Monthly Archives: August 2020

You Must Like People

 

Today, I am going to introduce you another sales myth. Bare with me on this one since it may rub you the wrong way at first. You will soon be agreeing with me.

Many people preach that a primary prerequisite to becoming successful in sales is to “like people.” The implication is that you should have the innate capacity and desire to cozy up to just about everybody… or at least everybody with a bankroll in their wallet. I am not a fan of this postulate. Let me explain.

I have traversed the United States many times, worked in eighteen countries on five continents, and observed countless people on airplanes, in post office lines, at restaurants, toll booths, and department stores. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

A recent Travelport survey offered a worldwide insight to traveler’s thoughts for getting back on the roads, rails, and airways in a post COVID-19 world with some surprising statistics.

While we have heard anecdotal evidence that people are ready to travel again, this was the largest survey of travelers that I had seen–5000.  Are you prepared? Is your agency? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Finding your niche

Many travel professionals have told me recently they have decided to work on creating a specialized, niche segment to their travel practice. Indeed, in the time of Covid-19, an opportunity presents itself to remake any number of aspects of your business model. Developing and marketing a niche area of expertise is one of the best possible ways to differentiate your travel practice from the competition. As an expert in a particular theme or destination, you can quickly establish your travel agency as the only reasonable resource to which consumers should turn when considering travel in your niche venue.

The concept of adopting a niche is often misconstrued. Niche marketing is a way of helping you focus on locating new clients, not a set of restrictions on your business offerings. Niche marketing is not necessarily about gearing your entire business to a particular type of travel. It is about segmenting your marketing efforts to focus on particular groups of people, however. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Last week we reported that four cruise lines had COVID-19 outbreaks on board. What we now know is that at least two of the cruise lines did not have COVID-19 outbreaks on board. Seadream and UnCruise both had passengers that tested positive for COVID-19, but after being retested, the tests for both passengers came back negative. Experts suspect that in these types of cases, people may test positive initially but in follow-up tests, they may not have enough virus in their respiratory secretions to trigger a positive test. Read the rest of this entry »

Selling is a Numbers Game

 

“Selling is a numbers game.” You have undoubtedly heard this popular, weather-beaten, career-changing sales advice before. Make the calls, make the presentations, work your way through enough people, and eventually you will make a sale. I’m not saying this is totally false, but raw volume does not necessarily produce success. And, even if it does, it’s the hard way.

Rather than thinking of sales as a game of large numbers, I want you to begin to think of sales as a game of darts. By aiming your effort (the dart) at a clearly defined target (your pre-qualified prospect dart board), your chances for hitting the mark (a sale) are greatly enhanced. Read the rest of this entry »

 

When COVID-19 came down hard and fast in March, it looked like it could be the end for tour operators. Few could look confidently at being able to survive a year or more out of business while the world waited for the development of a vaccine – that may or may not ever happen.

But, gradually, the leading operators are learning how to adapt and move forward in a world where the Coronavirus is likely to be with us for a long time.

One of them is Alexander + Roberts. The Keene, NH-based tour operator is a survivor. With its history dating back to 1947, when it was founded in New York City as General Tours, it has endured countless disasters and problems that crippled the travel industry. Read the rest of this entry »

Be Happening!

 

A few years back, I made it a point to visit my high school to spend a day with the senior class. One of my main messages was a clear recommendation to avoid negative people at all cost. No truer words have ever been spoken: “Misery loves company.” Do not fall into the web of a down-trodden, whining, bummed-out, ‘whoa is me’, ‘life is unfair’, individual. The world has its share of people who prefer to be the victim. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

Booking cruises is easy. If you know where you want to go, and the kinds of ships you like, it’s really hard to go wrong. Similar ships offer the same kinds of experiences for roughly the same prices. Going on a Seabourn cruise to the Med is only slightly different than sailing on Silversea or Regent.

Travel insurance used to be the same. Most policies offered similar protection and the companies reliably paid their claims. COVID-19 changed all that. Witness this review published on Squaremouth for a popular “Platinum” travel insurance policy: Read the rest of this entry »

Stuff Happens

 

Summer thunderstorms have a way of creating havoc. One minute you have juice… then in less than a blink of an eye and without warning, you find yourself without power.

