Monthly Archives: October 2018

Lifetime Value

A mistake that many sales professionals make is that they are shortsighted when it comes to evaluating their customers. With the blame pointing toward a tough economy, too many sales people try to rush the sale to fatten their wallet. As competitive as this may sound, this aggressive behavior is the shortest path to failure coupled to a less-than glowing professional reputation. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Preview

Patagonia with Australis

In Argentina’s south, lies the gorgeous and infamous Patagonian region. Known for its exquisite beauty and breathtaking adventures, Patagonia is a must see to those visiting Argentina.

The Patagonian region of South America also includes Chile, although most of it resides within Argentina. Patagonia was named by Magellan, referring to the Tehuelche people’s large moccasins, which made their feet appear huge. Charles Darwin’s account of the native wildlife in Patagonia is still considered as relevant today as it was back then. This gives an indication of how authentically wild Patagonia remains 170 years later. That’s why Australis wants to let you in on the beauty of this land.

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Posted In: 60-Second Geography

San Carlos de Bariloche, otherwise known simply as Bariloche, is a medium-sized city at the foot of the Andes Mountains in Argentina. Though the sight of the Andes is enough to excite the traveler with trekking and skiing opportunities, Lago Nahuel Huapi and the national forest in the area around Bariloche add to that. That’s why this edition of 60-Second Geography is brought you by Aerolineas Argentinas, Argentina’s largest airline and flag carrier — they’ll get the traveler to this land as one of only four airlines that travel to Bariloche.

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Hey Steph, Bridget or Mary…or whoever is reading this,

First of all, THANK YOU for your website. I have been exploring it for the last two hours.
I was googling MLM and travel and found your article. Right now I have one question. I have been burned before by an MLM, but I have a friend who wants me to work with her in a travel one, which is something I have always wanted to do. I am a retired life insurance agent. “Sales” is my thing. Not to mention the fact that my Vedic astrologer told me I would be successful as a travel agent. Read the rest of this entry »

Make This Month Count

Don’t give me that again. Don’t tell me how next month is going to be different. I’ve heard it all before. You’ve heard it all before. I’ve said it all before, and so have you.

Next month blah, blah, blah. But, what if…

What if, this month, we mean what we say? What if this month proves to be the pivotal month: the month we turn our business around and reach that elusive spot in the winner’s circle? What if? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

Once considered to be the cultural center and capital of Islamic Spain, Córdoba lies between the southern tip of Spain and Madrid in an autonomous area known as Andalusia. The city has well-preserved landmarks that have lasted throughout history and time, showcasing the many roles Córdoba has served. Thanks to Back-Roads Touring, today’s Outpost will dive into this diverse city and the features that make it a wonder for the traveler to visit. Read the rest of this entry »

I Am A Lot Smarter Than You!

I could wax eloquent on this boast but in the interest of time, I will immediately address the subject at hand.

I believe today’s headline to be true and I can say this for five simple reasons: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

John Burbidge is the CFO of Sky Bird Travel and Tours. In his capacity of CFO, John directs Sky Bird’s fiscal functions and oversees its entire financial operations. He manages 13 offices in North America for Sky Bird.

John has been with the company for over 30 years and has seen massive changes in the travel industry. His biggest challenges are balancing cash flow along with developing new revenue streams. He sees technological advances as both blessing and challenge in the day-to-day work environment.

He holds BA and MBA degrees from Wayne State University. John lives in Michigan with his wife. They have one daughter who is a junior at the University of Alabama. He enjoys visiting MLB stadiums and rooting for his favorite teams. the Detroit Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Managing a travel practice is tough work. You’re in charge of all the details, from sales to marketing to hiring to firing to budgeting to supplier selection. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re keeping tabs on a million different details. The good news is that there are ways to simplify and make managing your business easier no matter how big or small you may be.   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Relationship Sales

They say every preacher really has only one sermon. Here’s mine: success in the travel industry has everything to do with relationship selling. Too much of the agency population continues to act as though it is in the business of selling travel and is trapped in a transactional, retail mentality. The travel advisorys and agencies  doing really well have long ago left the retail model behind and have replaced it with relationship sales. It is an easy point to understand, but apparently difficult to implement for many travel agents.

The money collectively spent on travel has an astronomical ring to its tally. Reflect on the fact all travel agencies, including the largest online agencies, handle $240 billion dollars, or about 31% of all travel booked. The number is admittedly an estimate, but one thing is certain. There is a tremendous volume of travel being booked other than by travel agencies. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

King Cartoon – October 12, 2018

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Two weeks ago, my Agent Perspectives article focused on sources of valuable business, already ON YOUR DOORSTEP. In case you missed it, take another look at it here because this week’s eclectic mix ‘n’ match medley will give you inspired suggestions for clients who are fans of Masterpiece On Location tours in general and Doc Martin/Poldark in particular, spectacular flower shows in Paris and London, tea rooms and stately homes in the Cotswolds, Methodist Heritage and literary anniversaries.

