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Mick Jagger, Paul Simon and Mike Marchev

When the Rolling Stones sang “Time Is On Your Side” they were not talking to you or me. When Simon & Garfunkel suggested that we “kick on down the cobblestones while feeling groovy,” they obviously were not aware of the 24/7 thing soon to be coming into vogue.

Well, if nothing else, I believe I piqued your interest in wondering where Marchev is going to take this one.

I am certain that you can all benefit from today’s message. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

Interview with Mike Marchev, Author and Speaker



Mike Marchev entered the travel industry in 1984 and has been sharing his sales, marketing and business development strategies with proactive travel professionals ever since.

Author of “Become the Exception,” the “More-On” business series, the “Travel Agent Success” series, the Mike & Nolan Show and now the “Sales Kit in a Box” programs, Mike is a frequent speaker at industry events. He makes a point to mix both content and entertainment in his down-to-earth, logical, believable and doable training sessions.

Mike writes regularly for TRO and The Travel Institute and has appeared in Travel Weekly and Agent @ Home Magazine on numerous occasions.

Mike has spoken to audiences in 18 countries and in over 75% of the United States. He has earned a marketing graduate degree and has taught sales and marketing classes at the university graduate school level. His latest focus is to help travel professionals sell and promote River Cruises while they represent the hottest trend in the industry. He is collaborating with AmaWaterways to help travel professionals take full advantage of River Cruising; find out more at

Travel Research Online: What is the earliest experience in travel you can recall?

Mike Marchev: My dad was a true, dye-in-the-wool salesman who often took me on business trips. When air travel was involved I remember the plane was called an Eastern Airline Electra. That should position me with your readers as a “fossil.” (LOL) In addition to making his sales calls, he always found time to check out the local sights. We had fun traveling together. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

An Interview with Mike Marchev


PictureMike Marchev, MBA, CTC has been sharing his upbeat, down-to-earth, entertaining and motivational business-building programs with travel professionals since 1984. Customer Service is his “pet” topic. Mike is a frequent contributor to a number of recognized travel publications as
well as the author of Become The Exception, The 52-Week Sales Planner and “More-On” Marketing.

TRO: What are travel agents doing right today?

MM: This is a hard question to answer in that I am not privy to what they are all up to. I’ll answer from a different angle.

If a travel agent has targeted a specific market and identified their “niche” based on their strengths, experiences and positive track record, and they are (1) practicing emotional intelligence to the degree that they are adhering to the Rule of Seven without excuse or exception, and (2) actively seeking new and creative ways to blow their customers away with unexpected service, Read the rest of this entry »

Playing Tentatively is For Losers


I’d like to share a “moment” I had last week while talking to a professor from Montclair State University. His name is Dr. Rob Gilbert, and he specializes in Sports Psychology. Our common thread is that we both graduated from the University of Massachusetts.

While holding my rapt attention, Dr. Rob asked me a question that immediately stopped me in my tracks. He asked me what was the worse thing any one of my athletic coaches could have said to me as I exited the field of play. I uttered some knee-jerk lame responses and asked him what he thought.

Marchev. You look very tentative out there.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Sales Lessons From ‘The Queen’s Gambit’


I am not a regular when it comes to TV viewing, but I capitulated when my son strongly recommended I watch a particular program on Netflix. The show features the exploits of an orphan who later became a chess genius. I was glued to my TV as each of the seven episodes unfolded. It is reported that this was Netflix’s most watched serial, The Queen’s Gambit. You do not need to be a student of chess to enjoy and personally benefit from this program.

I was entertained for sure. But more specifically, I was engrossed in the story line. Although far from the story’s main theme, I was often reminded of a number of sales lessons. I would like to share a few of these with you this week. Read the rest of this entry »

Today We Wipe the Slate Clean and Begin Again


The year 2020 tested our character, our resilience, our tenacity and, often times, our sense of humor. Yesterday is now in our rearview mirrors and we are tightly focused on what lies ahead.

