Monthly Archives: June 2018

The Customer Four-Step

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 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.

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Posted In: cartoons

Posted In: Deck Plans

The Danube River travels nearly 1,800 miles through Eastern and Central Europe, from the Black Forest in Germany to the coast of Romania where it empties into the Black Sea. Along the way, it traverses eight countries and touches four capital cities. For 2019, Emerald Waterways has added two new Danube river itineraries that allow guests to spend more time in favorite ports or visit new destinations along this route. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips

Are You Working for Free?

My last column about rebating sparked some serious and heated responses.

The argument most often invoked is, “I don’t work for free”. Let me go on the record to say, no one should work for free!

Unfortunately, most consumers think you do. To be fair, they don’t understand how you get paid, nor do they realize that often the lowest price they have been quoted didn’t come from the supplier but involves a commission discount. Read the rest of this entry »

The Art Of Learning

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.

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Posted In: Spotlight

Celestyal Cruises has been showing the traveler the wonders of the Greek Islands and Eastern Mediterranean since 2014. Since then, they’ve navigated the cruise industry with finesse and personalized service that goes beyond the expectations of the traveler. With a philosophy that is rooted in authentic exploration and cultural immersion, it’s no surprise that Celestyal has received many awards since its beginning.

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Posted In: Departures

There are so many reasons that Paris is at the top of almost every travelers bucket list, it would be impossible to check them all off in one article. From amazing architecture to the hippest fashion in the world, the capital of France is a long sought-after destination for the traveler. Thanks to XL Airways, today’s Outpost article is all about this iconic city. Read the rest of this entry »

Stop Being A Victim

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.

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People Like People Who Like Them

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.

I can’t do the skit justice in print so I will simply deliver one of the most important lessons you will ever learn, remember, or think about. Read the rest of this entry »

House Arrest

Sure, when working from home we save on gas, dry cleaning, clothing, and even contact lens solution. We have no commute, and don’t have to drive in bad weather conditions. But at times you may find yourself wishing that you had somewhere to go besides the next room. And while it’s really pretty mundane to most people, sometimes the simplest outings like a trip to the grocery store, can be a bit of an exciting event or a nice break in the day.

If you are at all extroverted, working from home is not always easy. In the winter months, when everyone is moody and crabby anyway, the isolation factor can get magnified. Even if you are relatively introverted, you may find yourself wanting to spend more time with other people.

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Posted In: 60-Second Geography

New Zealand, just off the east coast of Australia, is separated into two primary islands. The North Island, warmer with bigger cities, is where most of Maori culture lives. The South Island, however, is known for sparse natural landscapes. From skiing snow-capped mountains to hiking lush forests, the South Island offers a great getaway. That’s why AAT Kings wants to show the traveler how beautiful New Zealand is though their tours.

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Video Marketing (YouTube)

A few years back I offered a few simple tips to attendees at an ASTA Global Convention. Andrew Sheivachman shared these same tips in an article he wrote for The Travel Market Report. I stumbled upon this article recently and thought it might make for a good reminder.

On YouTube It Is Good To Be a Goofball

YouTube is the most popular video service on the web, with more than 1 billion unique visitors a month watching 6 billion minutes of video. But how can travel agents use YouTube to differentiate themselves and their businesses? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

PictureCole Dannewitz co-founded Vacations By Rail in 2004, playing a key role in growing the company to one of the United States’ largest producers of rail vacations and train tours to destinations around the globe. In 2011, he and his business partner expanded overseas with the launch of the company’s international subsidiary, Holidays By Rail Limited. Dannewitz was integral to the success of this venture, overseeing its launch, management, and day-to-day activities. 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 do just that. It is affectionately known as the 2-Step Marketing System, and you can virtually take this strategy to the bank.

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Posted In: Editorial Musings

Errors and Omissions Insurance. We have all heard the term. Hopefully we all have paid the premium. When I entered the industry in 1997, it was drilled into my head that right next to rent (I had a brick and mortar office) the E&O insurance was the most important bill I had. And for 21 years, I have been paying it—sometimes begrudgingly because I never had to use it. But I was recently talking to a former colleague and catching up and he shared a horribly sobering tale. Read the rest of this entry »

What Was The Last Non-Fiction Book You Read?

I was 35 when I took up reading as a full-time practice. After managing to “squeeze” a degree out of UMASS in 1971, I gave up reading for a few years: many students do. Little did I know I was retarding my growth exponentially at the time. But having successfully juggled studies with two collegiate sports for four years, I figured I had read enough for a while.

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Posted In: cartoons

Posted In: Deck Plans

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company announced the opening of reservations for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, which promises to provide a leisurely cruising style along with the service of The Ritz-Carlton in ports around the world.

“As the first luxury hotel company to bring the legendary service and ambiance of its resorts to sea, we are thrilled to offer guests a new way to create memories with The Ritz-Carlton,” said Lisa Holladay, Global Brand Leader for Ritz-Carlton. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

The Onboard Credit Conundrum

Over the last several months the three brands owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises) have rolled out a new program that allows passengers to “spend” their onboard credit before ever stepping foot onboard a ship. As a cruise consumer, I thought this was fantastic. I am one of those cruisers that likes to pre-plan everything. When I walk onboard the ship, I don’t want to have to worry about buying anything, reserving anything, etc. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Last week, Her Majesty The Queen and the Duchess of Sussex (Meghan Markel) made their first official, joint engagement to Chester. If you’ve never visited the ancient roman city, why don’t you follow their example? Poldark also appeared on our TV screens which means that later this year, he’ll appear on yours. Talk to me about an On Location tour to Cornwall.

Elsewhere this week’s updates focus on product developments you may not hear about, but which will appeal to anglophile and culturally-minded clients.

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What Are You Waiting For?

Today. Now. This minute. Pick up your pen, grab a clean sheet of paper (or sit down in front of your computer) and write that letter you have been talking about for the last six months.

In ten minutes the “chore” will become yesterday’s news and just think how good you will feel? Better yet, think of what good might come from this very small investment in time.

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