Monthly Archives: January 2020

Posted In: Deck Plans

Travelers seeking summer vacations along Europe’s rivers can now book a Crystal river cruise for a $500 reduced initial deposit. The line announced a new reduced deposit for more than 50 voyages across its all-suite, all-balcony sister ships – Crystal Bach, Crystal Debussy, Crystal Mahler and Crystal Ravel – which, combined with Crystal’s Book Now Savings, present compelling savings. Read the rest of this entry »

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I recently spotted a headline that read, “Young entrepreneur has business bean for marketing coffee.”

The article was about a ten-year-old boy named Stephen who was running a three-person business from his front lawn while learning about the rudiments of turning a buck. Little does he know that what he is learning today will serve him well for the next 50+ years.

Says the young man: “It takes a lot of hard work to show up every morning.” There are literally thousands of adults today who were apparently sick on the day this lesson was taught. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

As 2020 is the ‘Year of The Bookworm’, with 17 conversation-starting itineraries on my website, here’s a list of potential sources where your literary contacts may already be customers. Chapters of the American Library Association looking for literary/on location fundraisers; general and specialist bookstores and antiquarian book dealers; teachers and lecturers in English literature at schools, colleges, universities and continuing education colleges; Murder Mystery Book clubs/stores; Reading Circles; Fans of Masterpiece Theatre; North American Dickens Festivals looking for a UK Dickens Festival tour in the spring. These ideas are available for couples, 4 friends travelling together, families and small groups. Read the rest of this entry »

Every book on sales from the early 1800’s to today takes a few paragraphs to remind those in the sales profession that a great deal of rejection comes with the territory. Not me. I don’t buy it.

But if you insist on interpreting less-than-positive events as a rejection, then be my guest. But, please, understand that this is an exercise in futility.

If you place any credibility in my writings, observations and personal experiences please absorb the following advice: Taking rejection personally is an enormous waste of time. Sales comes with a whole bunch of “No’s” attached to this profession. These responses usually have nothing to do with you. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Departures

There are magical places in the world, each with their own atmosphere and allure. But few of them compare to the shores of the eastern Mediterranean. From the aquamarine waters stretching out as far as the eye can see to the lively and accommodating locals, these shores have been memorialized in the minds of travelers for ages.

Read the rest of this entry »

Not Taking Pride In Your Job Is a Common Mistake

What you do for a living is important. It affects more people than you will ever know. If you haven’t already done so, it is about time to adopt the following mantra: “I am in position to make a difference in people’s lives.”

Maybe your immediate supervisors or family members are too busy with their own problems that they fail to reinforce the importance of your contributions. Amateurs can easily get bent out of shape when this happens. True professionals however, know the importance of his or her contributions Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

In the closing scene of the 1924 film Epic of Everest, a blood-red sunset sinks below the horizon of the Himalayans in Tibet. Photographer Captain John Noel captured the brutal conditions and desolation of the landscape, as well as the humanity and courage of the Tibetan people. Epic of Everest is one of the earliest visual recordings of life in Tibet. As well as documenting their lives, the film also framed the assault on Mount Everest by the British in the 1920’s by George Mallory as an act of imperial conquest. This is shown most clearly when, despite the climbing teams’ admiration for the hardiness of the Tibetans, they announce with clear relief “All whites are safe!” during an avalanche. The accident claimed the lives of seven of their porters. Epic of Everest is one of many examples of the fraught and complicated relationship between the wealthy climbers who hire them and the native Sherpas of Everest. Read the rest of this entry »

Eric is the owner of The Bar-B-Q Shop here in Memphis. His restaurant was voted #1 ribs in America on the list of the Food Network’s “Top Five Restaurants”. That’s quite an achievement considering Memphis is just one city with no shortage of lip-smacking, succulently smoked pork, brisket and chicken restaurants.

It’s fair to say that Eric has got a secret sauce. His web site reveals, “The unique taste of The Bar-B-Q Shop’s gourmet award-winning sauces has always been something that has set The Bar-B-Q Shop off from other barbeque restaurants.”

Having met him, I will reveal something else; the award-winning sauce is just one of his secrets. Read the rest of this entry »

As bizarre as it sounds, a “me against you” mentality is a common practice among salespeople. I personally believe this is an example of a misdirected competitive spirit that pits the salesperson against the prospect. It implies that when push comes to shove there will be a winner and a loser. Sales should not (and does not) happen this way.

