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The Secrets of Converting a Lead into a Paying Customer
Learn the secrets of changing a lead into a paying customer in this guide.

Congratulations on getting your leads! To get a potential customer to take a second look at your travel website, newsletter or social media post is not easy. Unfortunately, people don’t just spend their money. They want to know that there is real value in your travel agency before they open their checkbooks. So how do you turn your leads into paying customers? Below is how:

1. Identify Your Audience

By using buyer personas that you created during your marketing campaigns, you were able to create relevant travel content for them. Now it is time to use those buyer personas to identify what your lead is most likely to spend their money on.

2. Align Your Sales and Marketing Strategies

Ensure that your marketing strategy complements your in-house sale processes. Most travel agencies use the following strategy to align their sales and marketing strategies;

a. Awareness

  • You have already created awareness through marketing campaign, hence the leads
  • Now you need to turn your lead into a paying customer

b. Interest

  • Identify what your customer is most likely to spend money on
  • Customize your product to give real value to the customer
c. Evaluator
  • Ask yourself if you would buy the product if you were the lead
  • If not, rethink the value proposition before you try to convince the customer

d. Purchase

  • Make it easy for the customer to purchase your product
  • Consider having a webcart that accepts all modern forms of payment

e. Advocacy

  • Use your convincing power to get the customer to keep buying
  • Use the customer to market you through Word of Mouth Marketing (WMM)
f. Retention
  • Offer discounts, provide awesome customer care, offer practical tips for free, frequently communicate, don't over promise, invest in a customer feedback system

3. Create Value

Ask yourself what makes using your services better than booking online? Why would a customer go to you and not your competitor? When you talk or write to your customer, be creative, informative and focused. You will not convert a lead if you are just the traditional booking agent. Your leads will not be impressed if you are trying to sell them everything.

Rather, choose a niche and become an expert in it. For example, it will not be enough to book your customer into a destination in Europe. Research the tax incentives, cheap ground transportation, hidden must visit spots, local courtesy rules etc.

4. Use Multiple Channels to Establish Your Reputation

Your customers will trust you more if you already have an established multichannel communication platform. Ensure you have a presence on social media, website, email, YouTube, 24 desk customer support etc. Unless a customer personally knows you, they will do a background check on you. The absence of online presence in the 21st century raises a lot of red flags.

5. Confidently Ask For the Sale

After spending so much time, effort and money marketing your services, you shouldn’t be asking for a sale…right? Wrong! Potential customers need a little nudge to commit their money. As long as you are confident that your travel product meets the customer’s needs, don’t hesitate to ask your lead to buy.

6. Follow Up With Leads Quickly

Leads turn cold very quickly. You need to interact with potential customers hot on heels after they have contacted you. The ideal is to respond to your lead within an hour of the first contact. Invest in a good marketing automation tool to make this process easy. All your messages to the lead should always sound personal.

7. Make the Next Step Simple

Your marketing strategy should make it easy for your potential customers to make the next step. They should not get redirected to more than 2 pages for them to complete the buying action.

8. Score and Prioritize the Leads

Not all leads will convert into customers. You can create 3 categories of leads;

  • Cold Lead – This is generally all the leads that are incoming to your business.
  • Marketing qualified lead – This is a lead that shows some degree of interest in your travel agency. For example, they might have shown interest in your newsletter or attended your webinars or visited your pricing page.
  • Sales qualified lead – This is a lead that has the budget, authority and clear need to engage your company in business. This is the lead that your sales team should focus their effort on.

9. Beware of the Time Wasters

Most of the leads will either be time wasters or those not interested in your travel agency. Develop a method of sifting through your leads for those who don’t have the budget or the need for your services so that you can focus on the potential customers.

10. Give Before You Ask

According to Robert Cialdini in his book the Psychology of Persuasion, one of the triggers for gaining the confidence of your potential customers is reciprocity. In your travel agency, there is bound to be some expertise that you can give for free. People are more likely to give back to those who have already shared with them.

11. Automate as Many Processes as You Can

There are so many internet marketing CRMs (Customer Relationship Management Systems) in the marketing that you don’t have an excuse to be running your lead conversion system manually. A good CRM must not only help you capture many leads but also pick the leads that will make the most impact on your travel agency. It must help you nurture and convert the leads as well as retain the customers.

There are probably hundreds of tricks that marketers use to convert their leads into paying customers. At Travel Agency Tribes, we have unveiled the secrets that we have used with a lot of success to convert leads into customers. Implement them and see your business flying. To get more insights into lead conversion from our experts, click here.

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