As many of you know by now, this is the first of 52 weekly kick-offs falling under the newly created column, Mike’s Monday Cup of “Mo-Joe.”

Follow my logic before I leave you with something to think about today. Read the rest of this entry »



Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to this behavior:

  • I would’ve done it if I had more money.
  • I could’ve tried if I had more time.
  • I should’ve called them but …

This happens more often than not, when you get an idea and fail to act on it. This simply does not have to happen.

Once you have an idea for a notion to do something, do it. Don’t think it to death. And don’t procrastinate until you forget what it is you were going to try. Read the rest of this entry »

Ready or Not: Here comes 2021


We are just days away from what historians refer to as a New Year.

In addition to calendar manufacturers, a great number of our peers are getting excited as 2020 comes to an unceremonious close.

Here are the facts. Yesterday has come and gone. Mentally, politically, and financially – it is done. Over. Kaput.

The one and only question worth asking is, “What are you planning to do with today and tomorrow? I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, you are driving the bus. Where you take it is entirely up to you.

One thing is for sure. Read the rest of this entry »

I Know You’re Busy, So I’ll Let You Go!


A phrase I find somewhat humorous (not) while talking on the telephone is one you might be guilty of yourself. “I know you’re busy so I’ll let you go.” Translation: “I’m done talking to you. I have better ways to spend my time. I gotta go. Ta-ta.”

I am reminded of an old Yogi Berra saying that reminds us “It’s not over ‘til it is over.” Your conversations are not over until they are over. This is particularly apropos if you are interested in making a favorable “lasting” impression when speaking to both prospects and current clients.

I’ll cut to the chase, and leave you with today’s reminder Read the rest of this entry »

Make Your Move


Today is the perfect day to wish everybody who reads my column regularly a very Merry Christmas, along with sincere wishes for a fun and productive 2021.

But before doing so, I would like to share two experiences with you I had just yesterday. They have nothing to do with each other, but both serve as good reminders.

The first one occurred during my biweekly Inner Circle Meeting. The meeting ran a full 70-minutes, but by the reports received we accomplished a great deal. It wasn’t until I signed off at the end of the meeting that I realized that I had neglected to hit the record button. Since many of my members rely on the recording you might imagine how poorly I felt as a result of this oversight. The word I used was DUMB! Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Sell “Snail Mail” Short


Like everything in life, there are two sides to every coin. My observation will not sit well with everybody reading today’s message; but it does, and will, pertain to many of you.

I was sitting at my desk the other day when I glanced out the window and spotted one of my older neighbors shuffling toward the mailbox. I watched, hoping I would not have to run to his aid should he stub his toe and take a tumble.

He made it unscathed to the mailbox and inserted his key. Upon opening the box I saw him lean down and peer into an “empty” box. He closed the box and headed back to his apartment with no news, good or bad. Read the rest of this entry »

The Power of The Well-Executed “Launch”


If you are looking for a good business book to read, I highly recommend Jeff Walker’s Launch. It reminds us of the importance of timing and the value of “setting up” your next important project. I was introduced to a great example of how “anticipation” works earlier today.

Stuart Cohen and I are training for an Ironman 70.3 Triathlon along with a mutual friend of ours, Frank Adornato. The race is not until May 15th, and they have been postponing registration week after week. Since this is a rescheduled race, and we were not originally planning to compete, we were beginning to fear that the regularly allotted positions would be taken. Read the rest of this entry »

Mediocrity Is Not a Good Thing


I was thinking about this word the other day (mediocrity) and, for reasons unknown to me, I connected it with the travel industry. Maybe it had something to do with a previous article I wrote focusing on doing things above and beyond that which is expected. I am sad to say that the “expected” does not involve more than simply showing up today. On the other hand, the “unexpected” demands attention, admiration, and a certain degree of creativity.

