Monthly Archives: November 2019

Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips

What’s Your Biggest Challenge?

Recently, I asked my Facebook followers, “What is your biggest challenge standing between you and your 2020 goals?” The answers were pretty much what you would expect.

By far the biggest challenge was “a lack of qualified clients.” This is not surprising considering most independent contractors are responsible for sourcing their own clients.

A number of folks chimed in with their opinions on how to overcome the various challenges that were posted. To many, their only outside connection to their fellow agents is via social media.

A word of caution: Before taking their advice as the gospel, consider the source. Read the rest of this entry »

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 meet their sales quota prematurely. There is a more attractive strategy that I am afraid very few sales professionals endorse, much to their demise.

Try becoming the exception by seeing new customers as the potential annuity they truly represent. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

The Temples of Abu Simbel

In southern Egypt, just above the border with Sudan, sits Abu Simbel. It is a small town that houses lesser-known temples that stand out as grand sites. Along the river considered to be the cradle of civilization, Abu Simbel rests next to where the Nile opens up to Lake Nassar. The desert region is home to perfect examples of Nubian monuments and musical traditions that date back thousands of years.

Read the rest of this entry »

Persistence Pays Dividends

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

Allow me to 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 into internet land. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s The Difference?

I was sitting on the couch on a Saturday morning when my wife shared a video of the young golf phenomenon Jordan Spieth with me. The President’s Cup was being played in Korea at the time and the young Mr. Spieth was hitting out of a greenside bunker.

When his club scooped the sand with a “thunk,” sand began to fly everywhere while the ball was slowly plopping softly onto the green and began meandering toward the hole. “Ka-plunk.” The ball disappeared into the cup. (This never happens to me.)

That was the moment my mind began to do its thing. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

2020 will be here before I know it. Once I get over the fact that I am actually still alive heading into 2020, I will sit down and get serious about growing my business for the next year. I cannot rest on my laurels and as Mike Batt has always said—if you’re not growing, you’re dying!

While the Chinese may be celebrating the Year of the Rat in 2020, I am going to be celebrating the Year of the Relationship.

“Would you mind giving me a ride to the airport?” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Active Listening

There is an art to listening well. Listening is certainly more than hearing what your travel client or supplier is saying. Hearing a critique or commentary is a good beginning, but the art of active listening involves two additional steps that are indispensable to effective communication. If you don’t bring all of the components of active listening into a conversation, chances are you will miss something important. 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 whacky world we live in, then I say it is your obligation to let us know you exist and are here to help us.

The secret is, (and keep this to yourself as it seems very few people know this) you have to do something. Here are a few examples meant to stimulate your own creativity: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

We have a saying here in England, “You wait ages for a bus and then three come along at once” – and so it is with UK Tea Room Tours. I’ve been banging on about them for a very long time and this week, 6 small group requests have come in one after another! Give my top story careful thought and then let’s start an email conversation.

Elsewhere, I’m commending a visit to the World of Wedgwood, a lovely hotel just north of London, some new Beatles shore excursions in Liverpool and some terrific flower shows and flower festivals.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

AmaWaterways announced that its 2021 sailings are now open for reservations, with added rewards for those who book early. In 2021, the company will welcome a new ship, four new itineraries and new pre- and post-cruise land programs. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Spotlight

Bavaria: Traditional and Festive

In the south of Germany sits the birthplace of many fairytales inspired by magical surroundings and castles. A place where the meadows are a pleasant sight and walled towns from the medieval times continue to flourish. Bavaria is cozy and dreamlike, with the Bavarian Alps rising along the border to Austria.

Read the rest of this entry »

Technology makes it easy to speed through (and around) sincerity.

Be warned, I can tell when I am just number 345 on your database – even though you begin your email with my first name: “Hi Mike!”

Please don’t get me wrong. I have purchased 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 »

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 yet, I would not have done anything about them.

I figured if I were not in position to complete the task in one sitting, I would wait until I could find the time to do so. This has proven over time to be a wasteful decision. (Kaizen goes against the popular teaching of finishing what you start. With Kaizen, you eventually do complete the task, but not instantaneously.)

Kaizen comes into play in virtually every aspect of our lives. As an example, let’s focus on less-than-attractive current eating habits. French fried potatoes are as good as any place to begin. Read the rest of this entry »

If you chose entrepreneurship over employment this is an important message for you. Out of the blue, I received an email asking me if it’s possible to start a business fast and avoid the inevitable stress. As a seasoned entrepreneur, I believe it is highly unlikely.

How do I react when somebody wants to ‘pick my brain’ – particularly on such a weighty matter? I am not bothered, I am humbled. I regularly receive random high-mileage questions like this one. Read the rest of this entry »

Some People Just Don’t Get It

Today’s “whack-in-the-head” comes via Annapolis, Maryland — the home of the United States Naval Academy. Annapolis is one pretty town, especially on a bright and clear Saturday morning. Weather-wise, my wife and I hit a homerun as we sauntered in and out of the cute little shops.

We eventually wandered into a Christmas Shop down near the docks and began browsing. We both overheard a woman with an accent (Russian) ask the young lady behind the counter if she could take a picture of this “lovely” shop as they had never seen anything quite so beautiful? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

The Tastes of Tokaj

In the northeast area of Hungary is the Tokaj-Hegyalja Region. Here, the famous Aszú wine flows and the cuisine is topnotch. The nearby Zemplen Mountains offer up rugged wilderness, while just outside of those mountains nature trails and ancient castles are ready to be explored. From luxury to cozy, this UNESCO World Heritage site is a getaway for travelers that has much to offer in the way of luxury and adventure. Read the rest of this entry »

What Do “Looks” Have to Do with Anything?

When it comes to first impressions, I suppose the way you look does have an impact on what comes next. Image does play a part. I agree.

My message today involves a reminder thanks to an experience I had in Oneonta, NY. This little town is “upstate,” and perfectly positioned between cow pastures.

My wife and I were visiting a plumbing supply store in search of a few important water-related items when we entered a plumbing supply company that was advertised to fit the bill.

Greeting us from behind the desk, a few paces off the front door, came a voice from a woman who was all of 4-foot seven inches and, I am guessing, not a day under 40 years old. To avoid any gender-related backlash, I mentioned the description above because this woman was all of 4-foot seven and probably in her forties. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

When is enough enough?

I tend to be a fan of technology. I embraced blogging and social media early on. I jumped on the smartphone bandwagon pretty early. Podcasting? Check. Social media? As Sarah Palin might say…you betcha. But are we approaching a saturation point where too much tech is too much? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Spotlight

The East Coasts of Canada with CroisiEurope

Canada’s east coast is sprawling. It is the quintessential image of the northeast, lighthouses dot rocky cliffs while the bustling city of Montreal is just inland along the St. Lawrence River. The entire area has more of a French feel than the rest of Canada (and one of the islands off the coast is owned France). Cities here are reminiscent of the 17th-18th century world, where elegant architecture was simple – yet never understated. Eastern Canada is a cross between European and North American, a beautiful mix that shows all over.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

Most agents would reply by telling the prospect what they think of themselves. They provide a data dump of superfluous 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 things work.

Excuse my bluntness but, by and large, people don’t care about you… Read the rest of this entry »