Monthly Archives: October 2021

Posted In: Preview

How a Social Media Breakdown Made Me a Better Marketer

Shakedown!
Breakdown!
Takedown!

Remember that old song by Bob Seger from 1987?

When Facebook broke down recently, that’s the song that came into my head. It started playing louder when Frances Haugen testified before Congress!

Facebook has become a huge part of our work and personal lives. Yet, I wonder how many of us thought about the old adage about not putting all our eggs into one basket when this breakdown happened? Or the adage that one shouldn’t build their house on rented land?

Really? What are we as travel industry pros supposed to do… market by carrier pigeon? Pony Express? How about using a town crier?

These days, none of those are viable options; however, we may want pay attention to those old adages as breakdowns and takedowns may become more frequent in the future. Read the rest of this entry »

As sales and marketing advice goes, this may very well be up there with the best of it. I was reminded of this natural phenomenon this week, and I could not find my way to my computer keyboard fast enough to share it with whoever is out there listening. This is a BIGGIE. Tune in.

I ended a recent Zoom Meeting with what I consider to be some sage advice. To me, what I am about to suggest is both logical and extraordinarily simple. It is effective and incredibly apropos. It does not cost a red cent and the results are extremely powerful.

The truth is, however, that nobody can do what I am about to suggest without feeling uncomfortable to some degree. This last sentence, in and of itself, may explain why there are not more successful travel-related sales professionals in the United States today.

I challenged my audience on this particular day to pick up their telephones as soon as our meeting was over, and call a prospect, customer, or the first person who comes to mind to simply thank them for something. I reminded them not to get cute, fancy or eloquent. I urged them to Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

I am going out on a limb here and say that your sales are down. Coming out of a pandemic, we are going to need every sale we can get to re-build our travel practices. Over the past 20 months, we (society in general) seem to have forgotten how to behave and interact with other humans. That will need to change. When it comes to sales and in particular selling travel, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels, and we need our “A-Game” to thrive once again. Complacency has a way of seeping into our world—I know it does mine; so here’s a refresher on three key focus areas for future success! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Sizing Up Your Competition

Here’s the bad news: you have more competition than you think.  Here’s the good news – you  can effectively compete. In fact, competition keeps us sharp and aware of the environment in which we operate.  Keep in mind that carrying the proper attitude about your competition is important.  Properly trained, your clients will adopt many aspects of your own attitude about travel and other distribution channels.  If your attitude is positive and healthy, chance are your clients’ will be as well.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The Rosen Report

You wouldn’t think that writing about luxury travel has much in common with selling luxury travel, but in fact it really does.

At least that’s my takeaway from an interesting and different kind of panel at the Global Travel Collection’s Elevate virtual conference last week—where, in addition to the usual roster of company executives and top suppliers, a panel of travel journalists talked about emerging trends in luxury travel. Like travel advisors, many of the journalists noted that the best way to cover travel—and to promote it—is to travel yourself, and to explain the details that go into a trip in the time of covid step by step.

Town & Country editor in chief Stellene Volandes noted that in her recent travels, the last day or two of every trip was consumed by conversations about passing the required tests to return home. Feeling carefree is such a big part of luxury, she said, but even when you revel in the experience of travel these days there’s a cloud of concern that “disrupts the cocoon that envelops luxury travelers. The moment a bit of chaos enters, you feel unsafe and it rattles people.”

For travel advisors, then, the key is to make the luxury travel experience “even smoother than ever. I want to feel like if I am stranded in an igloo someplace, like I can call an expert who can help me Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

“I listen to my body, and my body says no to the vaccine.” I was standing at Amsterdam’s Rembrandt Square, dipping fries into a dab of mayonnaise (patat met) when a fellow standing next to me said, “Eet smakelijk,” which I understood to mean enjoy the fries. I thanked him and said that I hoped he enjoyed the apple that he was gnawing on. Thank you, he replied in English, before adding: “I’ve just finished a march and cannot find my car. Luckily, I know people here and someone is coming to help me.”

I learned that he was from Arnhem, about 90 minutes away, and that he had come to the Dutch capital to protest against the vaccines and the QR codes that restaurants and bars now require patrons to show before entering. The QR codes demonstrate proof of vaccination.

“It’s not fair,” he said. “I have grandchildren. I don’t want them to be vaccinated until we know the long-term effects of the vaccines.” He feels shackled by the QR codes, living in a stratified society where there are those who can now enjoy pre-pandemic life in the Netherlands, going to restaurants and bars, for example, and those who cannot. No QR code, no entry into the pre-Covid world.

For the American visitor, however, all of Amsterdam seems to exist in a carefree world with little regard for Covid transmission. Though I had only been in Amsterdam for the afternoon, having arrived from Atlanta, what I observed was an ocean of differences in our responses to Covid-19. Read the rest of this entry »

As I write this, my phone is sitting on the table near me, silently beckoning. It has a giant arsenal of ways to lure me, a thousand tentacles that hook into my subconscious and tug at my attention, poke at me, tear down my concentration. There are so many important reasons to pick it up: that email I’m waiting for, the weather forecast—will I need a jacket? How’s my bank balance holding up? Maybe better take a quick look at the news, to be prepared in case of another war or the next disaster. Almost any fact I want will be mine within a few clicks on Google.

