Group Travel - The Easy Way to Sell Groups
Selling group is very profitable – you can make a lot of money in a short period of time.
When it comes to selling groups, the good news is it can be super profitable
One of the reasons how to fill groups the easy way is not a well known philosophy is that the industry standard is to do it the hard way.
This is how it usually works --
You attend a trade show – get excited, book a group
You try to fill space by talking to family, friends, neighbors
You then realize that there is very little interest
9 times out of 10 you end up cancelling the group and you have wasted a whole lot of time and energy
That is the hard way. Don’t do it the hard way when there is a much easier way.
The Easy Way to Filling a Group: Find an Influencer /pied piper
What is a influencer? And How do you find an influencer?
In other words, partner with a business owner or affinity group leader who has a “tribe” of like minded, highly engaged, passionate people.
By “tribe”, I mean a group of people that really enjoy each other’s company. There are so many directions you can go with this strategy. You can partner with the owner at local winery that has a highly engaged wine club and they are looking to take their very fun wine club gatherings to the next level by doing a River Cruise together.
Or you can partner with a popular hand dance club that has a very loyal and enthusiastic following and wants to offer a hand dancing cruise.
Or you can partner with the head of a women’s tennis club who wants to a go to the US Open. Or you can meet with some golfers that want to do golf outings.
Are you associated with a book club or movie club? Think about the book and movie - Eat, Pray Love – after that movie everyone wanted to go to Italy, Bali, and India. Look at Girl’s Trip – everyone wants to go to New Orleans and the Essence Festival. Look at Sex and the City – everyone wanted to go to Dubai.
So you need to find like-minded people to travel together.
Do you belong to a gym? What about a Zumba cruise, or yoga retreat
What’s most important in this strategy is that – it’s NOT ABOUT YOU -
Your focus is on the influencer and how you can help him or her deepen the affinity through an amazing travel experience. It’s a partnership. If you find a good influencer, this trip may turn into an annual event and the numbers may grow every year.
Your job is to be the travel consultant and arranger.
Remember it’s the influencer’s job is to fill the group. That’s the key. It’s NOT your job to fill the group.
Let the influencer do that part. Of course you can help support him or her by creating marketing materials and disseminating the information, but it’s the influencer’s part to fill the group.
Here are 3 tips for when you start thinking about filling your first group, the easy way:
1) Don’t overthink the details.
The trip does not have perfect all the pieces do not have to be in place before you make your pitch to the client.
Move forward with your presentation even if you don’t feel 100% prepared. Really, what you want to do with your potential influencers is start a conversation about how a travel experience could deepen the loyalty of the group.
Don’t feel that you have to have all the details in place before you start your marketing. Start to plant seeds and start people thinking.
2) Start with affinities you know and love yourself.
If you love food and wine, begin with a wine themed river cruise for a local winery wine club or a well known chef and his following.
If you love tennis or exercise find a highly engaged community and reach out to the organizer.
If you love a specific sport, see if there are affinity groups around that sport. What’s important is that you can relate to the passion of the group.
Ex. Football games, international games, US open – tennis and golf, 2020 Olympics
Does your husband loves golf? What hobbies do you have? What do you like wine? Food? Cuban? Zumba cruise? Do you know of any book clubs?
3) Research, research, research.
I cannot over emphasize the importance of researching to find the right influencer partner.
Need to do research on the influencer.
Because that influencer is going to be responsible for marketing and filling the group itself, you must find one with a very loyal and engaged following.
It’s important that they show some behavior of being engaged with each other.
Does the group meet regularly?
Do they have personal gatherings and get togethers?
Do they engage online?
What’s important in your research for finding the right influencer is that the influencer has a following that is highly engaged with the influencer AND with each other.
Do you research to find an influencer or a piped piper,
Remember it is the influencer’s job to find the people – not yours
Your job is to support the influencer and help them build their affinity so that this may turn into an annual event
Help with marketing materials, make yourself available when they have questions and providing good customer service