This is a viewpoint from Maria Regester, vice president, business development, for RightRez
If you’re looking to partner with a travel technology company, the main thing you will want to know before making your decision is how exactly this technology will help your business. One of the best ways to make that determination is to do a product demonstration or “demo,” where the travel technology sales representative presents the company’s solutions to you for inspection, brainstorming and questions.
Sounds simple, right? But, you often hear the same questions being asked again and again, and while these are good questions, they don’t really get to the heart of what a potential client needs to know about a travel technology product and the organization producing it. The questions we consistently hear at our conference booths or sales presentations usually consist of:
- How many customers do you have?
- Who are some of your “headliner” customers?
- How often do you release updates?
- Do you provide training and support for your software products?
- Which reservation or host systems integrate with your product?
- Can I customize the software for my business?
The questions are mostly high-level, overview concerns that are good for gaining a surface-level understanding of a product, but don’t allow potential customers to gain a full understanding of how these products could help improve their business.
And, while the above questions need to be asked, we would highly recommend that potential clients also include focus on the following questions when participating in a travel technology product demonstration:
#1 How do you develop subject-matter expertise to be able to not only maintain, but also continue moving this product forward and innovating?
This type of question allows you to more fully understand the research and industry knowledge that goes into creating one of these products. This question also helps you determine the level of confidence you can have in the developer as well as, the expertise of the travel technology company with whom you are going to partner.
#2 What does your company do to keep this product relevant within the industry?
You don’t want to waste your time, money, and energy investing in a product that will become obsolete in the next year or two. This type of question will help you weed out any companies that don’t put the required effort into their products, and are just looking to make a fast sell.
#3 What types of industry changes tend to have the biggest impact on this software, and how do you respond to those?
Again, it is important to know that your travel technology supplier is tuned into industry trends and that they craft their products to change along with the needs of the market.
#4 How do you manage accounts after the on-boarding process is complete?
Though we strive to make our products as user-friendly as possible, this is a complex and tech-driven industry. You don’t want a company that will “ghost” you after training, leaving you to deal with any issues that arise. Make sure your travel technology partner is willing and able to carry on continuous communication.
#5 What are three things your customers would say about you if I called them?
This question allows you to establish a proven history of success, as well as to gain a clearer insight into what products and services the travel technology company really believes are its highest-performing assets. Companies that truly have a close relationship with their clients will even offer up the chance for you to speak with some!
The next time you attend a travel technology conference, trade show, or technology product demonstration, we hope that you will keep these questions in mind!
Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash
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