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Mick Jagger, Paul Simon and Mike Marchev

When the Rolling Stones sang “Time Is On Your Side” they were not talking to you or me. When Simon & Garfunkel suggested that we “kick on down the cobblestones while feeling groovy,” they obviously were not aware of the 24/7 thing soon to be coming into vogue.

Well, if nothing else, I believe I piqued your interest in wondering where Marchev is going to take this one.

I am certain that you can all benefit from today’s message. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

Interview with Mike Marchev, Author and Speaker

 

mikemarchev

Mike Marchev entered the travel industry in 1984 and has been sharing his sales, marketing and business development strategies with proactive travel professionals ever since.

Author of “Become the Exception,” the “More-On” business series, the “Travel Agent Success” series, the Mike & Nolan Show and now the “Sales Kit in a Box” programs, Mike is a frequent speaker at industry events. He makes a point to mix both content and entertainment in his down-to-earth, logical, believable and doable training sessions.

Mike writes regularly for TRO and The Travel Institute and has appeared in Travel Weekly and Agent @ Home Magazine on numerous occasions.

Mike has spoken to audiences in 18 countries and in over 75% of the United States. He has earned a marketing graduate degree and has taught sales and marketing classes at the university graduate school level. His latest focus is to help travel professionals sell and promote River Cruises while they represent the hottest trend in the industry. He is collaborating with AmaWaterways to help travel professionals take full advantage of River Cruising; find out more at http://www.mikemarchev.com/rivercruising.

Travel Research Online: What is the earliest experience in travel you can recall?

Mike Marchev: My dad was a true, dye-in-the-wool salesman who often took me on business trips. When air travel was involved I remember the plane was called an Eastern Airline Electra. That should position me with your readers as a “fossil.” (LOL) In addition to making his sales calls, he always found time to check out the local sights. We had fun traveling together. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

An Interview with Mike Marchev

 

PictureMike Marchev, MBA, CTC has been sharing his upbeat, down-to-earth, entertaining and motivational business-building programs with travel professionals since 1984. Customer Service is his “pet” topic. Mike is a frequent contributor to a number of recognized travel publications as
well as the author of Become The Exception, The 52-Week Sales Planner and “More-On” Marketing.

TRO: What are travel agents doing right today?

MM: This is a hard question to answer in that I am not privy to what they are all up to. I’ll answer from a different angle.

If a travel agent has targeted a specific market and identified their “niche” based on their strengths, experiences and positive track record, and they are (1) practicing emotional intelligence to the degree that they are adhering to the Rule of Seven without excuse or exception, and (2) actively seeking new and creative ways to blow their customers away with unexpected service, Read the rest of this entry »

Remembering The Rule of 7

I recently got home after speaking at a conference in Orlando, after months of inactivity. It felt good to get up in front of a group of eager professionals and share my personal experiences with a bit of panache. (Flamboyant confidence of style or manner.)

Regardless of how hard I try, I still find myself resorting back on the tried-and-true strategies and tactics that work year-in and year-out. As most people are drawn to the latest flavor of the week, or lured toward the latest magic formula, I know after over 35 years in the business that it is the basics and fundamentals that will make your business work.

One of the formulas I have been touting over the years still hold water today Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving—well, except the Brits amongst us, I know you are all still a little sore on that subject. But on a more serious note, I do hope that you took the initiative to touch base with your prospects and clients. The holidays (and many others) are perfect times to touch base and (as Mike Marchev says) remind them that you are alive.

I have mentioned before to take advantage of the obvious holiday to touch base as well as some offbeat ones.  And I also suggest to never sell. These are designed for building the goodwill of your business—period. Hard stop. Read the rest of this entry »

The Sunday Driver

I recently read a post from Seth Godin which got me thinking. (His words usually do.)

He referenced the early automobile and how roads were built to provide a path for leisurely drives out into the country. Families would take a ride on a Sunday to enjoy the scenery and perhaps stop along the way for a picnic. Hence, the concept known referred to as the Sunday driver.

You can picture pops behind the wheel, with mom and her bonnet secured tightly around her neck bouncing along a dirt road with no particular destination in mind. To me, that conjures up a delightfully civilized picture in Read the rest of this entry »

I Remember When I Said, “I was wrong.”

I remember thinking that things would be different once I reached my age. I believed things would be easier. I thought the hard part would be yesterday’s news. Wrong again Mike-O.

This has been proven not to be the case. But, if you stop to think about it, life would be pretty boring if we all had it together before the boys headed for the showers and the “fat lady” sang.

Marketing is simply why some things work, and why things don’t work Read the rest of this entry »

There are a few phrases I hear myself saying more often these days. One of which brings me back to my early years, when I spent summers on my grandmother’s farm. “Make hay while the sun shines,” reminded us that when you made a living which depended heavily on the uncertainty of the weather, it was in your best interest to take advantage of favorable conditions while they presented themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

Take More Shots!

A former National Hockey League All-Star, Wayne Gretzky has been given credit for the phrase, “You miss 100% of the shot’s you don’t take.” This reminder, in and of itself, is quite logical. But if these nine words are not obvious enough, there are more ways to drive home this valuable message.

  1. Using golf as the source: “Never up. Never In.” All putts fail if they do not reach the hole.
  2. Sales: If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
  3. Tom Peters: “In order to strike oil you have to dig a hole.”

There are more examples, but I think you are getting the gist of today’s memo.

