Author Archives: Terry Denton

There are 8 articles by Terry Denton published on this site.


Cruise and tour suppliers, the smarter ones at least, realize just how challenging it is to be a successful front-line travel agent. As an agency owner, I am pretty certain I could not do an agent’s job as well as some of you do it. You folks are expected to bounce back and forth between left-brain and right-brain functions, which, leaves me half a brain shy before I even start.

This explains one reason suppliers spend so much time trying to get “top of mind” with travel agents. They know you are expected to master a world of destinations and navigate a sea of travel providers. One way they approach this challenge is to create agent rewards programs to capture your attention. As an owner I have seen some programs I could bless and others with which I have had major disagreements; but let’s save that for another article, shall we? Read the rest of this entry »

This is part 7 of a 7 part series by Terry Denton.

Part 1: Ask for a credit card on the first call

Part 2: Ask for referrals on every sale

Part 3: Master the art of upselling

Part 4: Always recommend insurance

Part 5: Substitute ‘best experience’ for ‘least expensive’

Part 6: Stand out with special touches

This step, like Tiger Woods and his now well-chronicled secret life, really needs no introduction.  One of the most important things we can do is to stay close to our customers.  What is the single greatest source of newbusiness?  Yep, old customers.

The simple rule of thumb is the more personal the form of communication, the more powerful.  Think of it as concentric circles surrounding your customer with the object being to get as close to their heart as possible.  The real object of customer contact is not so much to fill their heads with information as to tug a little on their heartstrings.    Read the rest of this entry »

This is part 6 of a 7 part series by Terry Denton.

Part 1: Ask for a credit card on the first call

Part 2: Ask for referrals on every sale

Part 3: Master the art of upselling

Part 4: Always recommend insurance

Part 5: Substitute ‘best experience’ for ‘least expensive’

If you want to build a loyal clientele, and this is a must for long-term success, it is not enough to woo your customers, you have to wow them!   How exactly do you do that?

When it comes to travel planning, we have a phenomenal tool that some of you are probably utilizing. Others of you…. brace yourself for a little straight talk here …should probably be charged with criminal negligence if you’re not! Read the rest of this entry »

This is part 5 of a 7 part series by Terry Denton.

Part 1: Ask for a credit card on the first call

Part 2: Ask for referrals on every sale

Part 3: Master the art of upselling

Part 4: Always recommend insurance

OK, this week it is time for a “check up from the neck up.”  Are you ready for some serious reprogramming?  You don’t have to be a devotee of the ill fated Heaven’s Gate cult walking around with five dollars in quarters in your pocket waiting for the next space trolley to get a little reorientation from time to time.

Carnival Cruise Lines did a fascinating study where they listened to travel agents speaking with their own reservation agents to determine the most common requests.  What they thought might take two weeks of listening to determine, ended up taking about two hours.  The two words that popped out of agents’ mouths like champagne corks at Times Square on New Year’s Eve were… Read the rest of this entry »

This is part 3 of a 7 part series by Terry Denton.

Part 1: Ask for a credit card on the first call

Part 2: Ask for referrals on every sale

Part 3: Master the art of upselling

If you ever want to stop a conversation mid-sentence, just suggest that it might be fun to talk about insurance for a while.  I can pretty much guarantee the entire room will look at you like you have made one too many trips to the party punch bowl.

Granting for the moment that insurance isn’t fun; it is, nonetheless, extremely important in our industry for several reasons.  Here are a few. Read the rest of this entry »

Step three– master the art of upselling

This is part 3 of a 7 part series by Terry Denton.

Part 1: Ask for a credit card on the first call

Part 2: Ask for referrals on every sale

Master the art of upselling

One theme that runs through several of these steps to super sales, including last week’s, is that there is usually more than one opportunity to apply them in the sales process.  As you will see, that is true here.

With the advent of the Internet, the customer is very likely to have done some research and have a broad idea of what they are looking for. They may even seemingly have more knowledge than you.   Upselling is simply the process of suggesting compelling reasons why the customer might want to expand their horizons a bit. And that is where your expertise comes into play. Read the rest of this entry »

Step 2–ask for referrals on every sale

This is part 2 of a 7 part series by Terry Denton.

Part 1: Ask for a credit card on the first call

Ask For Referrals On Every Sale

Would you like more customers?  (If the answer is no, we should probably have a chat!)  Here is a simple way.  Ask for them.  Actually, to be more precise, you should always ask twice. Read the rest of this entry »

7 steps to super sales

(Editor’s Note) Today, we are launching a 7-week series called Seven Steps To Super Sales. The series will be written by Terry Denton, a 27-year veteran of the travel industry and the co-owner of one of the largest chains of award winning travel agencies in North Texas.

These steps work—period. The goal is not only to increase your knowledge but also to change your behavior.  Certainly some of these steps are routine for you. But many may not! Please tune in weekly!

  • STEP 1:  Ask For A Credit Card On The First Call
  • STEP 2:  Ask For Referrals On Every Sale
  • STEP 3:  Master The Art Of Upselling
  • STEP 4:  Recommend Insurance With Every Sale
  • STEP 5:  Substitute “Best Experience” for  “Least Expensive”
  • STEP 6:  Stand Out With Special Touches
  • STEP 7:  Contact Past Customers And Cultivate Current Ones Read the rest of this entry »