You are the Captain of Your Ship! | Travel Research Online


You are the Captain of Your Ship!


As most of you know, I started in the travel business working on cruise ships. First as a diver, then as a purser. I have always been interested in navigation and many evenings after my shift ended, I would wander up to the bridge. Several of the deck officers took me under their wing (I think they were happy to have some company) and taught me how to use the charts (maps), electronics, and other equipment.

Even with today’s modern technology, every ship at sea carries a compass and navigation charts to help the captain and crew find its way to its next port of call. It is comforting to know that if all else fails, these basic things are all you need to reach the next port of call. You may weather a few storms along the way, but if you are constantly correcting and stay on course, they will always lead you to your destination.

If you have ever taken a bridge tour, you have probably seen the computer screens with electronic versions, but there are almost always paper charts laid out on a big table as back up.

Your sales plan is very similar to a navigation chart. Your business is your ship, and as captain a great sales plan will help guide you through the waters ahead. A few of the essentials are:

  • Financial goal – This is your destination. No sales plan is complete without a monetary sales goal. But, in between, you will have intermediate targets such as monthly and quarterly to ensure you are tracking on course to your destination. These are your way points on the map.
  • Prospecting / Marketing These activities are the fuel for your ship and currently probably your largest expense. Without qualified prospects, there are no clients to serve.
  • Sales This provides the commission revenue, the engine that keeps the business moving forward. Contrary to much of what you may have read lately, this is a selling business. If you aren’t selling their cruises, tours, and resorts – suppliers will find another channel that will.
  • Product and Price – Ensure alignment of the products you offer with the people who will buy them, and at a price they consider to be of good value.

Every activity you do in your business should either directly or indirectly fuel the engine of your ship. Plot your course, make corrections as needed, and you will ultimately reach your destination.


Dan Chappelle is the leading authority on sales performance in the travel and tourism industry. His best-selling book “Get Your S.H.I.P. Together – The Wealthy Travel Agent Guide to Sales” is available on Amazon and Audible. To learn more about his High-Performance Sales System and onsite training programs. visit

© 2020 Dan Chappelle / CCI, Inc.

Share your thoughts on “You are the Captain of Your Ship!”

You must be logged in to post a comment.