Monthly Archives: June 2020

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know


Not unlike every day, I found my mind doing mental gymnastics this morning. Between sips of black coffee and my usual morning aches and pains, I was trying to remember a specific quote to hook today’s message to.

I was thinking how many travel professionals actually know what they are doing when it comes to sales? How many have a plan? How many have a system?

At the risk of butchering the message, the quote I was looking for went something like this: Read the rest of this entry »

Today Is Monday. How Do You Feel?


Very few people fail to equate the letters TGIF with a celebratory feeling of delight and euphoria. After all, aren’t Friday’s known the world-over as the end of another work week and reason enough to let loose, to revel in the thought of two days to “live-it-up” or “turn-it-down.”

Years ago, I spotted the folly in this line of thinking. Friday is just a single event in a seven-day sequence of time, segmented into 24-hour periods that pass as the sun rises and sets. In truth, it is nothing more than smoke and mirrors attempting to have us all believe that we have all the time in the world to sculpt a worthwhile existence. TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Friday) is an ear-torn slogan for losers.

The proper sequence of letters should read TGIT… Thank Goodness It’s Today. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner


I love airports, and I miss them. I’m serious.   I still have a kid-like fascination with the very concept of an airport.  The moving walkways, the arrival and departure boards, airplanes taking off outside of the windows. You walk through a door in Seattle and you walk out a door in Bangkok.

And still there are people who don’t believe in magic.

Calendars are a lot like airports.  You walk through one portal at the end of the year into a new adventure in the next. This year is far from over, but there is a bit of a time warp in our way, a wormhole that seems destined to land us in 2021.  So as you plan to hop off of Flight 2020 and saunter over to Flight 2021, it may be a worthwhile exercise to think through a few tips to ensure a great trip. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

We, and by that I mean the travel industry took a shot to the gut with the COVID-19 pandemic and coming out of it is going to be rough–let’s not kid one another. But we are going to come out of it and it will be different to be sure.   Here is some food for thought! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

What Is Happening In The World Of Cruising?


We are often asked, “When will cruising return?” The short answer is that it already has. However, just because cruising has returned does not mean that everyone is ready to get back on a ship.

Most of us are still staying home, many of us haven’t seen friends in months, numbers of us are avoiding restaurants and retail stores. But for others of us, the virus seems like much less of a threat than it did before. People are returning to work, going out to bars and restaurants, and living their lives as similarly to the way that they did before the pandemic as possible. Read the rest of this entry »

Target Your Prospects


In sports, a common recommendation is to “keep your eye on the ball.” I suppose this is just another way to remind the competitor to “focus.”

One certainly does not simply step into the batter’s box and begin swinging the bat at random. Quite the contrary. He/she steps in and makes it a point to position their feet comfortably and exactly the designated distance from the inner edge of the plate. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives


Last Tuesday, our UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that from 4th July, the self-distancing figure shrinks from 6 feet to 3 feet which will enable hotels, pubs, restaurants, and many attractions to reopen. This is the biggest leap to near normality since the lockdown started on 23rd March.

Responding to this encouraging news, I’ve focused on the month of June and have chosen four annual events which you can use as the foundation for a 2021 customised UK tour for 2-3 clients, or even a small group of 10-12.

The first one features the Dickens Festival in the cathedral of Rochester with the second centred on the Jane Austen Regency Week in the Hampshire villages of Chawton and Alton, where she spent much of her life. June is also a good month for an On-Location Doc Martin/Poldark tour to Devon and Cornwall. Read the rest of this entry »

Listen More… Talk Less


To be successful in salesmanship, years ago, it might have been a required personality trait to have “the gift of gab.” Thinking fast on one’s feet and countering any and all objectives was a pre-requisite for closing more deals.

Sales Managers would give candidates tests to determine whether they were extroverts. Those were the days of stealthy expense accounts, memberships in exclusive golf clubs, client gifts and high-end dinner invitations.

Those might have been the days, but those definitely “were” the days. Today’s consummate sales professional plays by an entirely different set of rules if a win-win relationship has any place in your future. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips

The Gift of Clarity


Tor Hagen, founder and Chairman of Viking Cruises, once said, “We are focused clearly on what we are and the number of things we are not.”

If you ever wondered why Viking is so successful, I think this statement sums it up nicely. Clarity will help you to stand out among the plethora of available booking options. Ask yourself, “What do I really want to be known for?”

