Posted In: 1:1
This week, we are going to look at a few simple steps to improve the sales process. To begin, it makes sense to pause and ask an important question: what kind of clients do you want? To some, the question might seem a bit strange. After all, many of us are pretty happy to take clients as we find them. Yet, if it’s true that relationship is really at the heart of every sale, then it behooves us to choose our relationships carefully since we will be spending a lot of time with our clients. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Editorial Musings
We have all been the victims of the occasional slump. For a myriad of reasons, we just lose interest in…well everything. And as we have seen, this can be dangerous for your travel business. That’s the bad news. The good news is that shedding a slump is fairly easy. And when you do, you are reinvigorated, happy, and ready to tackle the world! But how to shed it? Everyone has their own theories; but I wanted to share 8 methods that I have used to get out of a slump. They are not intended all be used at once, but perhaps one or two at the right time. And as a disclaimer—none of which involve any form of “retail therapy.” Read the rest of this entry »
Clients want to feel important. By being prompt in all of your dealings with clients, by always entertaining them in your presence with a warm and welcome manner, you make them feel special and you stake your claim to their attention. Far too often, though, we allow our perspective to wander off course and clients become intrusions on our day. If you catch yourself thinking of clients as annoyances rather than the primary reason you are in business, it’s time for an attitude adjustment.
Here are a few tips that will let your clients know that they are important to you and that you are giving them their full share of your time: Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Agent Perspectives
I’ve spent a considerable part of my working life training people to sell. The reason for this is simple: the best way to learn something, is to try and teach it to others. This forces you to analyze and breakdown things you may do instinctively. It makes you organize your thoughts and maybe do a little research. It also forces you to keep up on the subject matter, since obviously you cannot transmit something you don’t understand. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Deck Plans
Enjoy our video featuring the range of suites and accommodations on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Europa 2 Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Soundings
A native of Dresden, East Germany, Kristin has a degree in the Economics of Tourism & Business Management as well as a MBA from the University of Dresden. After working for American Express for eight years, she moved to the U.S. to work for a river cruise line. Three years later, she leapt at an opportunity to team up with Rudi Schreiner and Jimmy Murphy and establish AmaWaterways. Kristin’s extensive knowledge of Europe’s culture and traditions enable her to effectively promote river cruising with travel agents, group leaders, and diverse educational and business organizations.
Travel Research Online: Tell us about your role at AmaWaterways.
Kristen Karst: I oversee sales primarily but am intimately involved with every aspect of this company, from the décor of our ships to planning itineraries to implementing new ideas (like our wine cruise program, free bicycles for guest use, etc). I attend tradeshows to introduce our product and network one-on-one with our travel agent partners, present webinars, research new technology, meet with journalists, talk to passengers….basically, my job is to keep on top of what the industry wants, fine-tune the quality of our product, interact with agents on a daily basis, and ensure that all the ships are filled. I am also busy developing our international business, expanding our reach beyond the US and Canada and welcoming aboard guests from other countries. Read the rest of this entry »
Do you remember the Jet Blue episode a couple of years ago where a flight attendant cursed over a loudspeaker and then disembarked from the airplane? People’s reactions to the event, including my own, shifted uneasily as we all tried to accommodate the flight attendant’s acts in our own ethical and professional framework. Following the story, it was easy to feel empathy for both sides. Certainly we have all seen rude passengers and surly flight attendants. Yet, each time I mentally review what actually happened, I feel the same discomfort that I feel when I see signs behind the counter of a store that say “You want it when?” Read the rest of this entry »
Client retention is a big part of marketing, certainly as important as client acquisition. By retaining your existing clients, you stabilize your travel practice, and provide a base onto which you can layer client acquisition and growth. WOW customer service is the way to retain clients, and a big part of great client service is accomplished by educating your clients.
