Getting new clients to trust you can be an uphill battle in this jaded age. How can they be sure you’re the right person for the job? How do they know you really know your stuff? Winning over these clients is half the sales battle, so any tool that can shorten this step or help an agent to bypass it all together is a tool travel sellers should take a good look at. And for niche agents there’s nothing better than the perfect agency name.
“Your name ought to describe what you’re doing as a niche agent,” said Chet McDoniel, owner of Off to Neverland Travel, which specializes in Disney travel. “For someone to say Off to Neverland travel and go ‘whoa, I bet you that’s Disney,' then I’m already, immediately perceived as the expert.”
According to Greg Woodworth, general manager of Squba Holidays Inc., having a self-explanatory name also cuts down on any confusion.
“There’s no misunderstanding what we do,” he said, adding that he believes divers are more apt to choose specialized companies rather than “an ABC Travel,” so its important they know what his agency does right away.
McDoniel added, “I think that people who come out with names like Beth’s Travel are just shooting themselves in the foot because Beth might specialize in Disney but you didn’t tell them with the name.”
Beci Mahnken of Mouse Fan Travel, who also specializes in Disney travel, agreed.
“In this world of marketing that is in your face all the time, you want something that tells who you are and what you do right up front.”
Mahnken is in the midst of a soft launch of a second division, Universal Fan Travel that specializes in vacation to the various Universal theme parks.
“All of my agency names are designed to draw in potential clients according to their vacation interests,” said Staci Blunt, owner of Vacation Visions. Under the Vacation Visions umbrella Blunt operates Family-Friendly Vacations, Honeymoons and Weddings Away, and Luxury Vacation Escapes.
Agency names that tell potential clients exactly what the agencies sell upfront help establish trust from the get-go, because they indicate a level of expertise and passion that appeal to today’s customer.
“In this world of easy ways of booking online or direct with supplier I think the value comes from being able to say ‘I am an expert. I can give you information that you can’t obtain easily online,’” said Mahnken. “And that’s incredibly valuable because folks will know that when you say ‘this is the best deal that you’re going to get’ they’re going to trust that you are accurate.”
The name also “shows that you have the passion in that destination or in that product, enough to invest your time and education in what you’re doing and people will have a higher level of trust with you,” she added.
By creating that feeling of trust within the consumer, even before the sales process has started, agents can shorten or even cut out much of the sales cycle, creating a much more efficient sales process.
A Perfect Match
While having the right name lets customers know they’ve found the perfect travel agent for their needs, it also helps travel sellers pre-qualify their clients. Someone looking for a Caribbean cruise is not going to be contacting an agency with a name like All China Travel.
“It really does weed out people looking for general types of travel arrangements,” Squba Holidays’ Woodworth told Travel Market Report.
Additionally, it eliminates many of the bargain hunters, because people who have taken the time to search out the right agent tend to be serious about their vacation inquiry.
“We don’t get a lot of tire kickers,” he said, adding that his company does book a lion’s share of first time enquirers approaching Squba Holidays.
But, while the name establishes an agency as the expert, an agent still has to back it up with real knowledge and good service.
“You can’t just run out and grab a URL and say now I’m a specialist,” Mahnken said.
Woodworth agreed. “The name will serve you well, but you have to be good and you have to be dedicated to your niche.”