In conjunction with your sales kit, your sales presentation is one of the most powerful sales tools that you have. It’s important to spend time to prepare it and work out the best way to present your product to the travel trade.
Developing a pitch
A well-prepared presentation is essential when meeting with the travel trade. The best presentations feature a strong pitch to lead in with. A succinct and persuasive sales pitch will catch the attention of potential buyers early in your conversation. It allows you to give them a clear understanding of what product you are offering and how it will benefit their customers.
A pitch is not the whole conversation, but the opener. When sitting down to a 15-minute sales appointment, after finding out a bit about the buyer and their market, you would start with your sales pitch before launching into a broader sales presentation where you can talk in more detail about elements of your product that are of relevance and interest to your buyer. It is also a useful tool to have your pitch ready during networking, so you can introduce your product in a memorable way.
A good sales pitch is:
- Brief - limited to about a minute
- Concise - provide a topline view of what your product is, where it is, what makes it special and who it appeals to
- Inspiring - give some sense of how your product makes a visitor feel – you are in the business of making memories, so your pitch should tap into that
- Tailored to your listeners - don’t assume they know about your product and/ or destination
- Clear, well-practiced and confidently delivered -show you know exactly what you are offering and why they should want it.
To make a good impression when meeting face to face with the travel trade, you will want to have a well-practiced presentation and a consistent branded materials in addition to your sales kit. A memorable sales presentation should include:
A verbal presentation, with (flexible) notes
Prepare what you want to say about your product, extending on your initial pitch, though it is best to avoid reading notes during a presentation, so make time for plenty of practice. Presentation content should be brief, flexible, and adaptable based on what the inbound tourism operator (ITO) is specifically interested in.
It’s a good idea to practice your presentation a few times with someone who isn’t too familiar with your product before trying it out on an ITO and seek feedback on how effective it was, how clearly, they understood what you do and where you could improve.
Details to include in your presentation are:
- Your pitch
- An overview of your destination
- An overview of your product
- Unique selling points (what makes you different from your competitors)
- How to get there
- Key details on your product
- Markets and market segments it suits (e.g. couples, families, FIT, groups)
- Pricing (just your full retail price – rate sheets with nett rates can be provided afterwards).
Visual presentation materials
These should be designed to accompany your verbal presentation. Like your notes, material should be flexible enough to adapt to the travel trade buyer and focus on a particular element if necessary.
Choose images that showcase your hero products and that show visitors having a good time. Images should reflect the markets you are targeting through your activity and be respectful of the cultures with which you are dealing.
Your presentation should accompany your verbal presentation notes. Some tips for delivery are:
- A brief PowerPoint on a laptop or tablet with few words can be effective, or an image slide show that you can flick through can work well
- Be prepared with an old school flip chart style presentation as a back up
- Images should show - visitors enjoying your product
- Very brief videos around one minute are fine, but this is also time you could spend talking, so it’s good to keep this very brief and avoid loud soundtracks
- If you experience a technical failure, don’t waste time trying to fix it, use you back up hard copy presentation instead
- Make sure devices are fully charged before your appointments, power is not always available.
Interactive or sensory elements
To make your presentation more memorable consider how you can include tastes, smells or textures, it can be a nice touch to incorporate an interactive element of that into your presentation. For example, bringing small pots of tea leaves to smell, native foods to taste.
Think about how you can include props from your business into your presentation, this allows you to show off an element of your product and even briefly show how it works (if not too disruptive).
Some examples could be a piece of interesting equipment, an artefact, native foods, an artwork, or something unique from your accommodation rooms.
A token gift can help leave an impression of your business, particularly in a trade show environment where the ITO will be meeting with a large number of other businesses.
Offering a small trinket like a pen or toy, a chocolate or some other item related to your brand or product can be a nice way of getting the ITO to think of you after the meeting.
Don’t forget to hand yours out and receive one from the travel trade buyer at the start of your meeting or presentation. If you are targeting a specific market like China, it can be useful to have special cards printed with your details in Chinese on the reverse and avoid black cards or red writing in line with specific Chinese cultural considerations.
Trade show dressing
Depending on what the trade show format allows, pull up banners, high quality printed pictures or posters can help provide your stand with a professional and consistently branded look and feel.
TIPS FOR PRESENTING YOUR PRODUCT
- Start with a great pitch
- Identify and briefly describe your product – avoid too much detail
- Highlight unique features of your product or points of difference from your competitors
- Establish how the product might benefit the ITO (based on what you now know about their needs!)
- Discuss the appeal of your product to known - visitor types, if appropriate
- Smile and make eye contact during the presentation
- Communicate the key points about your product
- Be prepared to talk about the perceived weaker points of your product, e.g. wet weather restrictions
- Relax, be confident and ask for feedback
Before making a presentation to the travel trade:
- Research the travel trade attending the event to find out as much as possible about the organisation, including which markets they target.
- Become familiar with the different markets. Research by reviewing market profiles and reports on the Destination NSW website
- Review your presentation to ensure it includes all essential information.
- Ensure it is consistent with all your trade kit materials.
- Practice your presentation to ensure you can deliver within the allocated time.
- Be prepared to answer challenging questions, e.g., we don’t sell your region or product type; we only sell large groups; can you offer other languages?
During your presentation
When you meet with a travel trade buyer such as an ITO, wholesaler or agent, your presentation should not fill the whole appointment time.
Some trade workshop appointments range from 8 – 15 minutes, so you would aim to present for about half of the time available. If you are making a standalone sales call, you may have longer.
Make sure you introduce yourself and exchange business cards. Keeping their details is essential as you build your trade contact database.
Spend some time at the beginning of your appointment asking questions and taking notes so you have a record of what the travel trade buyer says about their business and needs and note any specific requests you need to follow up later.
Consider asking about:
- The markets they target
- How many clients they deal with each year
- The market segments they deal with
- How long their clients spend in Sydney or NSW
- The NSW regions their clients visit.
Listen to the travel trade buyer’s needs
Your presentation should be flexible so you can vary it depending on their specific areas of interest. It’s important you keep a detailed record of your discussion, including the buyer’s answers to your questions and any follow-up required.
An efficient way of recording this is to prepare a blank contact report to use in each appointment. This is usually a one-page form you have prepared to help you record information from the appointment quickly and efficiently.
You can then simply attach their business card to the page, mark the relevant tick-boxes and jot down brief notes. This gives you a quick and easy record of what was discussed and provides you more time to talk about your product during the appointment.
Download a sample contact report
After your presentation
The key to a successful inbound strategy is building relationships. After a presentation in either a sales call or a meeting it is important to follow up:
- Email the buyer thanking them for their time
- Send any additional information that was requested in the meeting.
Even though it can be time consuming, it is best to personalise your follow up rather than sending bulk emails or letters.