To borrow from a book titled with the same reminder, the secret is to Become The Exception. This, like all good advice and good intentions, is easier said than done. Allow me to fill in a few blanks. Read the rest of this entry »

A Proven Success Formula: Day Three – Motivation

We have spoken about sales and customer service in days one and two of this three-part series. Today, MOTIVATION is our focal point.

As I warned you yesterday, what you are about to hear should not come as news to you, but I am betting you are not following through on these reminders. Please, prove me wrong. Read the rest of this entry »


Yesterday, we spoke about five sales reminders that will put you miles ahead of your competition. Today, customer service deserves our attention.

The first three reminders are borrowed directly from The Ritz Carlton’s famous reputation for superior customer service. Brace yourself for a blinding flash of the obvious. Read the rest of this entry »

A Proven Success Formula: Day One


In cleaning out an office drawer last week, I came across an old business card of mine. It brought me back to the days when my slogan was TGIF: Thank Goodness It’s Today.

On the back of this card were 16 reminders split into three categories. Starting today, and for the next two days, I will share my thoughts on each of these 16 reminders.

The first category was SALES: Read the rest of this entry »


A recent home remodeling project is responsible for today’s message. My example may not be pertinent to you at this exact moment, but I think you will connect with today’s message on your own terms.

One wall in our guest bathroom was recently tiled. It butted up a newly painted adjacent wall. The resulting joint (seam) was not as clean as my wife would have liked, so we resorted to man’s greatest invention… Quarter-round molding.

(Next to the wheel, molding of any type is man’s greatest invention.)

I made a special trip to Lowe’s to purchase two 8-foot sections, which was ample to complete the job. That was easy. I painted each section with the same paint used for the adjacent wall. That was easy. I used “liquid nails” to fasten the molding in place. Once again, easy. Read the rest of this entry »

Always Stay Humble & Kind


This may be considered a cop-out as far as crafting daily articles goes, but as Leslie Gore once reminded us back in 1963, “It is my party and I’ll cry if I want to.”

I learned long ago that songs are like speeches (presentations). Everybody interprets the same words differently based on their current mindset and position in life.

These words sung by Tim McGraw strike a chord with me and, rather than conjure up for the umpteenth time a message worth reading according to me, I will just piggy-back off of Timmy boy today and see if this boat floats. Read the rest of this entry »

The Power of the Phone Call


Something happened this week during my Inner Circle Sales and Marketing Meeting that I wanted to share with you today. It was simple, yet profound. And it just may be an example of the most underutilized marketing tactic used today, with any degree of effectiveness.

I was sharing my experience of placing a cold call to a highly recognized and respected person I wanted to meet, after years of just “thinking about it.” One day, I picked up the phone and made the call. I asked for a lunch date, and was genuinely surprised when the person agreed to meet with me. That person was Vicki Freed from Royal Caribbean. Read the rest of this entry »

FCS: Three Letters To Help Run Your Business


During my daily walk, I often listen to audible books I have downloaded over the past few months. The most recent title I have been listening to is a book called Essentialism by author Greg McKeown. In a nutshell, this book reminds us to eliminate all but what is essential in our daily lives.

I’m not sure in what chapter I picked up the following three letter reminder, but it struck a chord with me and I thought I would share it with you today. Read the rest of this entry »

A Note To Myself


I met my stepson when he was seven. Brian is 45 today. As hard as that is to believe, I consider that thought to be a HUGE wake-up call. “Time waits for no man.”

You are probably wondering what does this have to do with you, and why am I sharing this useless statistic with you. Maybe nothing. Maybe today’s message is for me.

As many of my loyal readers have come to understand, I am a big fan of “repetition.” At the risk of repeating myself for the umpteenth time, here comes a reminder that is worth remembering. I am sure you have heard it before.

Today’s message is being taken from a sign I have hanging over my desk. It simply reads: “WORK HARD TODAY TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT TOMORROW.” Read the rest of this entry »