4 Steps to Avoid Missing Out on Bookings

May 13, 2021

"I Didn't Know You Booked That Too."

You’re scrolling on Facebook and see a client, who’s booked with you before, enjoying Beaches Negril while you’re sitting there mentally calculating the commission you are missing out on.

Or a client just got back from a Walt Disney World vacation you booked for them and found out they went to Universal for 2 nights.

Immediate reaction: Don’t they KNOW I book that?

Reaction after reflection: WHY didn’t they know I could book that?

Here’s the thing, we think we’ve marketed ourselves and all of our services. Just because your specialties and offerings are listed on your website or in your about us section, does not mean people know what you can do for them.

Your clients and potential clients are juggling life, like all of us. They might see or read something, but it does not mean they know it. You need to be your own PR person and take a mindful approach to your marketing strategy.

Many of my clients refer to me as Disney Dana, because I specialize in Disney Destinations. So that alliteration is great for me as they associate me with Disney. What about all the other destinations I book? What about that Universal package?

These are my four steps, that I have personally used in my marketing, to educate my followers and clients in all that I can do.

1. Narrow Your Audience and Your Specialties

One thing I hear from agents all the time is they want to be able to book anything. And that is true, we can book everything. However, the key to wonderful repeat and referral bookings is expertise. You cannot be an expert in everything.

Our marketing needs to be focused on specific audiences; because a message meant for everyone reaches no one.

Our marketing needs to be focused on specific audiences; because a message meant for everyone reaches no one.

There are millions of people out there, you’re not speaking to the millions.

You are not Expedia or Costco. This is a relationship business, you can't build a relationship with millions of people.

My first, and most profitable specialty, is family travel—it is 85% of my bookings: Disney, Universal, cruises, family-friendly all-inclusive resorts.

My secondary specialty is romance travel: meaning anniversary trips, weddings, and honeymoons. This is primarily for the Caribbean.

Exercise Part I

It’s your turn, answer these two questions:

1. What destinations or types of travel do you have the most knowledge of or personal experience with?

2. Who are your ideal clients for these destinations?

2. What Problems Do You Solve?

Your marketing is not about you. It’s about illustrating a story of how you help your clients.

We can talk until we are blue in the face about our experiences, FAMs, certifications, etc. While credentials are necessary for credibility, people will not listen until you tell them how all of your expertise solves a problem for them.

For example, that client who booked Universal on their own. They went for the lowest priced hotel, they had no clue that there is an “Express Pass” and that it’s not included at all hotels and if they want to buy it separately, it’s actually less expensive most times to stay at the nicer hotel.

This becomes a problem when they're at the park and see all these people walking right by them in this Express Line. Their kids are crying and they’re waiting forever wondering why these other people can skip the regular line. They will not know they have this problem until they’re there.

Exercise Part II:

This is not a passive article, it is your turn again. Jot down 2 problems you solve for clients because of your expertise.

3. Create Social Posts that Provide Solutions

Are your posts communicating how you solve these problems? The answer is probably no, and that’s okay.

Take a look at how you are writing to your audience. First, look back at the 2 problems you solve for clients.

Let’s look back at my Universal example. This one was a problem they didn’t know they had. But waiting in line for an attraction is something everyone knows the “pain” of—especially with kids.

Here’s a look at a post I wrote for this topic:

The average wait time for the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride is 60+ minutes. Guests of Universal's Premier Hotels do not have to worry about the wait times since Universal Express Pass Unlimited is included for them. What will you do with the time you're saving by not waiting in line?

Dana's Instagram Post

I invited them into the conversation by asking them a question. Even if they don’t answer they would daydream for a second about what it would be like to have the Express Pass.

It’s your turn.

Exercise Part III:

Pick one of the problems you solve from #2 and write a post that illustrates the solution to the problem and invites the reader into the conversation.

4. Be Consistent.

I used to be a Spanish teacher, and I can tell you based on ten years of teaching 6th-12th graders, no one learns anything after reading something once.

The frequency with which you post increases the likelihood of your current clients knowing what else you book.

That is why I believe in the old marketing rule of 7. In order for someone to know, like, and trust you, they need to see and hear from you at least 7 times before doing business with you.

Know what this requires? Consistency.

The frequency with which you post increases the likelihood of your current clients knowing what else you book. So when they see that ad for a minion suite at Universal, they’ll email you because you have been consistently illustrating solutions to their problems they didn’t know they would have.

I recommend one post a day from one of your specialties that highlights your solution to a problem and invites your followers into the conversation.

I had clients always asking me if I book Universal. I always thought to myself, of course I do, why are they asking me?

Looking back, in 2019, I realized my business page had barely one post a month about Universal. No wonder they were asking!

Fast forward to February and March 2021: the past 2 months I have posted about Universal on my business pages (Instagram and Facebook) 10 times being intentional with how I am posting.

We all live and breathe by sales, so I went in and pulled my sales reports from March 2019 (avoiding 2020 for obvious reasons) and March 2021 and compared Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando bookings.1 While my Disney bookings were consistent, I booked 8x the number of Universal bookings in 2021 than I had in 2019.

Exercise Part IV

Commit to 5 social posts a week, rotating through your specialties, to make sure you are giving them all equal air time?

Want to get the most from your posts? Read, "How Travel Agents Can Find Their Clients on Social Media."

Problem Solved.

After 8 years in the business, my one-work advice for a successful career in travel is: consistency, good customer service, insightful marketing, and a willingness to always learn are the cornerstones to longevity and sales—and the more consistent we are in these three tenets, the better the results.

Dana Zificsak, Industry Voices

About Dana Zificsak, CTIE, CTA: Dana is the founder of Travel Agents with Guts, Grit, and Goals. She is a certified business coach and a member of the Travel Institute’s Professional Educators Program and a contributor to the Travefy Academy. She has spent her professional career as both a teacher and as a travel consultant. Professionally spending 10 years in the classroom and 8 years and counting as a travel advisor, dually certified by the Travel Institute. Additionally, she has developed travel agent education programming for new agents. You can connect with Dana on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.


  1. 2019 was my all-time high sales year so it’s a good one to use for growth comparison. Results are not guaranteed.
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