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#3 – Listen & Learn – B2B Sales and Marketing tips

They may not be big, they may not be clever – you judge – but here are 6 B2B Sales and Marketing tips from us at SquirrelFish and our sister company, Travel Kinship that we hope brighten your day and get those brain cells fired up.

THE HIGHLIGHTS: If you only remember 6 things after reading this… ?


1. Know your “WHY?” – your purpose, the unique “contribution and impact you want to make in the industry and to the world.”

2. Be SelectiveFind the right kind of trade “buyers” for your business (tour operators, travel agents, travel designers, and online platforms) to market to.

3. Listen, Learn & Act – Just “winning” a client is only the beginning of the journey – it’s about ongoing relationships and continual improvement.

4. Make it easy to sell youYour marketing and sales activities are a perfect opportunity to listen to your market and find out what problems they need you to fix and how you can both innovate and be continually improving

5. Build the relationship – Make it Win-Win

6. Data is Queen – To really improve your sales and marketing you need to ensure that you are collecting, analyzing and utilizing your sales and marketing in the best possible way – both quantitative and qualitative.

Also to remind you before we start of the Becky Harris world of terminology… for the B2B travel industry world, I use Marketing to mean finding new clients and Sales to mean developing more sales and profits from existing client contacts.

In this article we focus on #3 – Listen and Learn…

(Read the other articles by clicking on the links above)


#3. Listen – Solve problems don’t push products – Be “customer-centric”

Don’t forget that your marketing and sales activities are a perfect opportunity to listen to your market, find out what issues and trends they are currently facing and work out how your company is going to help solve those problems for them. You need to use your marketing communications to engage (potential) customers into real, or “digital” conversations and LISTEN. Uncover what problems they have and then solve them – perfectly.

At SquirrelFish we coach travel suppliers ahead of a travel show, road show office visit or just a pre-arranged online meeting to do much more listening than talking.

Get the buyer to talk first. Ask lots of open questions like, “so tell me about your company, how it is different and what type of customers you have” and “what kind of travel experiences do you find sell best across your destinations” and “what is it that your best DMCs/Hotels do that sets them apart?” and then as quickly as possible move into, “what are you finding are the key issues and problems for your company now and looking into the future?”

Not only is this an incredible way to find out a huge amount of essential, valuable information about a (possible) client very quickly, it builds trust... it is proven that people like and trust you more if they do most of the talking and you demonstrate how interested you are in THEM by just listening. Of course, this is the best way to also check that they are the “right client” for you. ?

When it comes time for you to talk you can then align everything you say about your company, your ethos, systems and service, destinations and products etc to how you can help them with their issues and help support them in delighting their customers.

Be honest. If you don’t yet offer something that they need, tell them that, but then initiate a discussion with them about how you would like to work with them to get it going and work out together what the best way to do that could be. Who wouldn’t buy that?

Listen to your market – what problems do they need you to fix? Then go ahead and fix them – perfectly.

This is also why digital marketing research, social listening and feedback systems are essential for your business. These are other powerful ways for you to listen to existing and prospective clients, learn about what they need and ensure you are delivering.

Read the next article in this series4. Make it easy to sell you


Contact us to find out how Squirrelfish, Travel Kinship and our sister company Round can help you grow your sales and develop your marketing, profitability, product development, and business reputation.


This article can also be found on Becky Harris’s LinkedIn profile HERE.

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As well as being the most user friendly and cost effective system to store and share our marketing information with our clients, a huge reason we use it is that it means our clients and staff always have access to the latest resources. We all use SquirrelFish as a central intranet so no need to download and store things elsewhere where it may get out of date.

Plan It Morrocco – Local Operator

As a small local operator offering unique glamping and trekking trips in Guatemala, Central America we were looking for a low cost software solution to help us raise our visibility in the worldwide travel industry. SquirrelFish has made it cheap and simple to get our marketing resources organised, show how professional we are and link with our clients all around the world.

Trek Guatemala – Local Operator

As a travel designer I need to be able to network with accommodation and local tour operators all around the world and be able to download their images and information when ever I need it. The SquirrelFish system has been an amazing free system for me to find and network with my suppliers.

Helena Lewis – Heliotropic Travel

As a tour operator I need quick access to high quality, copyright free images and videos as well as useful information that helps me to sell a property and destination. Squirrel Fish means I can easily search and find the resources I need, just when I need them, and not have to hold huge amounts of files on my own servers.

Becky Harris – Curious Travel