Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Professional Service Firm: Boring Is Out

“Do fabulous work; Attract exciting people; Raise hell.”

The Professional Service Firm from the Reinventing Work series by Tom Peters, page 97

Vision Statements

You may remember this author from the 70’s when he teamed up with Bob Waterman to write in search of excellence.

Either you love Peters or you hate him. I happen to like him. He shoots from the hip and tells you what you need to hear, and not just what you want to hear. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Ok let’s talk tech for a minute. We have all heard the term “the cloud.” But do you really know what it is? Or how to best use it for your agency? Admittedly, I am still learning ways to use it to make my job easier and I am interested in your tips as well, so please leave a comment!

To start with, the “cloud” is really nothing more than an old friend—the “Internet.” But the Internet is so big and vast—who wants to put their stuff in there? Enter the “cloud”, along with some security measures, and you have a secure place to store your data that is available to you 24/7 on your Internet connected computer, tablet, or phone. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Staying Engaged With Clients: 5 Steps

Is there a travel professional anywhere who has not had a client or family member book their trip through some alternative venue? One moment we are certain of having a loyal client and the next we are learning of the great trip they are taking booked online, or directly with a cruise line, or even with another agency. As regretful as these experiences may be, there is a lesson in the pain. Read the rest of this entry »

“There are many good sales people; there are far fewer great sales people.”

How To Become a Rainmaker: by Jeffrey J. Fox, page 144

Chapter 50: How To Recognize a Rainmaker

Here are 10 attributes that make the difference between good and great: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

There’s no question that Tuscany is as beautiful as it gets. Typically, however, cruise ships dock for only one day in Livorno, limiting the options available to cruise passengers. With a half dozen or more shore excursions from which to choose, the cruise passenger visiting Livorno will need to choose a single shore excursion — often at the expense of other experiences that could have been equally as enriching. Here’s a little help in deciding what may be the best choice for you. Learn more about shore excursions from Livorno. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips

To Fee or Not To Fee?

TRO is proud to introduce a second writer for our informative Luxury Travel Tips column, industry expert Dan Chapelle. Dan is the owner and President of WealthyTravelAgent.com and will be offering valuable tips and insights to explode your luxury travel business potential.

There has been a lot of talk again in the trade media lately about service fees. I will go on the record and say fees should be an essential part of your business model to help ensure profitability. We all know the name of the game of any business is to make a profit. If you don’t, well… it is just a matter of time before the inevitable happens.

Fees can be a touchy subject. Too many travel agents still believe the compensation provided in the form of a “commission” is enough. Realistically, it is not even close – especially if you depend primarily on contemporary products for your sales. Read the rest of this entry »

“The only thing customers care about is themselves and their problem.”

How To Become a Rainmaker: by Jeffrey J. Fox, page 12

Chapter 4: Customers Don’t Care About You

Like it or not, believe it or not, the only reason you are standing in front of a prospect or client is because they think that you can do something for them. Read the rest of this entry »

How To Become A Rain Maker: The Point System

“There are four steps that are part of every sale. Here they are:”

How To Become a Rainmaker: by Jeffrey J. Fox, page 108

Chapter 37: Use The Point System Every Day

1. Getting a lead.

It all begins with a lead. A lead paints an attractive picture of a potential future client. There are no guarantees however. You must do your homework, and establish yourself as a source worth investigating. This could take more time than you expect. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

ShoreTrips has a very hands-on approach to servicing their clients. We seek out the best tour operators and we go directly to the source to determine who we feel is the best suited to deliver a great product. We examine their equipment, hold their insurance, and build a relationship. We have met with every tour operator we work with and, by understanding the port of call and knowing the tour, we can confidently offer our activities. In addition, our tour operators are all professionals in the travel industry, guaranteed to return you to your ship on time. ShoreTrips has won the Travel Weekly Magellan Award for four consecutive years. We are also the recipient of the 2016 Gold Travvy Award for best shore excursions/shore activities. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

The prize we play for once a year is called The Guernsey Goblet. It has a figure of a cow on the top of a 13-inch trophy and might be considered is ugly as sin. The tournament consists of four men representing two college fraternities from The University of Massachusetts circa 1970. For the record, Theta Chi has one plaque and TEP has three wins to date.

This is where the story unfolds; and where I deliver a sales message that might just change your life forever… for the better.

You see, what I have is a plaque in need of some engraving. Read the rest of this entry »

How To Become A Rain Maker: Pre-Calling

“It is typical for a rainmaker to spend three hours planning for a 15 minute sales call. Planning and practicing for two days to two weeks for a single call is not uncommon.”

