Monthly Archives: December 2019

And That’s a Wrap

2019 is just about yesterday’s news. I don’t want to use a beat up worn-torn saying but I will: “Where has the time gone?” I also refuse to suggest that you have a Happy New Year. I’d rather remind you that time waits for nobody, and whether your New Year will be happy or not is entirely up to you.

As I look down the barrel of another year I see an empty slate. Yesterday’s news is exactly that… yesterday’s news. Not a single evening news program goes by without reminding us how precious life is, and that all the work and effort we put in can come to a screeching halt without much notice. Why we put off the things we put off remains a mystery to me as I pour myself a fresh cup of morning coffee.

The only question worth asking on a daily basis is, What are you planning to do today that will make a difference? Your story (my story) is unfolding faster than a New York minute and will sooner or later arrive at a final chapter. Trust me. The pages are turning faster than we thought.

But the good news, if you are reading this final “missive” of mine for 2019, is that a bunch of new opportunities are about to introduce themselves to us in very short order. What we decide to do about them is yet to be determined. My advice: Choose and respond wisely.

With a new and clean canvas staring back at me I have decided to begin the New Year with a new coat of paint as far as my articles are concerned. “Mike’s Missives are done. This year I am going to share my “One Minute Marketing Reminders.”


Click Here!

Why the column title change?

Although I know that we all need gentle reminders now and then, I also appreciate how busy you are on a daily basis. Mental stimulation is needed, but time is of the essence. Therefore, I have decided to adopt the old salesman’s mantra as I swing into 2020. I will be bright. I will be brief. I will be gone.

You will have to decide for yourself how stimulating I am, and I will try to hold each daily message to as close as 60 seconds as possible. (No promises on that one, but I will try.)

This year I invite your input, thoughts, ideas and comments. I will do my best to supply you with a few words that will brighten your day, put a bounce in your step, help you keep things in perspective, and give you something to look forward to.

Thank you for following me in 2019. The clock is ticking. 2020 here I come.


Mike Marchev
Mike Marchev is a down-to-earth motivating sales trainer, author and business coach who specializes in the travel industry. Mike’s column is made possible by AmaWaterways.

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The Year 2020 is Almost Here!

I am not going to bore you with an article highlighting the importance of making meaningful goals for the New Year. Nor am I going to highlight the folly most individuals experience who spend an inordinate amount of time making such superfluous goals.

You know what time it is, and you know you have a full 12 months ahead to do whatever it is you are going to do. As Gloria Estefan once reminded us in song, You determine your fate by the choices you make.

Before entering the New Year, after sharing over 200 plus messages with you during the past twelve months, I want to remind you of one simple meaningful fact. I happen to know that the following advice is true. Read the rest of this entry »

Given The Choice, Don’t Be Dumb

Ever since Home Depot made the scene in 1978 a popular three-letter acronym came into play, DIY. This is short for ‘Do It Yourself’ and I must admit this practice has been the catalyst for many marital disagreements between otherwise harmonious partners.

Some DIYers are more skilled than others, while there remain a few people that should not be allowed to buckle up the old tool belt or even attempt to climb a ladder… no less screw in a light bulb. (I’m just saying.)

Personally, I have been known from time to time to analyze a home-based project before determining that it is well within my mechanical capabilities.

There are two areas, however, that even the most talented card-carrying home fixer uppers should shy away from like the plague. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Top 10 Alaska Cruises For 2020

Oftentimes when people think of cruising they think about Caribbean getaways and beach trips. Maybe they think of Europe and cruising the Baltic. Or maybe they think of crossing the Atlantic on an ocean liner as their relatives did in the past. There are many regions to cruise, but today I want to focus on one region alone. One that just so happens to be right in our backyard.

Alaska has always intrigued me. It’s part of the United States, yet it feels so disconnected. Maybe it’s because of the weather, but then again there are snowy landscapes and cold temperatures in many US states. Maybe it’s the landscapes. Maybe it’s the wildlife. Likely it’s a combination of all of these things. Read the rest of this entry »

Avoid Raising the Red Flag

When I ask audience members to share the first word that comes to mind when they hear the word “salesman,” they quickly respond with sleazy, pushy, aggressive, manipulative, insurance, car, commission and dishonest.

I then remind the group that they too are salespeople and these terms do not define their professionalism. But, if that is what the population thinks that is the reality of their life’s calling.

But I was reminded again this past weekend of how this less-than-stellar reputation was earned.

I entered the Honda Dealer in upstate New York to find out what it would cost to fix my defective wheel bearings. While we waited for the quote, we decided to check out the Certified Pre-owned vehicles of the same model.  (I should have stayed in the waiting room.) Read the rest of this entry »

Good Communication

There are three fundamentals that are required for good communication.

First, you must have an audience.

Next, you must manage to capture the audience’s attention.

Third, you must have something to say that improves upon the silence.

Since this is Christmas Eve, I question if I indeed have an audience today. Read the rest of this entry »

Ever Hear of Nordstrom?

I can remember, not long ago, when I hated to read books. (Thirty years ago.) Today, I love my books.

Most people today regardless of their age still don’t like to read books. And if they do, they are works of fiction and are read for entertainment.

I like to read business books. They make me think. They also take the time that I might otherwise squander on less productive activities. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Campaign Season

How do you make your travel practice known to the public? If you are like most travel professionals, you rely on a number of tactics to raise your visibility. You may use social media, public relations, or content marketing through your website, email, and blogging efforts. You may take advantage of speaking opportunities or write for a local newspaper. You may advertise.