Just last week Read the rest of this entry »

Repetition Is Often the “Key”

Practicing, repeating, editing and tweaking all play a major role when trying to perfect any singular skill, activity, challenge or assignment. It takes time, patience and, often times, many attempts before we begin to imbue the necessary steps into our “muscle memory.”

With this in the forefront of today’s message, I have elected to repeat a message I have shared before in hope that this time the lesson will take root and, as a result, you will benefit from my unsolicited advice.

Here is the first marketing mistake many travel professionals make from my list of fifteen. 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 »

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 »

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 »

First Things First

This week I am going to remind you of the well-known phrase, “What goes around, comes around.” Maybe it would be more accurate if I said, “What was old is new again.”

What I am trying to say is that you do not always have to come up with something new to (1) capture attention, (2) become more effective, or (3) to deliver a message worth delivering.

Today, I have decided to turn back the clock and repeat one of my messages from 2015. Here goes:

Regardless of the length, girth or the simplicity (or intricacy) of your business plan, your persistent adherence to the basics is essential if you want to continue to build a business you can be proud of. Read the rest of this entry »

Allow The Sales Process To Unfold

I once attended a Home Trade Show and was introduced to a number of entrepreneurs in booths manned by good, hard-working individuals trying to make a living.

Some booth sitters came on stronger than others. Some caught my attention as I passed by. Others actually repelled me away from their booth.

“What was the difference?”, I asked myself as I sauntered down each aisle.

I think you have to refer to it as “chemistry,” or could it be “packaging.” I don’t know how else to explain it—except maybe for the obvious. I recognized the fact that the products I had an interest in had a better chance of capturing my attention.

This brings me to a truth I have always tried to share Read the rest of this entry »

Beware of What You Read

“All Indications Point Toward a Banner Year For Travel Professionals According to James T. Bigelow”

How do you feel after reading this good news? How do you feel after reading any favorable forecast depicting a promising future?

You don’t know the writer, and he or she doesn’t know you. Yet, I am quite certain that you are feeling better about your travel business knowing a bright light at the end of the tunnel is being forecasted.

Things are looking up, according to some person known as an “authority.” In this case, his name is James T. Bigelow. Read the rest of this entry »

Are You “Useful?”

Today I want you to think about the word “useful.”

I believe that by just thinking about this word, your contribution to your prospects and clients is bound to improve. By following your thoughts and becoming “more” useful your life will immediately change for the good.

Question: Are you useful? Are there opportunities for you to become more useful?

Think about it. I am certain your performance, and the way you approach prospects and clients, will begin to change once you start addressing these two questions.

How you become more useful is something only you can determine. I can’t possibly know what value you are providing now, so I can’t intelligently recommend Read the rest of this entry »

Three Keys to Earning Clients’ Trust

“Who do you trust?”

A handful of seasoned travel agents will recognize these four words as the title of a TV show first introduced in the early fifties and hosted by Johnny Carson.

Fast-forward nearly 70 years and these four words still represent an interesting question.

Exactly who do you trust today?

  • Do you trust the salespeople down at your local car dealership?
  • Do you trust infomercial TV personalities?
  • Do you trust politicians? (Local or national?)
  • Do you trust news representatives . . . or weather-personalities?
  • Do you trust your children? Your spouse? Your neighbors?
  • Do you trust what you read—and what you Google?
  • Do you trust me?

Read the rest of this entry »

Being Your Own Boss

Being “my own boss” for over thirty-five years has taught me quite a bit about persistence, resilience, and discipline.

Now that I think about it, words like focus, collaboration, creativity, and boldness also fit. I’ve learned a lot through the years. Although, it seems the more experience I’ve gained the more I don’t understand.

Here are five areas that still leave me scratching my head: Read the rest of this entry »

Nothing Lasts Forever

Just yesterday, my wife read me a story that inferred that over 50 well-known restaurants were in danger of going out of business… within the next 12 months. Many of which surprised me, but perhaps they should not have.

I recalled an article I read a few years back that announced the retail store Dressbarn was to close all 650 stores. This news meant nothing to me, but it was my wife who let out a quiet scream of concern. “I have a few sweaters and tops from Dressbarn that I absolutely love.”

Yesterdays announcement, along with the Dressbarn article, reminded me that yesterday’s accomplishments are, in fact, yesterday’s news Read the rest of this entry »

I remember as if it were yesterday, hearing the following words at the home of two Russian immigrants in Chicago. The husband was an emergency room surgeon, while his wife was a successful travel agent. Their home was modest, yet beautifully furnished. When they first arrived in the states as youngsters, neither one could speak a word of English.

The good doctor’s words at the dinner table will stick with me forever. After passing the rolls, he said, “If you can’t make it in America, you can’t make it.” Those words stuck with me ever since.

That was more than 25 years ago, and I think of that sentence every time I present to a room full of travel professionals. With a little poetic license, I now put a different spin on the same belief.

“If you can’t make it in the travel business, you can’t make it.”

How can I say this with the competition being what it is?

I say the following with all due respect: Whether home-based or not, travel agents grow on trees—a dime a dozen—they are everywhere. And, the internet makes it easy to book trips on one’s own.

Suppliers are contacting travelers directly and doing end-runs. The Big Box Stores are cutting prices. Clients to not want to pay fees and supplier commissions are being sliced and diced. “Mike, and you’re telling me if I can’t make it in this business there is something wrong with “me?” Explain, please!  Read the rest of this entry »







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