Having some work/play balance in your life is much easier when you have systems and processes set up to support you, and when you have an effective marketing system in place that is as automated as possible.
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For today’s Travel Expert Insider, I’m going to show you one simple strategy that saves you a LOT of time, and helps you get more new clients. I made a short video that explains the strategy and how it works – but if you prefer to read, the transcript is below the video.
TimeTrade Online Scheduler for Travel Agents – Transcript
I’m going to talk about online schedulers! Why having one will make your life easier, save you time and help you get more clients. Then I’m going to show you that online scheduler that I use which is TimeTrade, and why I love it and how it works.
The reason that you need an online scheduler is because most of the people visiting your website are doing it at night, on weekends and off-hours and so if you just provide your contact information then they have to actually write down on their to-do list to call or email you during regular business hours then they have to actually do it.
You want to get them while they’re hot.
If they’ve been thinking about planning a trip maybe they’ve been on your newsletter list for a while and how they’re ready to pull the trigger and they want to meet with you, they want to do a consultation with you so that they can potentially hire you. You want to get them while they’re hot.
The way to do that is to have an online scheduler build in your website so that they can just click on it and schedule right then and there. They don’t need to add another thing to their to-do list.
It’s really beneficial for you because instead of you going back and forth, exchanging voicemails and emails to try to find a time that’s convenient for them, they just click and schedule and then they just show up on your calendar. So you wake up in the morning and you’ve got prospective clients filled-in on your calendar for the week.
How fantastic is that?
The online scheduler that we currently use is called TimeTrade. I love TimeTrade for a few reasons:
1) It integrates with most of the major calendars out there.
I personally use Google Apps For Work and so I use the Google Apps For Work calendar but also it works with Outlook and all of the different major calendars. And then what you do is you just program it what hours clients can book with you and on what days. Of course they can’t just book anytime they want. You’re going to tell it, “Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays from 9:00-2:00 and on Thursdays from 2:00-6:00” or whatever hours and days that you see clients. Then, if you’re on vacation or you’re going to be out of the office for something, you just mark yourself out and then nobody can schedule that day.
2) It also saves you time by automatically reminding people that they have an appointment with you.
So they might book at a week or 2 weeks or 3 weeks in advance and then they got to the appointment day and maybe they forget or because maybe they forgot to actually put it on their calendars, something like that, it’s going to automatically remind them about that appointment. And if they realize that they have a conflict in their schedule that came out, maybe their kid got sick that day or something, they can just click a button and reschedule. They don’t even need to contact you. So then, you’re just seeing clients one right after the other. And then, maybe tomorrow, you’ve got a client that something came up, they can’t make their appointment, they just click the link and reschedule and then someone could fill in on that spot and you didn’t have to lift a finger.
Online schedulers can save you a lot of time and it’s going to help you get more clients because you’re allowing people to book with you when they’re hot, when they’re ready. They don’t have to remember to call or email you during business hours and do this back & forth with you. They can just schedule when they’re ready to schedule.
3) Another great thing about TimeTrade is that you can link it on your website.
When you log-in to your TimeTrade account, you can create different types of appointments. You could have a free consultation with clients (new prospective clients). If you’ve got follow-up meetings that you scheduled clients, you can get those set-up with whatever name that they’re named and you can have it blocked off over how much time you like for those appointments. Then, you can take those different links like you’re free consultation link for example and just embed it on your website so people on your website just click it and it opens up your TimeTrade and it lets them book your appointment. You can also just email the link out to clients. Or, you can share it on social media. It’s really simple!
Now, when you log-in to TimeTrade, you can set-up different types of appointments.
For example, if somebody wants to book a one hour paid consulting session with me, that’s one type of appointment and that way when they show up on my calendar, I know that they’re a one hour paid consulting session. Or, if they have a free consultation because they’re interested in purchasing services and they’ve got questions then they can set-up a 30 minute phone chat where I get their questions answered about whatever service they’re interested in. So there’s a variety of different appointments that you offer your clients or different types of appointments that you have then you can set them each up individually.
I also have one for prospective JV partners and so if I’m looking at somebody that is a prospective JV partner or affiliate or something like that then my system will send them out that link and they can book and so you can set-up.
The sky is the limit on the number of different appointment types that you can set-up. TimeTrade calls them “Activities” (there are different activities). When you set-up that activity, you can program what days of the week and times of the day that somebody can book that type of an activity in your schedule when you’re available for them and then you can program it like are you going to call your clients or do you want them to call on a conference line. You just put it in there and it will automatically notify them of the instructions of where the call is being hosted. If it’s on Skype or on the phone, if you’re calling them or they’re supposed to call into a special number. Those instructions are going to be in there because you pre-program it.
Also, if you want more information about them before the call, you can have the system automatically ask them questions. Questions like what type of trip they’re interested in, what their budget is. All of those kinds of things. You have that information ahead of the call.
There are a lot of different online schedulers available on the market. TimeTrade is just a really easy one to use and it’s a very inexpensive and so that’s why it’s one that we recommend to our travel agents most of the time.
So there you have it. If you don’t yet have an online scheduler, I encourage you to get one. It’s going to make your life easier, save you time and help you get more clients.
Love & Success,
Heidi and Your Marketing Team