Eat at McDonald’s; increase your group sales | TravelResearchOnline

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Eat at McDonald’s; increase your group sales

While McDonald’s is probably not the best place to eat, no one can deny that they have come up with a winning formula. I contend that a McDonald’s could be put on every corner of a busy intersection and none of them would be hurt by the other.  Try to think back about your last experience there. I am betting it went something like this:

YOU: I will take a #7 meal with a diet Coke
THEM: Would you like a large fry with that?
YOU: Uhm, sure.

Did you see what just happened?  They took a $5.99 meal and added 79¢ to it by adding more of their most profitable item. In terms of a percentage, they just increased the sale by more than 13%

Can you do that in your agency?  Sure you can, and here’s how.

The cashier has been trained in the McDonalds sales process. Call it an up sell or an add-on. But it has become so instinctive to ask if you want to upsize that the phrase rolls off their tongues. For the most part, travel professionals are too focused on the #7 meal and not focused on the extras.

We all know how lucrative groups can be. We also know that many cruise lines will allow you to hold group space for a song and a dance. The next time you have a client buying a cruise—ask them if they want to upsize their cruise.

I am not talking about a better cabin here.  But consider that you have used your experience, expertise, connections, and relationships to craft what is sure to be a wonderful travel experience for your client. Of course you should be trying to sell commissionable shore excursions (ShoreTrips anyone?) and insurance. Of course you should be explaining the difference between sailing in a walk-in closet and a cabin with a balcony. And you are probably doing this each time you sell a cruise.

But when was the last time you asked a client if they thought their neighbors might like to experience an adventure like you just crafted? It is not a stretch to think that neighbors are in a similar socio-economic situation. And because most people are self centered, this thought has likely not crossed their mind. Plant the seed. Offer to upsize that single booking into a small group. More often than not, they will agree that Bob and Carol might love this trip and agree to be your biggest advocate.

Do you think Bob and Carol are sitting at home contemplating calling you to book a cruise? Do you think your newsletter or the latest commercial on television is compelling enough? Probably not. But if Ted and Alice pop over to tell them about the greatest trip that you just planned for them and wanted to know if they might be interested in taking the same trip…now you have a solid lead.

If you have chosen the right cruise line, your group can diminish to a single cabin and you still get most of the amenities. So, if Ted and Alice seem to think it is a good idea, why not book it as a group and add a few more cabins?  When you call them back and let them know that you were able to finagle a lower price (usually) and an onboard credit, you have now become a rock star!

And if Bob and Carol  do end up booking a cruise with you, what do you say?

Can I upsize that for you?

And before you know it you may have six, ten or more cabins sold. There are a lot of lessons this industry can learn from other industries. ASTA could learn a lot from the National Association of Realtors and apparently, we can learn a lot from McDonalds!

  2 thoughts on “Eat at McDonald’s; increase your group sales

  1. This is great advice! I’d done it before with River Cruises and ended up with several mulit-cabin sailings. When someone books their “DREAM TRIP” they will be super-sized, (to use the McDonald’s term) excited about it…use that excitement. It’s a Win-Win in that you will earn more commissions and help more people, while they will have their own “Tribe” to share their experiences and memories with!

  2. Just did this recently. Two couples did a 4 night sailing, came home and wanted to book a 7 night sailing for next Spring … so I asked, do you want to ask any friends or family members to join you? We’re up to 6 rooms already, and they are trying to convince others to join them.

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