Part 2 of the “Marketing Hourglass” covered the consideration stage of the customer lifecycle, make sure you read it here. If you plan your marketing efforts carefully and manage to “win” during the consideration stage you will enter the purchasing phase with your new client. But it is NOT all downhill from here, the buying process can positively or negatively affect the perception of your business before the hunting or fishing trip even takes place. Your goal during the buying process is to make sure nobody abandons their purchase and that you are setting up each client to leave a good review and be an advocate for your business.
Awareness – People realize they have a need (Ex. to go fishing or hunting) and become aware that your company offers that service.
Consideration – During this phase of the buying process you want your brand to be top-of-mind as the buyer begins to actively evaluate their options.
Purchase – The age old tradition of closing the deal.
Loyalty – As the saying goes “it is much cheaper to keep a customer than to create a new one.”
Advocacy – A loyal customer has an unmatched influence on a potential customer, so turn your loyal customers into advocates and grow your business in the most efficient way possible.
During the buying, or “Purchase”, phase of the customer journey buyers have expectations that must be met. Your awareness marketing and attention to the consideration phase has paid off. This is the “don’t blow it” moment, like having the deer in your sights and making sure you get the shot off cleanly. Now is the time to convert that lead to a client!
1. Close the Deal
Fin & Field is busy marketing your adventures to a diverse and engaged community of sportsmen. These sportsmen browse profiles, compare adventures, and often end up booking trips. The start of any buying process whether on Fin & Field or from your personal efforts, is a booking request or an inquiry. This is the first 1 on 1 chance you get to talk to your potential customer and it is the only chance you get to close the deal. Most people find it hard to sell themselves and fishing and hunting guides are no exception. Sportsmen want to know that you have the right experience and reputation, access to excellent fishing and hunting, and will provide a great experience. You should encourage the client to ask questions and while answering you can speak a bit about your background, what makes your area special for fishing or hunting, and how your trips are unique. Always end the phone call with a plan, salesmanship 101 is to ask for the sale. If the prospect seems interested ask if you can book a date for them, if they are on the fence ask if you can follow up in a week and talk more about it, don’t end the call without discussing next steps. Fin & Field tip: All package subscribers get call tracking, you will know exactly what phone calls are generated by Fin & Field.
2. Communicate Clearly and Professionally
Marketing and communication in general is hard for small business owners to do well. Their time is simply at a premium. That is especially true for operators in the fishing and hunting industry. You need to be your #1 salesman, and unless you have staff you are the only salesman. Clear and professional communication will help you close the deal and keep your clients happy throughout the booking process. Great communication starts with the small things.
-Answer the phone well (and always answer it the same way), we suggest something like… “Hi this is Amazing Fishing Charters, John speaking”.
-At the end of a call you should summarize what was talked about and what the next steps are so everyone is on the same page.
-Follow up a call with an email so the client has it in writing too, this will go a long way to eliminating any confusion.
-Return calls and emails promptly. This is hard if you are on the water or in the field without service. But if you will not be able to return calls for a few days change your voicemail message to let others know when to expect a return call. Similarly, if you won’t be able to respond to email within a day or so you can create an autoresponder to let people know when they will hear from you. Potential customers will book with someone else if they are left waiting too long.
-Use correct punctuation and and grammar in your written communication. Don’t use too many acronyms or slang terms. Taking the extra time to polish your writing will bolster people’s confidence that they are making a good choice to fish or hunt with you.
3. Confirmations and Reminders
Just about everyone does business online these days. From banking to booking flights, making reservations, shopping on Amazon etc… Even transactions that take place offline are increasingly crossing over to the digital world to take advantage of email communications, digital calendars, and payment processing. Consumers expect certain things during and after the transaction. First, if payment is taking place online they expect a secure payment page so their personal information is safe. Next, they expect a receipt or confirmation email to verify that the goods or services are paid for and will be delivered/the date is reserved. Lastly, they expect notices relating to the delivery of goods and services. In the case of a fishing or hunting trip this would be reminder emails. Finally, consumers are accustomed to being asked after-the-fact for a review and even for referrals. That is a lot of communication that should take place for every single client so Fin & Field has built in a simple automated communication workflow for the calendar.
When you use the Fin & Field Calendar and Booking tools we automate a lot of your confirmation, transactional, and reminder emails. (Tip: Of course you can use the tools for any Fin & Field booking but you can also use our software to book all of your clients by adding them to the Fin & Field calendar. And rest assured there will be no extra booking fees charged when you add trips for sportsmen that come directly to you and not through Fin & Field). Here are the automatic client communications:
- Booking Request Sent (when a sportsman contacts you through Fin & Field they will get a confirmation email that their request was sent to you successfully)
- Booking Confirmation Request (when you agree upon the details of a trip with a client you can send the booking confirmation request to the client so that can confirm the booking on their end)
- Booking Hold About To Expire (when you send a booking confirmation request to the client it will hold the agreed upon days for a certain amount of time, the client will be notified automatically when the hold is about to expire)
- Booking Confirmed By Client (when the client confirms the booking, you and the client will both receive an automatic confirmation email)
- 1st Trip Reminder (the first trip reminder is sent 14 days before the scheduled adventure)
- 2nd Trip Reminder(the second trip reminder is sent 7 days before the scheduled adventure)
- Charge Confirmation (24-48 hours before the scheduled adventure the client will be automatically notified when their card is charged).
- 1st Trip Follow-Up (one day after the trip the automatic follow up includes a request for a review)
- 2nd Trip Follow-Up (if nor review is entered, seven days after the trip another request for a review is sent)
If you have any great lines you use to close a sale, please share them with us. We are also excited to discuss email templates and phone scripts with you. You can reach us at:
Catch up on our other articles just for operators like you.
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Fin & Field is all about finding your next adventure. We’re working hard to provide the most comprehensive listing of services, reviews, and far reaching community available to help you take the guesswork out of planning your next adventure.
We believe in the ethical pursuit of hunting and fishing adventures and support taking from the land only what you can use and leaving it in better shape than you found it.
Tight Lines & Happy Hunting!
Visit us at www.finandfield.com