In my last diary entry, I outlined my plan to lighten my load and increase my focus in order to guide my agency more effectively. After scarcely a month I can report that my increased focus has produced increased results in several areas.
I find I am better able to choose the target audience. I actively market my services to and tailor my performances to them. When I come across a prospect who is outside my area of focus I refer them to an agent in whom I have confidence. Of course, these agents will reciprocate and I have already booked a few of their referrals. I also have another name in my database for future marketing efforts. And the client now knows that they have not one but two agents looking out for their interests.
Having removed a lot of the background noise from my previous “not-all-that- specialized-specialist status”, I can now clearly see many group possibilities I had been overlooking or just missing entirely. Just last week, I booked my largest group to date; and the client wanted to make sure it goes off without a hitch, so I am collecting an additional fee to cover my expenses to escort the group. Right now, we have 75 cabins, but the group leader is hopeful there will be even more at final count. I am in negotiation with another local charity that looks to be as large if not larger and may also be an escorted contract and several more being researched in earnest.
The additional time saved has allowed me to devote more time to product training. I have completed Carnival University, one of my prefered cruise lines and am within hours of completing a second NCL University. I have achieved the specialist designation for Sandals® Resorts and have a site visit scheduled for October. And finally, I am completing the advanced certification for Niche Cruise Marketing Alliance.
I don’t spend nearly as much time in my email “in-box” as I used to. I have removed myself from quite a few subscription lists and tweaked my spam filters. I don’t sell Europe or the Middle East, so while the newsletters and offers are tempting they are just clutter to my specialty. I may visit Dubai one day but right now there is no room in my in-box or in my marketing plan for the twice-weekly email blasts.
Finally, I am seeing the personal stress melt away now that I have focus. I have more time to do the things that make my business thrive. More time to plan my marketing strategies, sift through my client database, and more time for me and personal pursuits. And as an added bonus, I even tightened up my 30-second elevator pitch. What do you think?
Hi. I’m Nia of LK Cruises & Tours. I specialize in orchestrating beautifully memorable Caribbean vacations, honeymoons, destination weddings and cruise vacations. My primary target market is leisure groups, non-profit fundraising groups and bridal parties. I try to strengthen my expertise in these areas daily so that my clients will always feel confident that LK Cruises & Tours means “quality vacation”. In order to accomplish that:
I am a Certified Sandals Specialist ® advising clients on which Sandals®, Beaches®, Royal Plantation® or Grand Pineapple® Luxury-Included ® vacations. I hold Board of Tourism or other authority within the tourism or travel industry for several countries in the Caribbean basin including Panama, Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago and Curacao.
I am in good standing with the Cruise Line International Association and the Niche Cruise Marketing Alliance. And because I believe a memorable vacation experience is the right of each of my clients, I am a member in good standing of the Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality, which trains travel consultants who specializes in accessible travel options.
This month provided a tremendous amount of clarity for me as a business owner and I came away with tools I can use now and strategies for the future. Here is my formula for quantity vs quality:
M x F = MORE BUSINESS
B x F = BETTER RESULTS
Nia Frieson is the owner of LK Cruises and Tours, LLC based in Washington, DC. For more information, you can contact Nia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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