How to Use Your Next Booking to Make A LOT of New Bookings

Leverage: [lev-er-ij] (noun) the use of a small initial investment, credit, or borrowed funds to gain a very high return in relation to one’s investment (source http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/leverage)

Would you like to use ONE successful fishing trip or hunting trip as a means of winning a LOT more customers?  Read on to see how you can use leverage to your marketing advantage.

Take LOTS of Pictures

When people are trying to determine if they want to use your services, they want to get a feel for everything.  People are interested in the lodge, the food, the equipment and of course the property.  If you are a fishing guide then you should have lots of pics of your boat, tackle and the waters you frequent.  Include some pics of happy people holding a nice catch.

If you are a hunting outfitter, then you will have more targets for your pictures.  You can take pics of the lodge, the hunting ground, the cooler where game is stored, the vehicles used to transport people out to the field and of course the hunting grounds.  Once again, have lots of pics of smiling faces with their recent trophy.

Video Will SELL You to New Prospects

Want to know a little secret about video?  People are sick and tired of advertisements.  BUT, people love to be genuinely informed and want to see success.  So give it to them.  Get a cheap mini camcorder and record as much as you can on your next outing.  Explain what you are doing along the way.  For fishing guides, hold up the tackle, talk about the weather and the season.  Take video of the cast and retrieve, explaining why you are doing certain things at a certain time.  Finally, when the client hooks a fish, film as much as you can.

For hunting guides, do the same thing.  Explain about the animal’s tendencies during the current weather conditions.  Explain why you are setting up in a certain space.  Talk about the techniques being used (calls, rattles, decoys, etc.) and the success you have had in the past with the techniques.  When your client cuts down on a trophy, get it on film.  With one of the small camcorders you can be ready at a moment’s notice to get everything in action.

Putting It All Together

Now that you have some pictures and videos of a successful outing, you can start broadcasting the information in lots of different ways.  Obviously, you can write up a quick summary and put it on your website, including links to the pictures and video.  You can put snippets of the video on YouTube and other video sites in order to gain new leads.  The same can be done with a handful of pics on photo sharing sites.  Take your notes, along with some diagrams and photos, and make a slide show.  Post the slide show to a site like Slide Share.  Notify people via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ about the recent outing.  If you are taking advantage of a text message marketing service, you can send out a short text to past clients and new prospects about the new video and photos.  All of this information, links and media can come from ONE booking.  And it can lead to a BUNCH of new bookings.  IF you leverage it correctly.

P.S.  Looking for a way to stay in touch with past clients?  Have you considered using text message marketing?  It is a great way to keep you in front of your customers and it is SUPER cheap.  You can get started with a FREE month here.

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What type of gear checklist do you have?

When the average angler or hunter considers paying for a guided trip they usually think of a few things.  They picture a hands-off approach where the guide will effortlessly lead them to game and the customer simply has to pick out a trophy.  What customers don’t realize is that the guide has spent literally hours scouring the best places to find where the big trophies hang out and how to best approach them.  What customers also don’t realize is that they have a responsibility to be prepared when they arrive.  As the guide you can offer some assistance to make sure your customer is ready to have a good time.

Checklist for New Bookings

One of the easiest ways to help customers is to offer a simple checklist.  Everybody gets excited and can easily forget something in the rush to get out the door and headed to their destination.  Offering a checklist of everything the client will need can set the expectations for the client and make your job easier.  It will also make the trip more enjoyable for the customer.

When you are putting down the items it is a good idea to mentally walk through a typical day and see what you would use for the trip.  Think about your clothes, your bathroom items like deodorant and toothpaste, your prescription medications, and similar items.  Consider recommending that the customer bring some backup items like an extra set of sunglasses or extra pair of shoes.  Accidents happen and nobody wants a trip ruined by a simple everyday occurrence like breaking a pair of sunglasses.

It goes without saying that you should offer an extensive list of the gear that the client needs to bring.  Again, go through a typical day in your mind and consider the types of reels, rods, line, hooks and lures you use in your operation.  Any special tools that are unique and handy for your type of fishing should also be mentioned.

Inspect the Gear

When the client arrives, take 10 minutes to look over their gear.  Make sure the rods are in good shape with no broken or missing eyes.  Check the reel to see if it was recently oiled.  Inspect the line for nicks, abrasions or weak spots.  Taking these few moments to look over all the equipment could spare you and the client heartache on the water when that elusive 10 pounder breaks a line or jumps off the hook because of some issue that could have been resolved back at the lodge.

Remember this one thing.  Even if a client leaves with a wall hanging trophy, it does not mean they will come back to you for another trip.  Make the outing as enjoyable and hassle free as possible so that they tell all their friends “Man, you HAVE to go see these guys!  They really take care of the angler!”