So do you "ask for the sale"?
You probably think this is a pushy phrase, something that only greasy salesmen do. We are all concerned not to seem too forthright or to over-sell.
If I ask an accommodation owner about the benefits of their place to stay, they'll often say things like "it's in a lovely location". Something they can't really take credit for, so it doesn't sound pushy.
Rarely will anyone say: "we put our hearts and souls into making our guests feel comfortable. We're proud of how we clean every inch so not even the most diligent Hotel Inspector would find dust on their fingertips. Our guests enjoy a really good hearty cooked breakfast so they feel set up for the day".
Perhaps we need to put more of our personality into our marketing? To be braver? To sell?
You're probably worried about being too pushy, too salesy. But people who worry about this aren't too pushy. They're sensitive to other's feelings and self-aware. People who aren't concerned about being pushy, tend to be the over-the-top sales machines. And they still get results, unless they're really awful.
We do need to "ask for the sale" more.
I work with a lot of tourism businesses and at the beginning their marketing is often more akin to mumbling than shouting. You don't need to shout, but maybe speak up a bit?
Much of the time we assume visitors know what we're offering. We give them a few photos (rarely enough of them) and a few words and hope from that short description they'll spare time to imagine how good it will be, and fill in the gaps in the information. We don't even bother suggesting they book/visit/buy - we just present a bit of information!
Could you use more phrases like "book now so you can...", "visit us soon to see...", "we'd love to show you...don't miss out..." ?
Let me give you another example. I've been working with a group of businesses who want to increase their social media profiles. They've been really proactive and collaborative - sharing, liking and commenting on each other's posts. Their engagement has undoubtedly increased but after this additional activity they're understandably wondering whether it will lead to additional bookings and visits.
Will it? Yes, but only if they ask for the sale...
Social media is all about increasing awareness. You can make it more specific and directed towards sales/bookings if you're a little more strategic.
Messages need to be a combination of:
- context setting - information about you, your area etc
- sharing - news and posts from others, that dovetails with what you do
- smiles - positive stories and information e.g first signs of spring
- selling - directional messages designed to prompt action
That's not all in one message, but through a series of postings. You offer information, you build trust, you make people feel upbeat, and then they're ready to buy/book. But you have to ask them.
Sales-oriented messages on social media could include:
- adding a "book now" button on facebook and reminding people about it
- directing visitors to your website and using words like book now... or "see what you could enjoy" with a link to the relevant page of your website.
- mentioning something particularly compelling such as "last cottage available for the next bank holiday"
- deadlines or incentives
And if you're not ready to ask for the sale, then do at least ask for some action, such as signing up to a newsletter.... You can sign up to mine here!