too late. Quality products will be heard.
- • PROVIDE A HIGHLIGHTS PAGE – Bullet points allow those selling your product to easily “highlight” the great things about your tour or product and quickly and great to leave with them to quickly peruse after you leave.
SELL YOUR PRODUCT
- • MEDIA RELEASES – Bring with you any that you have and provide copies.
- • SPECIAL PACKAGES & SET ITINERARIES – Be creative, sometimes you have to show how to sell your product and where it can fit in. Pre-set itineraries make selling easy. Special packages combined with complimentary products will offer appeal. Work together with other operators to broaden the scope of your product. Look at their website to see who they are already selling and show how your product can easily slip in or raise the level of an experience.
- • PHOTO’S & TESTIMONIALS – Pictures with groups of happy faces and your product say a lot. Testimonials are a great read and promote your product. Accolades & Awards are valuable to know.
- • AWARENESS OF OTHER’S SUCCESSES – Let Wholesalers know of other wholesalers who are selling your product and their success in selling your product. They will be interested to hear.
- • OTHER ALTERNATIVES – Offer the option of coupons that can be placed in a Wholesalers final document wallet. These are great ways of reaching a large number of clients who are traveling and may book on arrival. There should be a place on the coupon where a Wholesalers name can be stamped. Whereby you will provide 10% commission kick-backs (usually monthly) to the Wholesaler. Not all products would apply, and only so many of these coupons can be provided in a documents wallet. Sometimes these may be just discount coupons or car rental upgrades coupons for example.
Remember: Whatever you do, make sure that you follow through with any arrangement or agreement. Be prompt to respond and keep in communication. By doing so you will gain the confidence of the Wholesaler and ensure them of the quality and care you will provide not only to them as a customer but to their highly-valued clients as well.