Once I pick it up, it’s all too easy to yield to the temptation to take a quick look at Facebook, and then Instagram. And in what seems like a blink, half an hour has disappeared, sucked into the screen. More likely than not, I have nothing to show for that half hour except maybe a residue of rage incited by whatever Facebook selected to feed my brain today. That’s how it’s engineered, to keep me on as long as possible so I will be exposed to more ads. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Spotlight

Bryce Canyon National Park

The national parks of the western United States are wondrous sights that have been part of America’s charm since before President Woodrow Wilson created the National Park Service in 1916. Many of these parks, particularly those in the southwest, seem like a surreal and alien landscape to be held in awe. Eroded by time, they stand as monolithic reminders of the Earth’s vast history. The ways in which the traveler can enjoy these parks Read the rest of this entry »

Persistence Pays Dividends

 

Although there may not be any “do-overs” or mulligans in business these days,
there is certainly time and rationale for “Do-Agains.” Let me explain.

I recently sent out a blast email promoting one of my books. In this case, I was featuring my 52-Week Sales Planner. What better time to start planning for a brighter future than right now?

I wrote a sales letter and hit the button which sent my words out to internet land. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

What Are You Worth?

Let me ask a question for your consideration: What Are You Worth?

Let me provide the answer for you: “It depends.”

The reason you have to give a less than precise answer regarding this question is simple: the value of any product or service is not entirely inherent in the product or service by itself. You cannot answer the question without asking about the context.

For example, consider a six night Western Caribbean cruise on Disney Cruise Line in March, inside cabin, for $1,296. Is that a good deal?  What if you upgrade me to a balcony cabin for free?  That cabin on the same cruise is listed for $2,490. Is it a good “deal” now?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Hey, did you see that viral meme that went around Facebook, What’s App, and Instagram last Monday afternoon?  Of course, you didn’t because Facebook, What’s App, and Instagram all were down for the day. Oh yeah, and Messenger as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Building a Travel Business Is Easy

I do not see what all the fuss is all about. Who said that building a business had to be difficult? Certainly not me. Like everything worth pursuing, it is the fundamentals along with the basics that will get you to where you are trying to go.

In an attempt to simplify your journey, I’ve outlined five steps that will have you feeling like a pro in very short order. The work stems from the concept of “consistency,” and not from tedious and laborious “work.”

Let’s break this thing down to its component parts.

First, identify a market consisting of people who want what you have/do Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

It is a horrible feeling, your Google alert hits your inbox and there it is, the dreaded one-star review from a client.  Like it or not, reviews are here and not going anywhere anytime soon. Ignore them at your peril. But since you cannot do much about them, why not use them to your advantage. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Craft

The word “craft” is a wonderful word. Both a noun and a verb, “craft” denotes expertise, intelligence, intuition and skill. A craft is more than a hobby, more than a pastime. When you craft an answer, you work it, paying attention to details, to the magic that is in the turns and twists in the subtleties of language and insight. A craftsman is devoted to a chosen trade and practitioners of a craft are both learned and wise in application of their practice. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The Rosen Report

Half the cruise ships are sailing, carrying half the passengers they once did. At each port, they are beset by differing and ever-changing protocols, negotiating life-and-death decisions with new players with whom they do not have the usual long-term relationships.

And yet, guest satisfaction is off the charts. The new-to-cruise customers that many expected to be frightened off are instead showing up. New ships and new partnerships, new terminals and new ports are on the horizon—and they promise to share the wealth with local communities and to promote a healthier environment for all.

“We built this industry over more than five decades; we deliver a phenomenal experience that our customers love, and the Caribbean is an unbelievably popular destination for our core markets,” said Royal Caribbean International president and CEO Michael Bayley at the Caribbean Spotlight: A Focus on the Future breakout session. “We need to just stay focused and trust each other and, in another year or so, we’ll be looking back trying not to remember any of this.”

In short, this week’s Seatrade Global conference was unlike any other Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Last week, I told you that I was preparing for my first trip to Europe since October of 2019. I promised to answer your questions about how I was gearing up for this trip, which is on Crystal Debussy, cruising the Rhine and Moselle rivers. Many of you wanted to know about Covid protocols and the like, but the majority of you were most interested in two things:

  • How I got business class air for $600 each way on Air France,
  • How I snagged a deal at the Waldorf-Astoria Amsterdam (paying the equivalent of a stay at a Hampton Inn).

Britton and I will address all of your questions about Covid protocols and what it’s like to cruise these days in our upcoming webinar on October 20. Please be sure to register for Our Experiences On Four Different Ships.

For now, though, let’s get right to the burning questions on our readers’ minds. Read the rest of this entry »