This is another example of how quickly things change… and can change … and will change. One minute you are sailing nicely then, before you can say “come about,” you are sitting high and dry on a sandbar. One minute you have all the business you can handle, and the next your pipeline is drier than an Arizona summer’s day. One minute, life is grand… then your upcoming weekend becomes disrupted with unexpected phone call from a distant relative. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Departures

Greater Zion and Bryce Canyon Country are pleased to announce their new destination partnership with AmericanTours International (ATI).  Explore and enjoy wide-open spaces in two of the most beautiful and popular national parks in the USA. These two parks are a contrast in beauty and are both top-rated by Michelin.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Ideal Sales Strategy

 

The state was New Mexico. The time was a few years back. The place, an automobile dealership.

I was invited to share a few of my ideas and proven selling tactics to a room full of professional salespeople. Their monthly sales goal was to sell 300 cars every month. (Every month.) This simply means that I was not speaking to a room full of amateurs.

What caught my attention was that every person in the room carried a gold coin in their pocket, reminding them that they were the best in the business. Their one-word mission statement was Loyalty. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Taking Control

 

Early this summer, Tripadvisor launched its Reco website and app, designed to match Tripadvisor users with a select list of vetted travel advisors, including hundreds who are part of Signature Travel Network and Internova Group’s Travel Leaders consortia.

The hundreds of millions of consumers who visit Tripadvisor every month can peruse participating advisor profiles, and pay Tripadvisor a $199 planning fee to match them with a “Trip Designer.” ($50 of that fee, “net of fees and taxes,” goes to the advisor. Reco claims no portion of an advisor’s commissions.)

The fee includes unlimited on-platform messaging and phone calls to design a trip, a personalized travel plan, bookings and reservations for accommodations and activities, restaurant recommendations, and ongoing support. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

 

With the Covid-19 pandemic persisting throughout this summer travel season and into the fall, many Americans have decided to social distance while hitting the road to rediscover America’s natural wonders. The road trip has long been an American past time and given the ongoing restrictions from the pandemic, a road trip that traverses America’s iconic wide-open spaces has become an essential experience in 2020 and will continue in 2021. Read the rest of this entry »

How Deep Are Your Roots?

Yesterday I was clearing out a wooded area on my property to provide easier access to my shed. This project called for the removal of a few trees.

As luck would have it, my brother lives near-by and he had access to a piece of equipment that would make light of this potentially dangerous task.

I say dangerous since a chainsaw was used to drop a few large trees. City slickers may not appreciate how easy it is for a loose chain or a teetering limb up high to alter an operator’s life in a millisecond. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

So, how’s business? OK, OK, dumb question. In a normal year, this would be the summer doldrums and the time where I suggest taking some time off to refresh yourself and to begin planning for 2021. But, it seems that 2020 itself has been a doldrum.  But… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Introducing the Travmarket Media Podcast Network

Good morning, travel professionals! Travel Research Online has a bit of special news to share with you about a new project we have been working on for the past few weeks. TRO has partnered with seven podcasters to form the travel industry’s first Podcast Network: Travmarket Media. Each podcast in the network engages with topics important to the travel professional community, providing navigation through the many and varied aspects of the business of travel consulting.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The Rosen Report

Ditch the fam trips? Suggest they quarantine before they go? Travel advisors must find their individual moral truths about travel. As many head to Mexico this month, they are asking the tough questions — and preparing for some shaming they likely will face.

For a Texan, some might say, Chad Shields has been following a moderate path these past few months. The owner of Engage Vacations has been adhering to the required protocols regarding social distancing and wearing masks on his three trips to Mexico — and encouraging his clients to do the same. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

UnCruise Adventures confirmed that the majority of last week’s quarantined guests were cleared and released over the weekend. The original COVID positive guest returned home just a few days later. The company implemented a swift contingency plan and strict quarantine last week upon the news of a positive test onboard. The adventure brand immediately canceled its four subsequent sailings in Alaska for the summer. Revised news now shows all tests received back for guests and crew are negative and there was no transmission onboard. However, the season will not be recovered. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Frequent readers of my Agent’s Perspectives will know of my enthusiasm for creating customised UK tours that “travel less,” so that clients can see a great deal more. With Stratford upon Avon to the north, the Roman/Georgian city of Bath to the south, and access from LHR and London through Oxford to the east; the Cotswolds is home to a number of remarkable castles and cathedrals. This week, I’m taking you on a journey that spans well over 1000 years of turbulent and nation-forming history. When you add Blenheim Palace, the Rothschild’s priceless art collections at Waddesdon Manor, some private gardens, pubs, and tea rooms, there’s a lot to get excited about – and that’s where my knowledge, experience and connections come into play for a customised tour. Enjoy the trip! Read the rest of this entry »