Monthly Archives: March 2019

Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips

Why Should I Buy from You?

Dipping into the reader mailbag, one of the questions that I am most frequently asked is, “How do I communicate my value to clients when all they really want is the cheapest price.

All good salespeople ask themselves and can answer this simple question, “Why should a prospect buy from me?”

In all my coaching, webinars and writings, I talk about your ability to make yourself an integral part of the travel experience.

Hank Schrader a river cruise expert, shared how he does it, “Clients tell us that the Why Buy blog established our level of expertise and set clear expectations for our planning services. This usually results in a sale and repeat business!” Read the rest of this entry »

This phrase hit me like a ton of bricks as I was watching the TV Show Blue Bloods a few episodes ago.

The detective (the commissioner’s son) made a decision that he knew was a step or two out of bounds. When he was ‘called on the carpet’ to explain his actions the “*&%^” hit the fan. He knew it was coming.

When his partner asked about the “dress-down,” he instantly replied with, “I got jammed up.” But then, something very noticeable happened. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

Juneau with Shoretrips

Alaska is the land of nature. Pristine forests line glass-like lakes, glaciers jut from chilled waters where whales play along shores. Juneau, Alaska’s capital, has no roads connecting it to the rest of Alaska or North America; though it accessible by plane and ferry. This makes it the perfect getaway, in the truest sense of the word—a place to realize the coexistence of humans and nature in harmony. A popular cruise port city with a quaint feel, Juneau is a sight to behold for lovers of travel, nature, and adventure.

Read the rest of this entry »

There’s That Five-Letter Word Again!

The latest occurrence surfaced while I was sitting next to my old friend, and former partner, while sharing stories over a cold beer at a recently opened Irish pub. It was right then and there I heard a word that has become more popular, and used more often than the words Lady Gaga.

The word? The word is “niche.” Often pronounced ‘neesh’, I prefer to say nitch…sounds like hitch.

We were enjoying a “cold one” at a newly owned and managed saloon…let’s call it a pub. We wished the new proprietor well before clinking mugs as my friend asked the barkeep, “What’s your niche?” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Collette Gives You More

Collette truly understands what it means to be more agent friendly. Travel agents are our partners offering many advantages to travel professionals, who we see as an extension of the Collette family. Agents relax knowing that every detail will be taken care of from the booking process, throughout the tour and all the way until clients are back home. Read the rest of this entry »

I Hate This Game

Today’s message pertains to selling travel, whether you consider yourself an “agent” or a “consultant.” The message should become clear as you read on, but I will give you a hint: Life, business, sales, and golf don’t always unfold as planned.

Golf and business? What’s the connection? They are very similar when it comes to “joy”…and “misery.” Think about it.

For those in the know, golf can be one hard, frustrating, (expensive) way to spend one’s time. Reason being that in order to play golf well, one has to coordinate hundreds of body parts while arriving in perfect synchronization at one specific moment in time … at impact. Read the rest of this entry »

Have a Nice Day

Another day…another lesson. This time via the local Pharmacy.

Please stop what you are doing and pay attention to what I am about to share with you. Your future eating habits lie in the balance. I don’t make this stuff up, and I am not here to simply take up space. This is important. Please read on.

My wife took a tumble last week resulting in a wrenched back and a serious knot on the back of her head. We spent a few hours in the ER before heading home. It is always interesting to me how fast life can change course in a single “step”…or should I say one missed step. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

Bob Duglin, Vice President, ASTA

PictureBob is ASTA’s Vice President, International Membership & Expansion. His primary duties include working with ASTA’s International & Domestic Chapter system, as well as maintaining ASTA’s International Relationships and overseeing the ASTA Destination Expo & ASTA International Showcase program. Bob also serves as Vice President of ASTA’s Small Business Network (formerly NACTA).

Bob has been a successful travel advisor and has been involved in the travel industry for over 25 years, formerly owned a brick-and-mortar agency, a resident of Fort Lauderdale, FL, Bob was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. Bob also was the founder and former director of the South Florida Chapter. Read the rest of this entry »

It was hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky (appropriately known as The Great One) and all time Ice Hockey Magic Man who once said, “You will miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

I was reminded of this quote this past week as I took two shots…and scored both times. Let it be said that two for two is not the norm. Allow me to share my stories with you.

Two for twenty, thirty or forty might be closer to the truth. But just the same, if you can sneak a few past the goalkeeper now and then, I say “take them when you can and start your happy dance. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Do you make house calls?

