Last night, I’m sitting in a chatroom, watching everyone talk and putting in my “two cents worth” when necessary, and I’m having a pretty good time.
So this guy comes in and starts asking about being an “online travel agent” or finding someone that sells “vacation packages” online.
Well, I know this other guy online that works with Carlson Travel so I give the chatroom guy the link.
Someone else in the chatroom, advises him on another place, as well.
He leaves, and later comes back asking the same question. The exact question, same font, same words, same everything, like he had it copied and ready to paste to the room. Still, no one else gives him much advice.
So I, in what is later to become a major flub, decide to dash off an email to the guy.
“I’m a Quixtar rep, we sell travel packages, but probably not what you are interested in.
Now, I admit, I did tell the guy, that my product was probably not what he was interested in, but I saw a “lead” and decided to go for it. I broke several of my own rules in “prospecting”. But really and truly, I thought I would just give the guy some options; he didn’t seem to be getting anyone else’s attention.
Well, he wrote back kinda interested, and we exchanged some back-and-forth “one line” emails; and then he “Instant Messages” me.
I was honest and told him that I was not an expert on the “travel packages” but that I would give him some more links and pricing, and he could browse the Quixtar site.
At first, he seemed like, “Hey this looks good, what’s it cost to join?”
And he began asking more about pricing and details of these Vacation gift albums that Quixtar sells.
I tried to answer each question, I gave him prices and specific links.
I’m not sure he understood the concept, or maybe I wasn’t explaining it right. He kept asking more and more similar questions that I thought I had just answered.
Basically, the concept is; A client purchases a “gift album” with many different vacation packages to different locations for one price. The client can then pick ONE destination, fill out the information card, and redeem the album for the trip of their choice. No add-ons, you get a hotel room for two or three nights, breakfast, maybe a round of golf or theme park tickets; stuff like that.
It’s NOT like making individual arrangements with a travel agent.
It’s also not really a “turn key” process for the client, because the Quixtar site is HUGE. The seller would have to be able to contact the client and direct him to the specific page to purchase the gift album.
It’s not difficult, but a client would not just “happen” on the page by searching “travel packages” online. It takes some sales skills to garner the client.
In the end, my prospect tells me that I wasted an hour of his time, and that I should really be more prepared, as my other prospects, might not be so patient.
I tried to analyze where I went wrong.
First, I should not have “jumped” on this guy, I should have found out more about what he really wanted.
Second, since I do very little sales of this product online, I shouldn’t have been so quick to try to explain it online.
Third, I should have not sent the initial short email. I should have probably explained the concept in a well-written proposal, the same as I would an offline client.
I realize you can’t please everybody, he may have still found the concept and product of no value to him; but in my haste to provide him with options and please him, I actually lost him, before I got started.