Greet; Listen; Ask; Follow-up.
I once was asked to improve the already admirable selling skills of two dozen professional (incoming) telemarketers. My challenge was to help telephone call specialists to develop meaningful relationships during a single phone call. The ideal scenario would have this initial call resulting in future business. This is what is known as a tough assignment. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Deck Plans
“There are two kinds of people. One kind, you can just tell by looking at them at what point they congealed into their final selves. It might be a very nice self, but you know you can expect no more surprises from it. Whereas, the other kind keep moving, changing… They are fluid. They keep moving forward and making new trysts with life, and the motion of it keeps them young. In my opinion, they are the only people who are still alive. You must be constantly on your guard against congealing.” – Gail Godwin Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Soundings
According to the Cyber Cruises order book, there are over fifty cruise ships (a combination of ocean and river vessels) on order for delivery between 2016 and 2020. Fifty. I imagine there are some ships that will be retired during that same time frame, but there won’t be nearly as many retirees as there will be new floats. That will be a lot of new berths to fill, which can be good news or bad news. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Agent Perspectives
Several months ago I was shopping with my daughter. We walked in a well-known store. We were the only ones in the store besides the two sales associates. Neither associate bothered to greet us, acknowledge us in any way, or even remotely show that they saw someone walk into their establishment. Instead they proceeded to talk to each other and completely ignore us. My daughter and I walked out disgusted and appalled by their behavior. Read the rest of this entry »
You guessed it! This is the title of my latest read: The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin.
This kid won his first National Chess Championship at the age of nine and went on to win a Martial Arts National Title before he was old enough to drink. This kid ought to get together with Jordan Sparks to teach people how to touch all the bases before puberty sets in. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Supplier Profile
In 1986, Glen Moroney began hosting packaged holidays for Melbourne-based seniors’ clubs along Australia’s famous Great Ocean Road, all the way to the small coastal town of Warrnambool. Warrnambool Scenic Coach Tours quickly became successful in a relatively short amount of time, and gave Glen the opportunity to expand, offering more variety in his tour itineraries. By the late 1980’s, Warrnambool Scenic Coach Tours was expanding rapidly and offered tours to destination events such as the World Exposition of 1988 in Brisbane and Australian premier of The Phantom of the Opera, creating the recognition of Warrnambool Scenic Coach Tours as Australia’s largest coach operator bringing guests to the musical phenomenon, which played in all of Australia’s major capital cities. The high quality of the tours and their ever-increasing popularity became the catalyst for the company’s name change to Australian Scenic Tours, and led to the purchase of their first coach 1989. The steady growth of the company ensured the commission of a custom-built fleet of 5-star Mercedes Benz coaches. Read the rest of this entry »
If there is any truth to this title, then I suppose it is in our best interest to get a few of our prospects and customers moving in the right direction.
Today my plan is to introduce a system that is designed and proven to just that. It is affectionately known as the 2-Step Marketing System, and you can virtually take this strategy to the bank. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Point-to-Point
Many years ago, I formed my love affair with North America by taking advantage of Greyhound’s amazing offer of 99 days of travel for $99. I spent nearly 5 months touring your fine country and still have the Rand McNally map to prove it.
While you and your customers may not have spent as long falling in love with the UK, many will thank you for suggesting a London and York holiday. Here are some reasons why they’d willingly let the train take the strain out of the fast 2-hour journey between the two locations. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: 60-Second Geography
The French Riviera has always been the quintessential idea of a relaxing European vacation: beaches, crumbling castles, and exquisite culture and art. That legacy continues on today in villages like Antibes, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Éze, and Monte Carlo. Let ShoreTrips guide you to the most breathtaking views of the Mediterranean, perfume-laden rose gardens, and to artistic inspiration itself.
Posted In: Outposts
Guilin is widely known by locals and tourists alike as one of the most stunning and picturesque regions in all of China. Children’s books call it “the best under heaven” and politicians introduced foreign dignitaries to China as their pride and joy. The city is surrounded by two rivers, four lakes, and large Karst mountains, and is favored for its fresh, clean air compared to larger Chinese cities. Guilin has kept up with the more contemporary cities like Beijing and Xi’an with a vibrant array of nightlife. Read the rest of this entry »
This was a chapter headline in a book I recently picked up at an airport book store. The title of the book was “Happiness… It Is Never Too Late.”
