Monthly Archives: March 2016

Selling To Big Companies: Slow Down

“How to write great emails: Personalized, short, conversation-starting, and readable from a preview window.”

Selling to Big Companies by Jill Konrath, page 152

Chapter 15: Leverage email strategies to get in

The objective is not to write emails. The objective is to get people to read emails that have a message worth reading. The problem is that emails are so easy to write that we jump on the keyboard and err on the side of speed. We can send them, sure enough, but the readers don’t have much to learn or respond to. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Find Your Inner Zen With Super Value Tours

Our Mission & Philosophy

Our goal at Super Value Tours is to provide an enjoyable and authentic cultural experience to our travel agents and their clients. We want our guests to learn, feel, and experience the best of the best in any given destination.

Direct Operations

Rather than using a land operator, we operate our own tours 100%; even our guides are our own employees. Having direct operations allows us to keep prices down while guaranteeing top quality and full accountability. Read the rest of this entry »

“Strategic alliances are the most powerful networking strategy. Create opportunities with strategic alliances.”

Selling to Big Companies by Jill Konrath, page 93

Chapter 9: Leverage Your Network

I suppose the first question most readers have is “what does he/she mean by strategic?” The dictionary uses the words intentional, planned, calculated, and deliberate when defining the word “strategic.” “Alliances” is defined by the words deals, agreements, and coalitions. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

Sales are the key to lots of things: customers are not customers until they purchase, businesses can’t grow without more sales, and your travel business profits can’t increase without new sales.

While these comments may seem very obvious, I hear all too often from travel agents that “they are not a salesperson”. They consider themselves a consoler, consultant, a group specialist, or cruise specialist. Read the rest of this entry »

“By narrowing your market focus, you increase sales and profits. Not by a little, but by a lot.”

Selling to Big Companies by Jill Konrath, page 41

Chapter 5: Targeting: It Is Not a Numbers Game

This advice clearly endorses the topic I have been sharing with travel professionals for years. If you want to maximize your success, it is imperative that you don’t try to become all things to all people. I’m sure you’ve heard this advice more than once. Although it is sound advice, it is a tough pill to swallow. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

If you are seeking a getaway from your daily work routine, look no further than the Cook Islands: where pearl-white beaches and sparkling blue lagoons meet swaying palm trees and an island where no building is taller than a coconut tree.
Read the rest of this entry »

Many of you may have asked yourselves in January, “Why is she writing about stepping out of her office and taking a walk during the height of booking season?” Well, the answer is I run and work my travel business from home, and home has not been such a great place recently. January 20th marked the end of my marriage of nearly 25 years. In a matter of 10 minutes in a courtroom, my life as I had known it had changed. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

marcoheadshotA native New Yorker with 20 years of living experience in Italy, Marco Evangelista, Director of Group Sales for Central Holidays, started his hospitality career with the Disney company. He moved within the industry, traveling extensively throughout the United States, North Africa, South Africa, and several European destinations.

Travel has always been a passion; hospitality is in the dominant gene in his family, which is almost entirely dedicated to restaurant operations between Italy, France, and the United States. Read the rest of this entry »

“New ways of thinking and acting are now required for sales success.”

Selling to Big Companies by Jill Konrath, page 29

Chapter 4: It’s all about making a difference

Note: Don’t let the title fool you. The material in this book pertains to all sales professionals regardless of the intended prospect.

Today’s quote got me thinking and I want to address it today from a different angle. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Last week I mentioned that much of our business is out of our control. Commissions are cut and we are nearly powerless to change that. Shortly after my story was publishing, word began to cross the Atlantic of a terror bombing in Brussels, Belgium. Here we go again.

For those that have never been through an international incident as a travel agency owner, here are some tips. For those that have, consider this a refresher! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Credentials: Investing in your travel career

A large part of your identity as a travel consultant is made up of the credentials you earn over time. The word “credential” comes from the Latin credentialis (giving authority), derived from credentia (trust and/or belief). Credentials are a third-party attestation of competence and skill. Typically, credentials have two sources. The first are the credentials you earn through study and testing, the type of credential that result in certificates from trade associations such as The Travel Institute. The second source for your credentials, of course, is the story that you build through the work you do each day for clients, and you should certainly strive to make those credentials as tangible as a destination specialist designation. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Holland America Line’s ms Eurodam got some pretty major enhancements during a 14-day dry dock in the Bahamas this past December. Yesterday during a tour of Eurodam, which was docked in Port Everglades, media got to see some of the changes firsthand. We were on board for a few hours to check out the new additions and to sample some of the food and drink that will debut on the new Koningsdam, due out this spring. In addition to my brief report, Aaron Saunders is also posting a story from our time on board Eurodam yesterday, so be sure to look for that here on Avid Cruiser as well.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Penney Rudicil has gone from being an independent contractor to owning her own agency, The Travel Planner, to educating and training travel agents through Travel Agent Success. We recently talked to Penney about her time in the travel industry and her progression to training and educating other travel agents.

