Monthly Archives: January 2015

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – January 30, 2015

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: Deck Plans

Look closely. Can you see the orange parkas against the Windex-blue glacier? They’d be easy to miss, the 10 or so Seabourn Quest guests in the Zodiac, exploring a massive glacier on one day of our voyage to Antarctica. I remember the day well. A group of us were on another Zodiac, far enough away for me to snap this photo with a zoom lens. We were all mesmerized by the magnitude of the place, a vast emptiness, except for mountains of rock, ice and snow all around us. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

Where Are the French Fries?

Susan SchafferI recently wrote about making more money with cruise groups and selling more luxury cruises. This time, I want to discuss other ways of increasing your income when selling cruises; the ancillary products that many travel agents seem to be letting slip through their fingers. If you have ever taken a sales class, you’ve probably heard the term “cross selling.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Truth: Selling is like a game of darts.

Everybody who has ever had anything to do with sales was taught early on that “sales was a numbers game.” Make enough calls, meet enough people, shake enough hands, send enough proposals … and the business will follow.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

I have been using Tripology since its infancy back in 2007 and with good success through its trials and tribulations as a small business in midtown Manhattan, to almost disappearing totally, to being bought by Rand McNally, to now as part of USA Today. I have had many colleagues in the industry that have also met with success using Tripology, but it is not for everyone. Tripology is a good lead service that works if you are willing to work it. It especially works for those who truly have a niche or true specialization. Is it perfect? Not at all! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Follow Up: The Missing Ingredient

Question: Mike, are you implying that the simple practice of “follow up” is a skill?

Answer: Yes I am. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

GOGO Vacations is a leading US travel wholesaler, providing the very best in products and packages to travel professionals. Their unwavering commitment to the travel agent community is one that runs strong and deep, offering support and responsiveness that is unparalleled in this space. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Enthusiasm Sells

Today, I want you to envision a large pie cut into three, large pieces. One piece consists of half the pie, while the other two represent 25% each. Can you see it? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

Discover Ireland with Journeys Connect

A dreamland full of fairy tale-like castles, charming villages, picturesque landscapes, literary legends, and historical landmarks, it’s no wonder why Ireland is one of the most sought out tourist destinations in the world. Immerse yourself in Irish culture as you embark on an adventure through Ireland with Journeys Connect.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Many Americans seem to have been stricken with the disease “quit-itis.” They quit everything too soon. It is almost an epidemic. From marriages to diets. From jobs to exercise programs. The malady is even more acute in the sales profession. Read the rest of this entry »

Hi everyone! I’m Susan, but everyone calls me Smitty; and I am an independent contractor with Priceless Cruising. I specialize in ocean and river cruises and have been in business since 2006, having earned my ACC with CLIA in 2013. So…a little about me and how I fit into the travel industry!

I love to cruise and more importantly, to send people on cruises. On our first cruise in 1991, our agent never really ‘prepared’ us. She just said it would be wonderful and we would have a great time. We did, but on the last day when they told us to put our luggage out in the hall at night, I had no idea that was part of standard cruise routine. Lesson learned. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Lessons From A Blind Man

Here are a number of lessons from a blind man. Not a “blind” man,” but a “blind man” … a guy who sells blinds. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

I am a huge believer in the power of email. Huge! While it is often easier to get more reach with social media today, email still remains the more powerful medium. Social media is like Wal-Mart. People will come in, look around, maybe spill something in aisle 15 causing a disruption, and leave. They may buy. But more often than not, they will leave without a purchase. Email is different. Email is more like your house. You have sent them an invite to a party and they have accepted because they want to be with you; not because they just happened to be in the neighborhood. So, it only makes sense that email is a more powerful sales and marketing tool…if used correctly. Unfortunately, most emails disappear without a trace.  Here are 5 keys to making yours more effective: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Revisit Your Marketing Calendar

Maybe you have noticed the “new car smell” is gone off of this year.  Already we are deep into 2015. It’s time to get moving. Every reader of my travel marketing column knows I think written business plans are important. Organization is essential. Clarity of expression and correctly assessing markets are requirements. But not a one of these is worth anything without ACTION. Along with every Marketing Plan (what to do) you need to write an Action Plan (how and when). Too many times we over-plan and over-perfect and in the process lose valuable opportunities to others who are quicker to act. It’s time to take another look at our marketing calendar. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – January 23, 2015

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: The 365 Guide

“But I don’t want to bother people.”

That is the common response I hear when I ask clients why they are not attempting to remain more visible in their marketplace. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

The Magic of Group Pricing

Susan SchafferFor those of you who sell cruises, if a cruise line lets you block group space without any kind of bulk deposit commitment from you, why wouldn’t you do it? Most cruise lines, with one or two exceptions, allow you to block anywhere from 8 to 32 rooms without having to pony up a bulk deposit within 30-60 days. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

There is life in Antarctica, human life. In fact, the population of Antarctica ranges from about 1,000 people to 5,000 people throughout the year. They work at research stations, some of which cruise ships visit. On one day of our voyage, Seabourn Quest anchored within sight of the González Videla Base, a Chilean Research Station on the Antarctic mainland’s Waterboat Point in Paradise Bay. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

I love this time of year. A chance to get caught up doing things I seemingly never have the time to do. The most important action of evaluating how I did last year, and what revenue I want to earn this year!

I admit; I’ve never been a “numbers” person, so taking the time to do the math to figure out what revenue I need to earn next year, on a weekly basis is scary. But now that I have, it does bring great clarity.

I could never remember the formula until I wrote it down and I will share it with you! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Change Your World!

Some people walk around looking as if they have just lost their best friend. These people are communicating to the world that life is, and will continue to be, an unfair experience. Daily existence is a total drag, while life offers nothing in return for their “showing up.” If you know one or more of these individuals (and I’m betting that you do) let me suggest that trying to improve the future of anyone engaged in an exercise in self-pity is an exercise in futility. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Departures

As Israel’s leading luxury hotel chain, Dan Hotels provides a unique hospitality experience at international standards, with its properties continually ranking in annual listings for the best hotels around the world. Read the rest of this entry »