Monthly Archives: October 2018

Persistence Pays Dividends

Although there may not be any “do-overs” or “mulligans” in business these days, there is certainly time and rationale for “do-agains.”

Let me explain:

I recently sent out a blast email promoting one of my books. In this case, I was featuring my 52-Week Sales Planner. What better time to start planning for a brighter future than right now? I wrote a sales letter and hit the button, which sent my words out to internet land. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

The Temples of Vientiane with Lao Airlines

The capital and largest city of Laos, Vientiane is known for a laidback feel as the traveler wanders the streets and Buddhist temples. There is an obvious reverence for the spiritual throughout the city, as the ornate roofs of wats (meaning: a Buddhist monastery or temple) invite the traveler to take in the Laotian city that has remained mostly off the beaten path for the masses. Thanks to Lao Airlines for sponsoring today’s Outpost article. Read the rest of this entry »

Today’s message is based on a true story. It contains an important reminder for all of you.

A particular industry conference was on my calendar for over a month. I knew as a professional speaker that good things result from my wandering trade show aisles. This alone serves as a walking example that “Marchev is alive and well.” I was not planning to attend this show as a conference speaker. I was a paid attendee. This was a few years ago and the conference was conducted by a large Association.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

Born and educated in the Netherlands, Gordon Dirker has enjoyed an extensive career in the travel industry. Prior to being appointed VP of Business Development, Americas for Celestyal Cruises in January 2018, Gordon spent nearly 18 years working for the Travel Corporation. This was followed by nearly 4 years with the Norway based expedition cruise and ferry line, Hurtigruten. He started as a BDM for Contiki Holidays based in Baltimore, MD. After 1 year, Gordon was promoted and moved to London to lead their sales and marketing efforts in the UK and Europe. Read the rest of this entry »

There is a thin line between “customer service” and being a doormat. If there is one common refrain I hear (and if I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a hundred times), it is:

“Potential clients contact me to milk me for as much information as they can before they head out to book their own vacation on the internet.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

“Put yourself into the mind of your customer.” We have heard that phrase forever. I am not sure who originated it; but those 8 words have become the salesperson’s mantra. But there is more to it. Much more! Read on.

So, how do we get into the mind of our clients? What info do we need? How do we balance thinking like a sales consultant with thinking like a client? What are the questions and objections that the customers present? Put it simply—they have a problem, and we are here to help them solve it. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Power Play

“Knowledge is power.” We have heard that saying so often that we accept its validity without question. But is it accurate? If the internet has done anything, it has made knowledge far more accessible, shifting the balance of power. Want to know something about weight loss? Google it. Want to research a stock? No problem. Looking for a new home? Zillow it. Knowledge is indeed power, but the internet has shifted the center of gravity from pools of knowledge to a more general dispersal. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

My 12 Favorite Cruises

One afternoon in 2015, cinematographer Chris Stanley and I pulled our rental car into the dusty parking lot of the Arkadi Monastery. We were here to film the monastery for Seabourn, which offered a visit to these historical grounds on shore excursions from Heraklion and Chania. Read the rest of this entry »

A Lesson Worth Learning

If you are an honest, hard-working business professional who has more than a modicum of interest in helping others get through this whacked-out world we live in, then I say it is your obligation to let people know you exist and that are in business to help them.

The secret is, (and it seems very few people know this) you have to do something. Here are four ideas to help grease your creative skids: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Some People Just Don’t Get It

We eventually wandered into a Christmas Shop down near the docks and began browsing. We both overheard a woman with an unfamiliar accent ask the young lady behind the counter if they could take a picture of this lovely shop as they had never seen anything quite so beautiful? (I knew the accent was not from Jersey. It turned out it came from a Russian tourist.)