This is powerful and more important than ever. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

Which Ships Will Be The First to Cruise? (Part 1)

In an interview with Cruise Critic, Carnival Corporation CEO Arnie Donald said, “It’s too soon to tell when ships will return to service. If we let the science community and the medical community do their thing in the coming weeks, there’ll be more alignment around what the most effective protocols are to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Here’s my take, that’s based on what we already know. Read the rest of this entry »

First vs Last Impressions


“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” This advice may be accurate and a valid motto to consider, but it does not paint the entire picture.

It is true that the instant we lay our eyes on someone, or something, our minds immediately make a judgment call and file that observation into a particular file. As unfair as it may sound, oftentimes we decide if we actually “like” the person or not based on this initial sighting. Read the rest of this entry »

Protect Your A-List


When I first began promoting sales and marketing seminars back in the late 80’s, I remember one element of my programs featured “Client Retention.” The statement that caught the attention of most participants was when I boldly stated that “all customers were not the same, and you did not have to treat them all the same.”

I went on to recommend that an exercise in differentiation was always time well spent. Here is how that works.

Make a list of ALL your current customers/clients. Then carefully segment your list into three categories. The titles of these categories are left up to you. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

Egypt has always been a draw for travelers. The monuments of ancient civilizations stand as rugged reminders of empires and cultures passed. These grand palaces, temples, and tombs are tremendous feats of engineering – milestones in the history of the world. Which brings us to Luxor. The Luxor Temple and Karnak are sites to behold, to wander about in awe of its hieroglyph-covered walls and columns… a magnificent museum open to the elements.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Calendar This

That sound you hear is time passing and it is making us all a bit anxious. Whatever has happened during the  year,  we can make what is left of 2020 more productive and move into 2021 with some force by gearing up a business plan. But never has the challenge been so great as we are all now operating in totally unfamiliar territory. The contradictory information, the tremendous social change occurring and the lack of certainty make planning more like a tarot card reading than a business exercise.  Nevertheless, those of us serious about our industry must persist.

I still find some solace in a calendar.  The seasons, the holidays, the rites of passage are all still right there. An important part of every business plan, and a good start at generating the appropriate mindset,  is a marketing calendar. Too few travel consultants incorporate the use of a marketing calendar in their practice. Yet, without a marketing calendar, many opportunities for strong marketing efforts slip by either unnoticed or weakly implemented. This year those efforts may be more important than ever. We need to make ourselves heard, to ensure clients know the lights are still on. Read the rest of this entry »


For those of you who speak Italian, you know exactly what I am saying today. ‘The car goes where your eyes go’ is the English translation as far as I know. This was a quote taken from the book The Art of Racing in The Rain. (A very good book as seen from the eyes of a dog.)

Today’s message focuses on your eyes. I can’t think of a more interesting topic when it comes to communication, confidence, relationships and personal positioning. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

I’m guilty!  Every now and then I look at my life and realize that I am very well connected.  Not so much in a networking manner, but in a gadget and technology way!  Every day I  turn to emails, social media, and chat messengers for daily communications. Often I seem to prefer that to any face-to-face (or voice-to voice) method of communication. Might you be as connected as I am? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

When will AmaWaterways resume cruising? Late August hopefully. Check out our Happy Hour with AmaWaterways’ Executive Vice President and Co-Founder Kristin Karst, along with Leo Starico and Wade Korzan, who head AmaWaterways’ Basel office, and Madalina Caldaruse, a cruise manager who has sailed on many Ama voyages. Hear how Ama is preparing to return to cruising, as well as what we can look forward to for 2021 and 2022. Read the rest of this entry »

Read Daily


You are probably asking yourself what kind of sales tip is “Read Daily?” The answer is this: It is a great tip and one worth a lot more than just two words.

If a truck was barreling down on you and you were not looking, and I yelled, “LOOK OUT!” How valuable were those two words to your future? I would like to think very valuable. Just two words but they carry a significant amount of advice. Read the rest of this entry »

Listening vs. Hearing


I suppose it is a matter of semantics as for which of these two terms holds more water. Let’s see if I can make sense of this reminder today.

The fact that you “heard a noise” does not imply that you understand from whence it came. (Whence?) It simply means that a particular sound was transmitted, and your ears picked up a change in frequency.

When you find yourself “listening to the noise” your brain switches on and you do your best to interpret all of the nuances associated with it. Therefore Read the rest of this entry »