Saturday night I ran out of printer ink. Just after my local Office Depot closed. That’s the way life works right? Well, I was in the middle of printing some information for a client and figured I’d see what Amazon had to offer. They had my ink and miraculously it could be delivered by Sunday (kudos for good customer service). As I was checking out, there was a note saying I could get a $25 credit to my account if I ordered using my Echo. Hmm… $36 bill reduced by $25? I’m in. “Hey Alexa, buy the printer ink that is in my shopping cart.” Boom, it was on its way and a $25 credit appeared in my account. And less than 19 hours later, my ink was at my door. So what does this have to do with travel? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Satisfied?

Don’t we all want satisfied customers? People who are happy with a buying experience, according to business lore, tell three other people about their satisfactory experience. We all tend to “collect” satisfied customers we can point to as examples of our competence and proficiency as travel consultants. Most travel agents who have been in the business for any length of time can point to a small stable of satisfied customers. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

Best Things to do in Juneau, Alaska

Lucky travelers heading to Alaska will find a variety of things to do in Juneau Alaska from visiting a majestic Glacier to dog sledding across the snow. After all, Alaska is known for its rich wildlife, lush landscape, and unbelievable beauty. And the best activities in Juneau are all about enjoying nature on unique excursions and experiences. Whether you are traveling by cruise ship or driving through the countryside, there are dozens of guided tours and hiking trails to explore. Get started on your unforgettable Juneau vacation with these eight unique experiences: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

One of the Christmas presents I always looked forward to was the jigsaw puzzle from my aunt, which gradually became more complex as the years went by. It probably explains why I so enjoy identifying different aspects of the UK and piecing them together as memorable and unique travel experiences for your customers. This week’s ‘box of tricks’ introduces England’s Jurassic Coast, numerous great detectives (anglophiles will recognise them immediately), embroidery collections, ceramics and the 75th anniversary of D Day. Read on and then send me the jigsaw puzzle I can help you with!

Read the rest of this entry »

Are You Easy?

This is not intended to be a forward question. And no, I am not being fresh.

In today’s fast-paced world with a zillion options for just about everything under the sun, the last thing in the world we need (as consumers) is for somebody to make our lives more difficult. This is especially true when there involves a voluntary exchange of money.

If you are not already “easy,” you had better become “easy”…fast. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Founded more than 30 years ago in the UK as Riviera Travel, Riviera River Cruises recently started targeting English-speaking guests from the United States and Canada for its value-priced river cruise offerings in Europe.

The company has a fleet of 12 vessels on the rivers of Europe, with more on the way. Unlike other river cruise lines, Riviera offers a price-point that is substantially lower than most of its competitors. It does this by “unbundling” some features, like inclusive drinks. You’ll pay extra for things like bottled water, beer, wine, and spirits, but Riviera believes the overall cost savings justify the add-on charges by making river cruising accessible to a wider swath of people who might be put off by the multi-thousand-dollar-fares charged by other lines. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Let’s Keep This Selling Thing Simple

Sales today is more competitive than ever. The old style of selling simply doesn’t work like it used to. Buyers, customers and clients are too smart…too street savvy…too educated to fall for any textbook trick from some fast-talking sales goon with the gift of gab. And they have lots of buying options. They are being inundated with all sorts of “noise” in the form of advertising, promotions, special deals, BOGO’s, and bait-and-switch gimmicks. Enough all ready. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Spit Into The Wind

Some of you might remember Jim Croce. He was the dude that reminded us that it is not in our best interest to tug on Superman’s cape. It is definitely not wise to pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger. And rumor has it one should not mess around with anybody named Jim. Lyrics Don’t Mess Around With Jim by Jim Croce. Circa 1972.

It raises the question: Why do some things that should be so obvious need a reminder? The answer: Because they do. Here is a wake-up-call that should not have to be written…but it does. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Central Holidays continues evolving the concept of what a tour operator is, developing innovative new product lines that deliver what travelers are looking for today—truly authentic destination moments and personalized experiences. Further expanding the travel brand’s horizons across the globe, Central Holidays has recently introduced a superb new range of programs that take travelers to experience popular destination favorites as well as off-the-beaten-path treasures throughout the country. Read the rest of this entry »

Do You Floss?

“Do I what?”

I asked you, “Do you floss?” If not…why not? If not, you had better start. But only if you want a brighter future.

And speaking of futures, I have another recommendation for you—if you are interested in making your days ahead a little more beneficial. I must admit that I’m really not into your personal oral hygienic practices, but I think you will soon understand my message. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Shoot Yourself In The Foot

I see it all the time. Sometimes multiple times in a single week. And when I am party to it, I see red. I feel the hair on the back of neck rise as my heartbeat shoots into palpitation mode.

Why don’t more people realize that it takes time…months…and even years to earn a customer. And with a single mismanaged phone call one can put a dent in your income without saying a word?

Consider yourself warned. You DO NOT have to shoot yourself in the foot. Learn by my observation. This is a True Story. Read the rest of this entry »