Between bites from a bagel with cream cheese the young gal uttered with absolutely no eye-contact whatsoever, “No. Store policy.” That response was a bit terse even from a guy who grew up just east of Exit 35.) Read the rest of this entry »

A Journey Of 100-Miles Begins With A Single Step

Since I read the book titled Kaizen, I find myself eyeballing a zillion items that yesterday would have gone unnoticed. And worse, untouched.

If I wasn’t in a position to complete the task in one sitting, I would wait until I could find the time to complete the task. This has proven time and again to be a wasteful decision. (Kaizen goes against the popular teaching to finish what you start all at once. The Kaizen approach eventually completes the task, but not instantaneously.) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

When is the best time to visit the Amazon rainforest? There are distinct differences between rainy and dry seasons in the region — and how that impacts both the water level and the excursions that are offered aboard the riverboats such as Jungle Experiences’ La Perla and Zafiro. Read the rest of this entry »

Has The World Lost Its Touch?

Technology makes it easy to speed through (and around) sincerity. Be warned. I can tell when I am number 345 on your database even though you launch into your message with, “Hi Mike!”

Please don’t get me wrong. I have all the toys and I love playing with them. I am the first one to check my emails while exiting an airplane and sending the latest gizmo whammy by FTP up to my website. But, after reading this article again, I also think that I am going to sit right down and write somebody a letter, with a pen…on paper, and stick it in an envelope…and write from my heart…and lick the stamp myself. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

Nouméa with Aircalin

Off the east coast of Australia is the city of Nouméa, the capital and largest city of the French special collectivity known as New Caledonia. The city is known for its crystal-clear waters and colorful coral that is accessible just off the coastline. While beaches and relaxation will lure the traveler to Nouméa, there are plenty of other activities and sites as well. Thanks to Aircalin, the sponsor of today’s article this Pacific island city with a French feel. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Preview

Natural Northern Spaces with AAT Kings

The country of Australia wears many hats. From its picturesque beaches to the open landscapes of desert and starry skies, Australia has been on many a traveler’s bucket list. In today’s 60-Second Geography, we’ll be looking at the Northern Territory of Australia. Here travelers will find the witness the magic of untamed natural beauty. Thanks to AAT Kings, which offers up some of the best vacation tours and packages in all of Australia.

Read the rest of this entry »

One of the problems small businesses face on an ongoing basis is their lack of consistency. Their marketing efforts are stop and go. Their sales strategies are hit or miss. Their customer service levels are warm and cold.

Why this is the case can be explained quite easily. In the majority of cases, they have no system to follow. They are doing the best they can, whenever they can. They have put aside any commitment to following a step-by-step procedure and replaced it with putting out fires. Easy to understand, but counter-productive just the same. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

For anyone that had read my column for any length of time knows, I am a HUGE proponent of email marketing. I have often said that email is an invite into your neighbor’s living room. Other types tend to be more of a “swing by if you are in the neighborhood” offer. With email, you have a captive audience and they are reading your email because they are interested in what you have to say… or to sell. But are you engaging them? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Dancing Lessons

“Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle.

You probably think of yourself as a travel agent, travel advisor,  a travel counselor or a travel planner or some variation thereof.  People entrust you with their vacations, their dreams, travel plans, their travel ambitions. You, in turn, access the tools at hand and make your clients’ dreams come true. Your tools are your experience, your relationships with suppliers, your sense of detail and customer service. Every now and then, however, maybe you glimpse that you are something more than a travel agent, counselor or planner. Sometimes you might just sense that you pass right over into the realm of the magician – that ability to transform travel from a trip into an experience. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

King Cartoon – October 19, 2018

72 Shots – Three Goals

A few seasons back the Washington Capitols and The NY Rangers faced off for game seven in the semi-finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It was all on the line. The winner moved onto the finals, while the loser went home to catch up on some Perry Mason reruns.

I tuned in with 17 minutes left in the 3rd period with the score tied, one apiece. I heard the announcer report “61 shots…Two in.” Those numbers immediately caught my attention. Read the rest of this entry »