To see an Aladdin’s Cave of conversation-starting UK tours that can be customised to meet your client’s interests, time frame and budget have a look at Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Crystal Cruises announced its full lineup of 2021 luxury sailings aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. In all, 68 all-inclusive voyages span the globe to 238 destinations in 53 countries.

From Crystal Serenity’s 139-day “Ancient Dynasties & World Wonders” comprehensive World Cruise to 10 seven-day sailings through the Mediterranean aboard Crystal Symphony, travelers will find opportunities to explore destinations both famous and less visited in 2021. Staying true to Crystal’s philosophy of offering guests numerous choices, including shorter sailings that are easily combinable with other cruises – without repeating ports – for those seeking an extended vacation. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Sell Trust Short

I was reminded recently how this thing called “trust” really works. Trust is an intense concept. It takes months if not years to establish…and only milliseconds to destroy. Once you have it however, you become an authoritative figure worth listening to.

My Inner Circle Sales & Marketing Group features an “open” phone call now and then where members get to talk, share, and collaborate. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Departures

Lake Titicaca with Marnella

The highest of the world’s large lakes, Lake Titicaca sits next to the Andes on the border between Peru and Bolivia. The sky above is a reflection of the deep, blue water. Dotted with islands that contain ancient ruins and cultures dedicated to traditional ways, Lake Titicaca is a site unlike any other. Thanks to Marnella, today you’ll learn all about the islands of Lake Titicaca.

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Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips

Think and Grow Rich -Timeless Advice

When I was in the second grade, our old black and white television broke and it stayed that way for over three years. Why? My parents told us we were watching too much TV (sound familiar?). However, the reality was we were too poor to have it repaired or replaced. As a result, I became a voracious reader – a habit that continues to this day.

It was around this same time my grandfather gave me a book that would influence the rest of my life. It was an original, well-read, 1937 copy of the now classic Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. If you are not familiar with it, look it up. Read the rest of this entry »

Define Your Home Run

Regardless of how many times I have fallen and managed to get up again, I amaze myself at just how much I still don’t know, and how much I have forgotten along the way.

Today’s lesson is one you can benefit from immediately. Learn from my oversight. It is the painless way to go. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Sharing the Wonder with Australis

A few months ago, we featured a Supplier Profile article that highlighted the way Australis handles their tours with care for the traveler and environment, their tours in the unique land of Patagonia, and how their world-class service let’s the traveler witness sites to spur the imagination. Today’s article is on Australis offering up a limited promotion for kids to sail free on their ships in the month of December. Read the rest of this entry »

That’s a very good question. If not asked verbally, your prospect is undoubtedly thinking it.

Most agents reply by telling the prospect what they think of themselves. They provide a data dump of self-serving information, which is of no interest to their prospects. They flatter themselves hoping that others share the same interest in them and their history. Ladies and gentlemen, this isn’t the way it works.

I want you to answer their question, but I want you to address it from a slightly different angle; from the eyes and experiences of your current customers. I want you to tell this prospect what your customers think of you and your service…not what you think.

Click Here!

The reasoning behind this strategy should be apparent. What you say is both expected and questionable. Of course, you are going to highlight a few attractive features of working with you. But the truth is, I am more likely to put credence to what my peers think and believe. I want to hear from your clients. What do they have to say?

Answer: “I’m glad you asked me that. The last three couples who selected our service when choosing their first river cruise selected us because they appreciated our follow up and follow through. This in addition to our clear explanation of the many options made them feel very comfortable with our attention to detail. We can offer this very same attention to detail to you.”

Do you see the huge difference it makes when the words come from a peer? It takes your bogus claims out of the equation and replaces them with heart-felt feelings from those who have recently experienced your service. By far, this is the way to answer the question, “Why should I do business with you?”

Mike Marchev

Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at

Mike Marchev’s next business building webinar is on Friday, October 26, 2018. It will focus on the 9 Selling Strategies you can implement at once at no cost with very little effort. Click Here for details.

Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.

Posted In: Outposts

Brussels with TUI Fly

Brussels in not only the capital of Belgium, but also part of the de facto capital of the European Union. It has been a major player in international politics since World War II. The city sits at the crossroads of many European cultures and maintains a healthy mix of Romance and Germanic parts of Europe, which makes it a fantastic melting pot. Thanks to TUI Fly, today’s Outpost will be all about the beauty of Brussels and its many sites. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

Instantly recognizable from the skyline as you approach, New York City is as iconic as cities come. A cosmopolitan city with so much to do, multiple trips barely scratch the surface of what the traveler can experience in the city that never sleeps. Today’s 60-Second Geography is about a special time of year NYC, Thanksgiving and Christmas time. Thanks to New York City Vacation Packages, you’ll learn about the best events during the merriest time of year.

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