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Most tour operators depend on this principle, aware of it or not. For a business to be an effective customer-winning machine, you need to get people to know you, like you and trust you.

This simple rule can guide all of your marketing and turn yourself from a Johnny-also-ran into a Johnny-just-paid-off-his-house-early.

Here’s the three things you need to achieve to get that booking:

1. Know you. Getting people to hear about you in the first place via brochures, your website, TripAdvisor, blogs(opens in a new tab) or any other form of marketing.

2. Like you. Engage with the personality of you the owner and the personality of your brand. The idea here is to steer clear of the typical corporate-speak that emanates from large companies. You don’t need to be a clown – you just need to show a bit of who you are and not hide behind logos. Getting branding advice(opens in a new tab) is always money well spent.

3. Trust you. Show them proof as to why you’re a great operator and why they should take the risk of spending their money on your business. Awards, number of tours, media mentions and social proof(opens in a new tab).

Beyond your own marketing, the K-L-T principle is why referrals work so well: all of that relationship capital gets transferred from one person to the next.

It explains why TripAdvisor has been so successful for so many businesses(opens in a new tab). You can receive all that trust that comes from the TripAdvisor brand.

This principle also explains why it can be so painful to sell to strangers who have never heard of you outside of train stations or at boat docks. You’ll now see why it’s so difficult – you simply haven’t taken them through the K-L-T process.

The know-like-trust principle dictates that you need to have more than one tour product so that you can get people to come on ANOTHER tour with you after they have come with you once!

All the copy and photos on your website need to use this idea, and we can help with that(opens in a new tab). Are you showing people why they should trust you? Does your business seem like a cardboard cut-out, or does it have likeable personality?

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