Luxury Coach & Transportation

February 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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2018 LCT EAST: SALES & MARKETING How To Promote Your Motorcoach Business Create a consistent message using multiple methods to dangle your brand and service advantages in front of current and potential clients. By Jim A. Luff, LCT contributing editor A TLANTIC CITY, N.J. — In a crowded, competitive ground transportation industry, how do you find powerful marketing pitches that stand out and influ- ence prospective clients? Christian Riddell offered some an- swers in a marketing session Nov. 6 during LCT-NLA Show East. Riddell, president of United Bus Technology, a provider for the motorcoach indus- try, started as a bus driver and sales representative. His experience, along with a career in marketing, led him to his position as executive direc- tor of the Motorcoach Marketing Council, an organization that helps provide tools, training, and support to operators. Why You Need a Marketing Plan For operators new to running buses, you must realize you are a disruptor to the motorcoach industry as it has existed for years. We are changing the way this sector operates, and Riddell said large group travel is done the same way today as it was 30-40 years ago. "e world, the requirements, and the way the consuming public wants to consume our products is changing," Riddell said. "As a result, we must change the way we market to move forward." Quote Follow-Ups One of the most important ideas Rid- dell shared is the importance of follow- ing up on price quotes. A request for a quote — whether it arrives by email, a website landing page, or a phone call — means someone is shopping for a bus and likely will charter one. Most companies will complete the quote based on information pro- vided and move along without further contact. A simple follow- up call could set you apart from competitors. In the sales process of any industry, asking for the sale is one differen- tiator among companies. Providing marketing mate- rial with the quote helps your prospect visualize the service. Following up on a quote and asking for the order is more likely to result in a booking as opposed to doing nothing. Riddell recommends tracking why you lost out during follow-up calls. Did you lose it because of price, service, or availability? Why did you lose that deal? If you lose a deal, "why not ask, 'What could we do better next time that we might have the oppor- tunity to serve you?' ey are likely to tell you they went with XYZ Company because they were 20% cheaper.' You at least have the chance to price match or you can say, 'Okay, this one went to somebody for 20% cheaper and I don't want to do it for 20% cheaper.'" Where Are Leads Coming From? It should be standard procedure to ask callers how they learned of your busi- 2 2 WWW.LCTMAG.COM LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION FEBRUARY 2019 Christian Riddell, executive director of the Motorcoach Marketing Council

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