Travel Research Online (TRO): When and how did you enter the travel industry?

Penney Rudicil (PR): I started as a part time independent contractor with a host agency back in 1987. I did that while working a full time job for some time. Around 1995 I started my own agency, The Travel Planner, and eventually hosted independent contractors myself. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

“It is all about meeting and exceeding expectations – and moving your customers way beyond satisfied.”

Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch, page 245

Chapter 13 : Turn Prospects Into Clients and Clients Into Partners

Let’s slow down and take first things first. You need to know what your clients expect before you can (1) deliver the intended service and (2) exceed their expectations. You do this by asking questions and by meticulously probing deeper into their answers. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

The Art of the Ship Inspection

Susan Schaefer’Tis the season for travel conferences, and many of them will include opportunities for multiple ship inspections. When you can conceivably inspect four ships in a single weekend, how do you keep the information separate once you have returned home? Ships can end up looking a lot alike, making it difficult to remember which pictures belong to which ship, or to differentiate all of the stateroom pictures that you took. Here are a few simple tips that will help you maximize the limited time you have when conducting a ship inspection.

Typically, ship inspections are run in one of two ways. Either you are escorted by a cruise line employee or you are sent off on your own and told when and where to show up for lunch. When you are in an escorted group, the cruise line employee controls where you go, what you see, and how long you get to spend in any given area of the ship. They will usually keep a head count and take counter measures to prevent you from wandering off on your own. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Spotlight

Take A Drive With Enterprise Holdings

Whether it’s the budget-conscious traveler looking for a car to take the scenic route to their destination or the frenzied business traveler on his or her way to an important seminar, Enterprise Holdings has every vehicle for every need. With three car rental brands under its umbrella, Enterprise Holdings owns Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car. The brands, through their regional subsidiaries, operate fully staffed locations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. Founded in 1957 by Jack Taylor, Enterprise Holdings began with only a seven car fleet and one employee, and is still owned by the Taylor family today. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips

Don’t Forget Your Vision

It has been a year since I left my Vice President of Sales role with a vision of helping travel professionals realize they really can earn a sizable income in the travel sales business by selling to affluent travelers, and 6 months since we launched WealthyTravelAgent.com.  Like many of you, I started with a business plan. Nothing fancy, just something to define the purpose and direction of the company. Mine is probably different from most, in that I tend to plan for one year at a time. You may say this is contrary to what is considered a “standard business practice” and you would be correct. Long term planning works for large, established businesses which tend to move at a much slower pace and have years of data to base their assumptions, but for a small business just starting out, the reality is we have no idea what our business will look like in 3-5 years.   However, most of us probably have a very clear vision of what we can control and accomplish in a year. Read the rest of this entry »

“Make marketing education and the emphasis on marketing part of your hiring process.”

Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch, page 95

Chapter 7: Get Your Entire Team Involved In Marketing

Growing a business in these competitive times calls for highly coordinated and synchronized teamwork among all employees. Read the rest of this entry »

Duct Tape Marketing: Win Some and Lose Some

“Few things sound less sincere than when you try to be or sound like a smart marketing person.”

Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch, page 138

Chapter 9: Direct Mail Is An Ideal Target Medium

Thanks to Google, television, smart phones, and social media, people are pretty savvy today. They have the same access to most information as the so-called experts do. In a short matter of time, one can get up-to-speed on just about any subject. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

The topic of specializing is one that gets thrown around travel industry conferences and events like a beach ball in a giant stadium.  While I think it’s great that this concept is always a hot one, I don’t agree with how it’s taught.  The greatest mistake I see people make is picking a destination or supplier as a specialty and thinking they are done.  Next.  Now what?  In my humble opinion… Read the rest of this entry »