I can’t believe this year is already coming to an end … and what a year it has been for Priceless Cruising! Since I quit my other part-time job in June of 2014, I’ve been able to concentrate my efforts on my cruise business and it has really paid off!
By the end of this year, I will have doubled both my sales for the year as well as my commissions. And the best part is that I have now earned enough in commissions to qualify for a higher commission split for 2016! Read the rest of this entry »
Sometimes, no matter how much we try to help our clients, there are just some things that are completely out of our control.
I had finally convinced a long time friend that she needed to do a cruise. So she and a 30-year friend booked their first cruise with me to Alaska. It was a 10-day ‘end of the season’ cruise that was actually lower in price than some of the 7-day cruises – it was truly a good deal. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ll bet many of you get frustrated because you send important information to clients in detailed emails… only to find it has not been read. This may or may not cause you additional work with their booking, but at the bare minimum can make their trip either more challenging, or they miss something completely because they didn’t read it. Right? Read the rest of this entry »
No doubt, you have a local coffee shop that you absolutely love and that serves better coffee than Starbucks; and I know, friends don’t let friends drink Starbucks. I get it. Starbucks is a mega-chain, an 800-pound gorilla masquerading as a quaint neighborhood establishment. There is a lot of truth in that, except for one thing: Starbucks manages to be both a national chain and yet, at the same time, very local. Read the rest of this entry »
Let’s face it – participating in a trade show is a daunting undertaking. Since I’m still ‘the new kid on the block’ in town, I knew I needed to do this year’s Chamber Expo to let people know I was open for business. I’ve been preparing for months, but since the Expo was just a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to share my experience.
My preparations included revising my business cards and creating a nice banner featuring my logo and an Alaskan glacier photo from my last trip to hang high from the pipe and drape, which drew peoples’ attention. Read the rest of this entry »
I recently returned from a FAM trip on the beautiful Oceania Regatta, a 10-day Alaska cruise from San Francisco to Vancouver.
This was not my first FAM trip and I will be on another one in August, which will be an Alaska cruisetour with Holland America – since I sell so many Alaska cruisetours, I feel it is important for me to have my own cruisetour experience. We are booked in the Lanai category – I want to know for myself what those cabins are really like.
Since this was my first time to sail on Oceania, quite honestly, I expected Read the rest of this entry »
A friend of mine is in charge of a group of 350 folks that are coming into town next week to tour the area. She asked if I would like to put a flyer about Priceless Cruising in the “goodie bags” they will be handing out. Of course – I’d be foolish not to!
So the past few days have been spent creating that flyer. My marketing guru taught me that when you create an ad, first identify the problem and then show how your business is the solution … in other words, “why” they need you. Read the rest of this entry »
Hi everyone! Hope your WAVE season has been productive! This month I’m addressing the importance of ‘character.’ I’m currently in the middle of two situations where my strength of character and reputation are on the line.
The first is a situation involves a family member, who erroneously thinks I have betrayed her. It sickens me to think that she even thinks I would have done this, but she’s so upset right now that she’s unable to listen to reason. Read the rest of this entry »
Hi everyone! I’m Susan, but everyone calls me Smitty; and I am an independent contractor with Priceless Cruising. I specialize in ocean and river cruises and have been in business since 2006, having earned my ACC with CLIA in 2013. So…a little about me and how I fit into the travel industry!
I love to cruise and more importantly, to send people on cruises. On our first cruise in 1991, our agent never really ‘prepared’ us. She just said it would be wonderful and we would have a great time. We did, but on the last day when they told us to put our luggage out in the hall at night, I had no idea that was part of standard cruise routine. Lesson learned. Read the rest of this entry »
Your clients are afraid of paying too much for their vacation. The internet has turned us into a nation of cynics: we know the price of everything but the value of nothing. As a travel counselor, it is important for you to shift your clients to a focus on value rather than an obsession with price. By applying some of the principles of inspiration that we have been discussing this week, you can assist your clients to better understand the value of their vacation travel and how in every well planned instance it is worth far more than the price paid.
The conversion from price to value can only be made in a relationship built on confidence and trust, the same values to which you aspire in your practice. A skilled travel counselor will ask questions about the upcoming trip: how the destination was chosen, who will be traveling, what the goals of the trip might be, what type and quality of accommodations are desired. Leave the concept of price and budget Read the rest of this entry »
The matter of pricing drives everyone, travel consultant and consumer alike, a bit crazy. Low lead-in pricing, quotes in ads sans taxes and fees, the obsessive fixation on saving a few dollars at the expense of real value – is there any single issue that is more vexing or damaging to the industry’s credibility? Often, travel consultants begin their presentations with something that approaches an apology for the costs involved and so move right to the “least expensive” option. This is too often done not out of a genuine assessment of the client’s needs, but out of a fear of a higher priced alternative being rejected. Because clients will so often insist on hearing the “bottom line” first, travel agents often feel anxious about the issue of price.
Yet, there is a better way, more fair to your client and more productive in terms of the sales process. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the most important aspects of being a travel consultant is the task of uncovering value – just the right trip for a particular client. It is here that a good travel agent shines – product knowledge and customer understanding are brought together in an intelligent strategy to achieve the best possible value. The concept of value is much more rich Read the rest of this entry »
Clients will try to drive to the bottom line every time…”What does it cost?” The savvy travel consultant will steer the client in another direction, pointing to value as the more important consideration. Price is a component of value, but too many treat it as the centerpiece.
It is always possible to get something “cheaper”, but what will be given up in Read the rest of this entry »