How To Become a Rainmaker: by Jeffrey J. Fox, page 14

Chapter 5: Always Pre-Call Plan Every Sales Call

The nature of the entrepreneurial beast implies a bit of impetuousness. (I know from that which I speak.) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

A popular stop for cruise ships, Santorini is a stunning island filled with quaint blue and white villages, fascinating ruins, and incredible beaches lapped by the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. Whether you’re a history lover or a beach buff, Santorini has plenty to offer just about everyone, from multiple beaches to impeccably preserved ancient Greek ruins. Even those looking for some time away at a slower pace will find the perfect speed here on Santorini.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

For any history scholars or lovers, Carthage holds a special place in history. The birthplace of the fearsome Hannibal, Carthage has been as intricately woven into Roman history as Italy itself. After the Roman and Vandal sackings, the city was left in ruins, but there is still plenty for visitors to see and experience on their next trip to Carthage. The city is also a favorite with cruise ships, with the nearest major harbor only 10 minutes away at the La Goulette Cruise Port. This cruise port is the perfect entryway into stunning Carthage, with plenty of amenities the second you step off the ship on your way into the heart of the city to explore the ruins and history.

Read the rest of this entry »

One great thing about having a daughter in college is that after the holiday break ends and things begin to return to normal, she still has a couple of weeks off to hang and chill before her next semester begins. So, January found us with the house to ourselves to enjoy one of our many “Girls’ Nights”. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

Nadya Phelan, Europe Product Manager for Goway Travel

Nadya PhelanNadya Phelan was born in Canada; because her parents believed that travelling was a form of education, she has spent much of her life globetrotting, including time spent living, studying, and working abroad. After high school, Nadya packed a backpack and travelled solo around Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. Her time there inspired her to return to Toronto and pursue a diploma in Hospitality, Recreation, and Tourism at Humber College where she immersed herself in many hands-on learning experiences. After travelling Europe and parts of North America, Nadya returned to Australia where she earned a business degree in Tourism Management at the University of Western Sydney. Before coming back to settle in Canada, Nadya spent a year living in Ireland and 6 months travelling around South America. Read the rest of this entry »

“Once a customer hires you to do a job, they don’t want to know your problems doing the job. They don’t care. Do a wonderful job, do it on time, do it on budget, don’t complain, and give the customer a little extra.”

How To Become A Rain Maker, by Jeffrey J. Fox, page 94

One of the hardest lessons one learns on their way to becoming successful in business is that nobody cares about you. Specifically, people care about themselves, and have little interest in your problems or the obstacles you have had to overcome along your journey to Successville. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

We live in a visual industry. Where would we be without visuals? Can you imagine trying to verbally describe the water in Bermuda to a client? Or the lush green terraces of Machu Picchu? Just exactly how do you describe a cruise ship? The fact is that we rely on images and videos to help us tell the story of a destination or experience. But we need to be careful.

All images are not created equal. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

What Are You Worth?

Last week I asked Three Questions About Your Value. This week I want to take a slightly different approach to the same point: What Are You Worth?

Let me provide the answer for you: “It depends.”

The reason you have to give a less than precise answer regarding this question is simple: the value of any product or service is not entirely inherent in the product or service by itself. You cannot answer the question without asking about the context.

For example, consider a six night Western Caribbean cruise on Disney Cruise Line in March, inside cabin, for $1,296. Is that a good deal?  What if you upgrade me to a balcony cabin for free?  That cabin on the same cruise is listed for $2,490. Is it a good “deal” now?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Cruising The West Coast Of México

One of the most popular cruise itineraries is a journey along the west coast of Mexico for either seven or 10 days, generally leaving from and returning to Los Angeles, or in some itineraries San Diego. This is often looked at as a chance to get away from the realities of work or school and simply have a chance to relax in the warm tropical sun of winter. These cruises are normally offered from late fall into mid spring, as it becomes very hot and uncomfortable during the summer months. Summer is a season for tropical monsoon rains, and the west coast is subjected to repeated hurricanes similar in intensity to those of the Caribbean. Read the rest of this entry »

“Tactics drive strategy. Do anything.”

Selling the InvisibleHarry Beckwith, page 61

Personally, I have always found the word “strategically” to be a bit intimidating. The fact alone that it has 13 letters flies in the face of the advice I was given as a kid to “use small words in short sentences.” Read the rest of this entry »