In today’s world where instant gratification seems to be the accepted way of life, prospects and potential new clients have numerous options when it comes to buying anything. Read the rest of this entry »

No truer words have ever been spoken than the short phrase, “Talk is cheap.” There is not a business, still in business today, that does not profess that they provide superior customer service. I often have to remind these very same businesses that “it isn’t wise to bite the hand that feeds you,” and that “customers are your only source of revenue.” The truth is that nobody seems to be paying attention to me, or these cogent reminders. Service today, if I may candy-coat it, stinks and there are no signs that it is going to get any better.

Let’s look at this “service” thing from a slightly different angle. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

I recently heard that the average worker in the US receives more than 100 emails in a single day. Let’s expand that. 700 a week. 36,400 per year!  And I might venture to say with all the promotional emails we receive from preferred suppliers, trade associations, and trade publications, we are closer to 200 per day.  How do you handle it all? If you are like me, not as well as you should. I was at a networking event a few weeks ago talking about this. Here are my 7 takeaways! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Planning a 2020 Perspective

To change ourselves effectively, we first must change our perceptions.” ~ Stephen R. Covey

The beginning of a year inherently is a time of transition, a good time to assay our perspective.  Each of us has just spent another year in our business and personal lives moving forward, back, laterally and standing still in turn. Hopefully we have progressed a bit on whatever journey  we earlier set ourselves and feel as though our time has been well invested. Inevitably, however, we have our regrets, things we now want to do differently, take more chances or perhaps fewer depending on circumstance.  Read the rest of this entry »

Over the years I have witnessed many travel professionals exhibit an attitude of superiority. They talk and act in somewhat of a demeaning fashion. They fail to remember that their prospects also have access to the Internet and know how to Google.

I suppose acting like this can soften the blow when rejection enters the picture. After all, the guy who just turned down your supremely researched and thought-out itinerary must be a dummy, right? But all this does is insure rejection.

Most people are smarter than you give them credit for. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Last week I flew from Greensboro, North Carolina, to Los Angeles, California, for the naming of Viking’s newest ocean ship, Viking Jupiter. The event consisted of the naming of Viking Jupiter as well as dinner. The ship’s godmother, Sissel Kyrkjebø, was at the event and performed for us after dinner. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Departures

Tuscan Tours and Sights

You know it from movie after movie; wine, passionate people, vibrant cities, and rolling countrysides. Its romantic atmosphere is unparalleled, while the traditional architecture seems to invite the traveler to stay—enjoy the warmth of home. This is Tuscany, Italy; and there is no question as to if one should visit here, only how. That’s why Blue-Roads Touring is in the business of showing the traveler how traveling the back roads and untold sites of Italy is done right.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

Do you get as many video views as you think you deserve?

Are you earning as many clicks to your website as you’d like?

If you’ve answered NO to the above… Have you thought about giving up on social ads because you don’t think they work?

Well, don’t give up!

Just test and tweak your next campaigns! If that sounds confusing, here’s some simple steps you can take to learn more about what appeals to your ‘perfect’ client; and, then tweak your ads so they work better for you and bring greater success. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips

According to a recent LinkedIn survey, those who worked with a business coach or adviser earned on average of 7x more than those who tackled it on their own. This makes sense and why even athletes at the top of their game employ coaches to help find that extra edge.

Can you benefit from a coach or adviser? The answer is probably ‘yes’.

I am a huge fan of business coaching. Over the years, I have personally employed a half-dozen and had several more provided corporately. However, I got much more from those I personally hired – because I had skin in the game. Read the rest of this entry »

Your Competitive Spirit Is Not Ready For Prime Time

I bet that if we were to play tennis and, just short of taking your first serve, I declared you the winner, you would feel somewhat less than fulfilled. Likewise, if we were going to play golf and I declared you the winner on the practice putting green, I don’t think you would cherish the victory.

Then I ask you: Why do so many salespeople want to accept victory before having the chance to earn it? Competition is what makes the game, (any game) worth playing. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

The Blue-Roads Lead to Japan, and Beyond

Blue-Roads Touring Co. (formerly Back-Roads Touring Co.) has been in the business of showing the traveler what it means to experience the world off the beaten path. Their philosophy is one of meeting the locals and tasting the traditional cuisine. This leads to a personal exploration of the beauty that each culture and location has to offer, a discovery of far more than your typical landmarks.

Blue-Roads accomplishes this unique method through a few ways. The first is that they don’t squeeze as many people as possible into the tours. Their tours max out at 18 passengers, giving the traveler a more intimate experience. Read the rest of this entry »