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Make Every WRTC Meeting A Sales Meeting

Editor’s Note: WRTC (Western Reserve Tourism Council) is the former name of Adventures in Northeast Ohio.

You’ve paid your dues, received the new member packet, read the newsletter and flipped through the membership directory. Good start. But perhaps the biggest reason to join WRTC is to attend meetings. Every WRTC meeting is an opportunity to network, learn what’s going on with other members and the industry. Luncheon destinations can be educational in themselves. Attending meeting can also help “keep your face” in the mind of other members in a “hey, don’t forget about me” fashion.

Although it may be pragmatic to attend WRTC meetings, sometimes the press of business dictates members sometimes stay in the office doing sales. But, when members do attend meetings don’t just attend a luncheon and visit with friends. Do some sales at WRTC functions.

New to WRTC or industry? Take a lead from humorist Will Rogers who once said “There is no such things as strangers, only friends we have not yet met.” Brings plenty of business cards to meetings and introduce yourself around. Seek out members in similar businesses, such as hotels or attractions. Those relationships could help provide valuable information and advise that can help you bottom line.

Introducing yourself to WRTC members also provide a great opportunity to practice your “elevator speech” – your tell me about yourself speech. A great rehearsal for the many appointments at Heartland Travel Showcase. This can also help improve your presentation when making all those cold sales phone calls.

Bring your profile sheet, brochures or other information for the share table. And spend a little time reviewing other member’s literature. Any partnering ideas – new traveling exhibit or program you might co-promote? Package a hotel with an attraction? Does another member offer a program you might also provide to your guests? Do you like the “look” of the literature – formatting, lay-out, theme, etc. or other ideas you might use?
Network during lunch. Get to know individual members on a personal basis. This can open the door to learn about your competitors business in general and perhaps lead to co-operative marketing opportunities – co-op ad, joint mailings, local or out-of-town sales blitz, packages, internet links, maybe share client leads, etc.

Any prospects or clients along the route to the meeting? A great opportunity to make some sales calls in the area of the meeting. This could be helpful in you are trying to expand into a new territory.

Between the networking, share table, luncheon program, and meeting location the smart sales rep should be able to come away from almost every WRTC meeting with a few ideas they can use to help their sales. In some instances, networking with colleagues can prove to you (and your boss) you are doing something right! Enjoy the WRTC meeting fellowship and great cuisine, but always keep those eyes peeled for selling opportunities.