At the United Motorcoach Association, we are always searching for advantages that give UMA Members a competitive edge in the marketplace. Establishing your company as an authority on charter bus matters is essential to creating the professional image you desire to underpin the costs contained in your proposal. Indeed, changing the conversation from price to “what the prospective customer really wants” is the cornerstone of profitability in the charter bus business.
To many customers, chartering a bus is a bit of a mystery, even to those who have been chartering motorcoaches for years. In “Sales 101,” an inquiry about price is generally a request for more information.
You’re selling more than price
Price is simply the only thing they know to inquire about. It’s the old, “You don’t know what you don’t know” theory. Savvy marketing people know this and position themselves in a way to become the prospective customer’s authority by enhancing their knowledge of what is available.
With that in mind, let’s review three items that every UMA Member can incorporate in their sales toolbox:
Travel Insurance – if a prospective charter bus customer calls five operators in your area today, how many will offer Travel Insurance? If you said none, you are likely correct. So, this is your opportunity to make it available. Without going into detail, travel insurance generally covers trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage and personal effects, emergency accident and sickness, and much, much more. Not only does the offer of travel insurance cast you in a more favorable light, it also pays you a commission of 30% of the premium! Ancillary income is important to airlines and trains. It should be important to you as well.
GroupLeader – nearly every charter results in a point person needing to collect money from 50 or so people. This often is a challenge, particularly when most everyone wants to pay with their credit or debit card. The GroupLeader program allows you to set up a link for a teacher, youth minister or group travel leader to collect the funds in one central point – credit cards welcome – distribute information and details about the trip, and obtain permission slips or releases to be signed. This is a HUGE help to the poor soul stuck with pulling it altogether. Cost to coach operators that subscribe to Busrates.com? Zero. Cost to the teacher/youth minister? Zero.
AssurClean – A study released this week revealed that 49% of people now feel comfortable traveling by bus – up two points since last week. The comfort rate was similar for domestic airline and train travel. The pandemic will continue to be a part of every travel consideration for many more months – perhaps years. The AssurClean label says you recognize their concerns and have taken steps to mitigate them. It gives the teacher, youth minister and tour organizer something to point to when someone brings it up. Moms everywhere will love you. Cost? Zero, another exclusive for UMA Members only.
These three assets position your motorcoach company as a market authority that most of your local competitors either cannot access, or do not possess the inclination to offer. In any market, that is a competitive edge. We encourage you to incorporate these assets into your company and begin to realize the rewards.
For more information on these and other opportunities, visit the “Members Only” section of the UMA website to see additional Member benefits.