Providing safety and value is so important, the customer will pay more to ensure that piece of mind. More people are willing to buy first class tickets on a plane now to ensure that safety, so they will spend more money if they know the quality is there and the follow through exists. Tour Operators can help spread your word and build consumer confidence with their database and audience reach. Partnership and collaboration are more important now than it ever has been before.
Eventually sports travel, student travel, corporate travel and casino travel will come back, this just takes more levels of confidence to achieve with more layers of governance to make it happen.
We have all had to pivot our way of doing business during this time. Moving forward to accept this new way of doing business with the motorcoach market, we will need to be innovative, creative and fluid.
We need to have flexible terms and conditions, cancellation policies and look towards added value to our operations. Everyone is fighting for the same piece of business right now and there is less of it. Value, integrity, confidence, and relationships will make or break your sale.
You will need to re-invent your offerings, but it doesn’t have to cost you more. What is just a hotel room could be positioned as a home away from home, an escape to comfort. The Old Stone Inn, in Niagara Falls, has done a great job with being innovative during this time. I attended a ‘mom marketplace’ that they hosted a couple of weeks ago. It was great to walk outside and do a little shopping. We conveniently had to walk through their ‘pop up’ restaurant patio so of course we sat down and had a few drinks and some appetizers to enhance our continued shopping spree. Following the marketplace, I talked to the owner Ann Marie because her vision was so impressive. She explains,
“I truly believe in partnerships and collaboration, this opportunity to both elevate each other. Through these types of partnerships, you create word of mouth advertising, and you share social media audiences; all done with no dollar spend.”
She absolutely sees additional room nights both during the event and by new customers following the event after they saw her property. All suppliers can follow this same path, take the time to engage your customers and attract new ones. There are many ways you can increase the value of your product or service and set it apart from others, encouraging the pathway to close the sale. Think outside of the box by offering new ways to look at your business, it also extends your market share and may attract a new customer type that you never had before.
These are challenging times for us all and we need to work together to get through it. We need to find alternative sales solutions and embrace change. By working collaboratively, creating partnerships, and smiling with your eyes, we will create this new normal together.