Inherently we know marketing works, because in our own civilian lives we ourselves respond to well-placed and produced marketing and advertising.  We have less confidence in our own efforts, however. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Last week, a travel advisor asked me to put together a Grandparents and Grandchildren’s tour, which didn’t spend the entire vacation in London. My response seems to have hit the nail firmly on the head as I brought together Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter, Roald Dahl’s BFG, a dash of Paddington Bear in London and an evening performance of Mathilda. The dates they chose were early July, which meant I could also include a visit to the fantastic new Alice in Wonderland Exhibition at London’s V&A Museum. If you have clients who’d like something similar, send me an email.

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Christmas.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fish Where the Fish Are

This is a piece of advice as old as the hills.

It belongs right up there with a few of my other favorite pieces of advice:

  1. With men on base, go to right.
  2. Weight on the downhill ski.
  3. Don’t spit into the wind.
  4. Don’t point your finger at a woman. (Any finger)
  5. Don’t cancel a golf date based on your weatherman’s evening report.

Back to fishing. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Beginning in February 2020, discover the mysteries of ancient Egypt along the Nile River with CroisiEurope Cruises on board the luxurious Steigenberger Royale. This new port-to-port, eight-day cruise takes passengers through over 2,000 years of history across the Land of Pharaohs, guaranteeing an unforgettable experience. Read the rest of this entry »

Testimonials Are A Powerful Thing

I recently found myself flipping through the restaurant review section of my local newspaper and spotted one where I thought I would like to try out for an upcoming future event. I had heard a few good things from friends and felt comfortable in my decision to call and make a reservation for that special night. I began reading the review thinking that it was only going to reinforce my decision. I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

The paper flipped my thinking 180 degrees. I’m not saying that the review itself was right or wrong; I am saying it changed my mind. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH


With 2019 nearly in the rearview mirror let’s consider how we can avoid some common pitfalls, slip-ups and social marketing blunders as we usher in 2020.


Blunder #1: Clients forget to book with you!

Do you hear your clients saying, “I found a great trip and just booked it online. I guess I should have called you first.”

Don’t miss out staying at the top of mind and tip of tongue with your clients. Building stronger relationships with your clients is easy with social advertising. Wouldn’t you love to reach back out to your social fans that have interacted with your social posts? Read the rest of this entry »

You Can Make the Food Taste Better

I went out for dinner with my son, daughter and son-in-law. They took me to a ‘best of Long Island’ restaurant that was busy-as-usual on a Saturday night. We were seated after waiting twice as long for a table (despite the four-tops that were empty). We were served by an uninspired waiter (who was empty as well).

I had expected our welcome to have matched the ambiance (which was warm and inviting). I was eager to have my salivary glands activated upon hearing a decadent description of the dishes (which I had heard so much about). Sadly, this experiential let-down threw cold water on dinner. Read the rest of this entry »

Since I read the book highlighting the “kaizen” approach, I find myself eyeballing new projects from a refreshingly new angle. Items that yesterday would have gone unnoticed and untouched are now put into motion.

I once figured if I was not going to complete any one task in one sitting, I would wait until I could find the time to do so. This has proven over time to a wasteful decision.

The Kaizen Approach goes against the popular teaching to finish what you start ASAP. With Kaizen, you eventually do complete the task but not instantaneously. Kaizen also works when it comes to healthy eating habits. You do not have to give up French Fries cold turkey. Not all at once. Your brain will fight you and you will lose every time. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Sky Bird Travel & Tours

Sky Bird Travel & Tours is an award-winning airline consolidator who has served as a top resource for all types of travel agents since 1976, committed to connecting its clients with the lowest net fares from nearly 100 airline partners. Because of the close relationships Sky Bird has with the world’s best airlines, travel agents find incredible airfare deals for clients while simultaneously securing higher commission by choosing their own markup. Read the rest of this entry »

People Are Like Magnets

Today’s article introduces two reminders that I feel are extremely important. The first one reminds us of the Law of Attraction, while the second reminds us of how to use just three questions to position strangers for future interaction. Let’s look at one at a time.

I remember the day like it was yesterday, when I first found myself attracted to a member of the opposite sex. Well, I wasn’t exactly attracted as I was flattered. The whole thing wasn’t my initial idea, but I fell right into step as the story unfolded.

I was approximately ten years old when I experienced my first “crush.” A very interesting phenomenon occurred as soon as I learned that a female thought I was pretty cool. Sweet! I immediately returned the feeling. “If Mary liked me, then I liked Mary.” Read the rest of this entry »

Get Them in the Door

You have heard this said before, but I am about to say it again: “Common sense” isn’t very common.

I was reminded of this again last week while entertaining my good friends from Scotland in south Florida.

I am not sure how long this is going to take, but I can assure you it is worth reading. While waiting for my friends to exit a thrift shop, I found myself needing a “facility” along Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. The proprietor pointed me toward a coffee shop that I was not familiar with. I popped into an empty shop only to hear the phrase, “Our restrooms are for paying customers only.” Since coffee was the root cause of my current situation I opted for Plan “B” and that was to exit the shop – not before making sure the coffee guy noticed my incredulous eye-roll. (FAST FORWARD THREE DAYS.) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

In travel, we are always juggling tasks. A payment needs to be made. Mr. Smith is on the phone and he’s mad. Southwest’s computer system just went down. The toilet is baked up. The cat barfed on your shoe. And you forgot to pick your kid up from soccer practice. Welcome to our world.

Let’s face it, travel planning can be very simple. But more frequently, it is not. And much of the trials and tribulations are out of our control. So, how does an travel pro handle it all? Let me offer a lesson from a juggler. Read the rest of this entry »