It is highly likely that most of the public you encounter, including your existing clients, do not fully understand what you do as a travel consultant. The consumer, by and large, does not understand the role of a travel agent. This situation is compounded and worsened by bad press and journalism. The public views you as a retailer of travel. In fact, the public mistrusts much marketing and advertising by travel agencies. But there are steps you can take during the actual buying process to cement your relationship with the client through the booking process and beyond. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Point-to-Point
Is there any segment of travel that is NOT getting social? I coach, speak, and train travel professionals around the world on the importance of becoming a trusted travel authority. Part of the trusted part in a selling-buying travel relationship is ultimately knowing more than your prospect or client, which means taking the time research, read, review, and understand product knowledge, industry trends, travel topics of interest, and current events. I sincerely believe that such professionalism, personal attention to detail, and a passionate delivery will win over any website, call center or direct supplier. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Outposts
Milos is the volcanic Greek island in the Aegean Sea, just north of the Sea of Crete, and is the south-westernmost island in the Cyclades group. Milos’ position, between Greece and Crete, and its possession of obsidian, made it an important centre of early Aegean civilizations. The island is notably famous for the statue of Aphrodite, “Venus de Milo,” now in the Louvre, as well as statues of the Greek gods Acelepius, Poseidon and Apollo. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: 60-Second Geography
Israel may be small, but it is an incredibly diverse land whose history reaches into antiquity and whose culture reaches around the world. From powerful financial centers to rich and diverse ecosystems, a visitor to Israel can experience a vibrant nightlife, educational historical tours, humbling spiritual experiences and much more. Read the rest of this entry »
I once suggested travel professionals give their clients a subscription to Conde Nast Traveler to help them dream. A reader expressed concern at that tactic. After all, that magazine, and others like it, are filled with opportunities and solicitations to buy travel. Why give your client a magazine that provides so much travel advertising?
Because you don’t sell travel.
Your clients don’t need you to buy travel. They can buy travel anywhere. They can buy travel on the internet, from a supplier direct or from the agency down the street. They will encounter a thousand travel ads between visits with you. That’s a great thing! Suppliers spend money, and lots of it, marketing travel. You want your clients to want to travel. You want them to see as much advertising as possible! Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Travel Agent Diaries
I have been struggling this month with getting work done. Over Labor Day weekend, I knocked my head and suffered a minor concussion. For the doctor it may be minor, but for me…not so much. I am told to expect headaches and ringing in my ears for weeks, perhaps months. Throw in some blinding headaches and I am many shades of miserable. Still, I am sucking it up and coming to work, but I feel as though my concentration has slipped a bit and it’s a challenge to tend to all the work I need! Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: 1:1
Mr. Sejoon You, is currently serving as the Executive Director of the Korea Tourism Organization NY Office.
Mr. You began his career with KTO in 1985. He has held several overseas positions over the years, from being a Manager at the Chicago office, to being Director at the Sydney office in Australia. Within the main office in Seoul, Mr. You has participated as Chief Secretary, as Director of the Conventions Team, as a visiting Executive Director of Marketing Department at the Gyeonggi-do Tourism Organization, Director of the Marketing Strategy Team, and as Executive Director of the Overseas Marketing Department Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Support@
One of the things I like most about working at OASIS is my boss KeIly Bergin and our marketing director Lisa Baron. I love working with both of them and helping our agents; there is never a dull moment.
The primary focus of my job is to train our agents on our proprietary booking engine and reporting tool. Every booking that the agents make must be reported so that we can track and pay commissions. Our booking engine also shows rates and promos for all major cruise lines, and my training helps our agents find the perfect cruise for their client. It is a one-stop-shop, if you will, which makes booking a cruise very fast and convenient.
Customer service. Everybody talks about it, but the fact of the matter is, good customer service can be pretty difficult to find. Think about your day-to-day transactions and how often the companies and businesses with which you deal let you down by failing to deliver even a base-line degree of good customer consideration.
Are you giving good customer service? Here’s the test: how many of your clients i) repeat travel with you more than twice; and ii) refer other people to you? If a high percentage of your clients are both repeat traveling with you and referring others, congratulations! If either of those percentages are looking a bit anemic, however, here’s an infusion of advice. The 365 Guide will be spending this week giving you the five most important customer service rules to put into practice for your travel agency. Follow these simple prescriptions and your repeat business and referrals will begin to climb. Read the rest of this entry »