What can travel agents learn from a L’Oreal advert? No, not just the “science bit” - though that can be illuminating.
A typical L’Oreal advert uses one of the most basic forms of storytelling to convince viewers they need this product in their life.
This technique is called the “Pro” system, which has four parts: ascertaining a problem; promising to eliminate it; proving how; and proposing what is needed from the client to make it happen.
At the recent Clia Selling Cruise Conference, sales trainer Richard Newman suggested how agents could use the system to sell cruise to first-timers, but it works for selling any holiday products to any client.
Follow the diagram below clockwise to learn more about the four parts. It also shows how TV adverts by L’Oreal and personal injury lawyers use the technique, and how you might use it to sell a cruise.
Use questioning to understand what they have not liked about previous holiday experiences.
Their negative experiences will normally relate to one of three things: Money, Time or Values (MTV).
Perhaps there were hidden charges (M), or they were rushed (T), or they didn’t get any quiet romantic time together (V).
Repeat back to the customer what you know they do not want, to underline the “pain” they experienced last time.
Use questioning to ascertain what is most important to them in this purchase. You might ask “What does your ideal holiday look/sound/feel like?”
Use the positive aspects of Money, Time and Values to demonstrate how things could be different this time, underlining the “pleasure” that is to come.
Give three pieces of evidence to support why this is the perfect product. You might give them statistics or facts, highlight how this meets their criteria, or tell them who else has enjoyed it.
Tell them “The first thing you should know is…”, “here’s the second thing…” and “the last thing you should know is…” Three is the magic number.
Present the client with something that is easy to achieve and easy to say “yes” to. What is the smallest commitment they can give?
Consider the scene in Friends when Chandler is terrified about his wedding to Monica, and runs away. Ross manages to talk him round by giving him small, manageable steps to achieve, such as “just put on a shirt”.