What does being “happy” have to do with marketing? Just about everything.
I have often suggested during seminars that in a country that has so much and is filled with people who have so much to offer, there is an over abundance of unhappy people. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Travel Agent Diaries
Just last week I had a great reminder about the importance of patience and how limits can be tested. To set up the story, it’s best if I share that my travel agency isn’t my full-time job, so I generally work evenings and Saturdays on client proposals, bookings, education, etc. I received a call on a Tuesday evening and was unable to answer so I sent it to voicemail. Then, I received another call. Then one more. I stopped what I was doing and listened to the voicemail aware that none of my clients were traveling at that time so it shouldn’t be a last minute emergency, but was curious as to what the urgency was for three calls in a row. It was a new client and her first voicemail was over 4 minutes long. I knew from the start this wasn’t going to be easy. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Support@
I can’t believe it was 26 years ago that I got my first job in the travel industry. My parents had just returned from a big trip overseas booked through Austravel and noticed they were advertising for an administrative assistant in their Bristol, UK office. We always traveled a lot as a family and it seemed like a good fit for a young 18 year old just starting out in her career. I applied, got the job, and never looked back! I quickly moved into their ticketing department and spent a year there, but always yearned to be more involved with the customers and the process of planning their holidays. I moved into sales and was hooked. I enjoyed sharing my experiences with potential travelers and also loved the travel that we got to experience. Read the rest of this entry »
I know exactly what I am talking about in today’s message as I recently dodged a bullet. Let me share my good fortune with you.
Months ago I was contacted and requested to send a proposal regarding an upcoming assignment. By my calculations, I categorized this as a “significant” project as measured by net profit. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: 1:1
Literally growing up in the travel business through his family’s agency, Perry Lungmus found an early passion to explore the world. He gained hands-on travel sales and marketing experience while sharing that passion, which eventually led him to a 25-year career of leadership roles with several of the world’s top luxury tour companies and travel agency groups. Today, based in Seattle, Lungmus leads the development of a multi-faceted luxury and experiential travel program for brands within Travel Leaders Group, North America’s largest travel agency network, offering specialized sales, marketing and training support for thousands of Travel Leaders agents. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Editorial Musings
Very few businesses do it all right, all the time. I know I don’t. I am pretty sure you don’t. And it is exactly those times when your business (and worse, your clients) are prime targets for your competition. Remember, your competition might be down the road, in the next town over, or across the country. We live in a globally connected world now. But the converse is also true: when you spot a competitor dropping the ball, you have an opportunity to shine. I do not advocate stealing clients; but if you can define your value properly, clients will make the decision on their own. That is why it is critical to periodically do a competitive analysis on “the enemy.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Publishers Corner
“Some people are born mediocre, some people achieve mediocrity, and some people have mediocrity thrust upon them.” – Joseph Heller
Rising above the crowd in any profession requires enormous energy and perseverance. It takes courage to put yourself on the front lines. What is commonly referred to as the Pareto Principle is just math. Average out the numbers and there will be a vast wasteland of, well, “average.” But just above that group, in a category so separate it is a difference in kind rather than quality, is the top 10%, the top 5%, and the top 1% of people in any endeavor. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Soundings
Even though Celebrity Cruises is one of my preferred cruise-line suppliers, I’m a bit miffed with them this week. Not too long ago the three cruise lines owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD (Azamara, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity) launched their new booking engine Espresso. During the training for Espresso (online as well as in-person training) we were told that new bookings were going to now require that we enter client email addresses and cell phone numbers. Of course, many travel professionals were leery about this new requirement. Several cruise lines are more than aggressive in marketing directly to our clients, trying to lure them into booking direct and bypassing their travel agents. Read the rest of this entry »
One of my favorite “bits” during my live seminars and corporate presentations involves a skit I like to do with an unsuspecting male member of the audience.
I approach a man and ask him if he remembers his first girlfriend. I then role play exactly how that important “first love” actually unfolded. Read the rest of this entry »