THE E-MAGAZINE THAT FOCUSES ON THE REALITY OF SELLING TRAVEL
SELL IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT!
Oh yeah, I love it
when you sell
SMP Training Co.
4 SUPER SELLING – GETTING YOUR PIECE OF THE PIE
7 HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW? CREDIT CARD TRAVEL INSURANCE
8 SUPER AGENT CREATIVITY
12 SELLING YOUR SECRET ORB
14 CREATING SUPER AGENT SLOGANS
18 OWNING THE NEWS (AGAIN!)
19 YOUR NEXT READ “RELENTLESS PURSUIT”
20 GET DOWN TO (GOOGLE) EARTH
22 TEAMING UP TO WIN MORE BUSINESS
24 SPREADING YOURSELF TOO THIN
25 LABYRINTH TOURISM
27 READING SELLING TRAVEL ON YOUR E-READER
28 SUPER-IMPOSING YOU Guest Article by Steve Gillick
31 CANADIAN TOURISM RESOURCE GUIDE
32 THE SOCIAL CONVERSATION
34 TRAVEL AGENT REVOLUTION
35 NEW TOOLS
36 CTIE CERTIFIED TRAVEL INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE
37 READING MATERIAL – YOUR TRADE PAPER CONTACT PAGE
Selling Travel is owned and published by Steve Crowhurst, SMP Training Co. All Rights Reserved. Protected by International
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Training Co. 568 Country Club Drive, Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada V9K 1G1 Note: Steve Crowhurst is not responsible for
outcomes based on how you interpret or use the ideas in Selling Travel or on the Selling Travel Website. T:250-738-0064.
TABLE OF CONTENTS – ST AUGUST 2013
EDITORIAL – august 2013
SELL IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT!
It’s one of those things. In fact it’s many of those things. So much coming into our daily lives that we
can get distracted from what we are supposed to be doing. If you are in the retail travel trade as a
travel agent, travel consultant, travel counsellor or any of the other titles bestowed upon you, you are
without a doubt in sales. There is no escaping that word or the action behind it. Sales is selling and to
be successful at selling travel, you must SELL IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT.
So what does this mean, to sell it like you mean it? Well we can
start with your website. It just has to be business-like and in this
case it must, TELL IT LIKE IT MEANS IT.
The information on your website should be easy to read, easy to
click to and deliver the most current and up to date information
your client/s are seeking. Somewhere in there is YOU, making
sure your content is always cutting edge.
Next we have your personal sales persona. That would be you in
the flesh, you online, your social connections and even how you
‘appear’ in your emails. Everything you do and say and send out
will have your sales stamp on it. If you want to truly turn on your
inner SUPER SALES AGENT persona then it’s time to factor in
more closing opportunities.
To do that, to ramp up the closing opportunities, requires that
you are well versed with how to use the variety of tools at your
disposal. Your head office, your host agency, your franchisor,
your group, your consortium all offer you the next generation of
business building tools. Your job is to learn how to use them.
Now you can consider yourself fully armed and ready to do
battle in the selling travel arena. Let’s introduce you to a few
more tools that will help you create that SUPER AGENT status.
Here’s to a very successful month.
All the BEST!
Steve Crowhurst, CTC
Publisher and New Business Generator
A New Sister Magazine
You can find it HERE.
As a Super Agent you just have to be good, better, BEST at selling. You can enter
the realm of SUPER SELLING if you decide that’s where you want to take your
career. A Super Agent could actually sell three or four world cruises a year, each
worth a cool $100,000 give or take a category. Let’s go for four at $100K and
calculate the ROI as 10% just for this article. Okay – that’s $400,000 at 10% so this
Super Agent had made $40,000 in four sales. What else is there to do?
You get the idea. It’s all about selling up,
selling large, selling to generate a super-
sized income. If you want to close your piece
of the pie, then it’s time to study up on the
old and new and the future methods of
Whilst the Baby Boomers and the Zoomers
and the Joneses (if we are to label the
generations you sell to) are still around then
you have the traditional ‘come and see me’
style of selling to use.
As you know Facebook has been taken over
by Baby Boomers and Seniors and
Generation X… the Y’s have migrated to
other social networks. Facebook has become
the so-so network for families and friends
and is now pretty much done to death.
Everyone is on it to share baby pictures AND
travel pictures too. In this case you’ll need to
hone your engagement skills and increase
your visibility related to all things social.
Then there’s the Next Generation of SUPER
SELLING that only SUPER AGENTS would
undertake. If you read about the travel
agencies of the future as Thompson of the
UK see them, then you’ll know how much of
a stretch you’ll have to make (and invest) if
you want to stay as sharp as the cutting edge
Embracing all things tech as applied to
promoting travel is one step in the right
direction and then learning how to sell and
close from each new platform is another.
There comes a time when all your imagery
and video have done what they are
supposed to do and that’s create the urge to
travel. Now it’s time to secure the sale. Close
EMAIL is still #1 and the most solid tool in
the online, digital tool box. With the latest
versions of Outlook and by using Windows
Live Mail you can take advantage of so many
tools that for instance allow you to send an
album of photos. The use of WordArt in the
latest versions of Office play nicely too. No
more strange looking mesh and fuzzy text.
Now your e-client will receive nice crisp
lettering like this:
A text email can still work if you want to keep
it to the no-fluff basics. Better to go with an
email program such as Constant Contact or
similar where the templates are ready made.
You just fill in the blanks, click and send. The
main thing here as you know is the call to
CTAs – Call To Action = Close Ratio
The SUPER AGENT believes in the ABC rule
which translates to Always Be Closing. When
you understand how this works you’ll be
focused on doing everything possible to
make sure you have covered off all the
details – the client is well informed, fully
informed and can now make an informed
ABC is not about pestering. It is about being
on-the-ball, anticipating and asking the
questions that need to be asked.
Your host agency or consortium, group and
franchise will provide you with proven CTAs
and quite possibly offer training in how they
work, how to construct them, and you
should always ask HQ, from their experience,
which ones have been proven to work. By
‘work’ I mean resulting in a sale.
Note: As I write this, a call just came into my
office. It was Electrolux calling. The very first
words this chap said to me were: “… now I’m
not trying to sell you anything…” – WRONG!
So I said, “When you are, please call back!”
What a great way to ruin the sale. He lied
right up front. SUPER AGENTS don’t do this.
They are committed to selling and in the
same process creating the best of all
vacations for their clients. So good that the
client will be talking about it for years to
The product is out there and the world is
waiting for your client. All you have to do is
get between them and that new fridge they
were about to buy. If you didn’t know –
that’s the enemy. All other products and
services are the enemy to you closing your
sale. So we need a call to action that suits
the life and times of your clients.
We know that Baby Boomers are aging to the
point of retirement, down-sizing and if they
are healthy enough, travelling. This is
happening right now and all you need to do
is go fishing with your CTA firmly in place.
CALL ME… YOUR DOWNSIZING
After the move-in you’ll need
a vacation and that’s what I
specialize in. Let me arrange a
100% pampered holiday that
will tick every box on your list.
The challenge with most call to action
statements or slogans, is this: they do not
advise the reader what to do. Many are nice,
but fluff. Tell your reader what to do: Call
ME! If you say ‘contact me’ then the medium
is missing. ‘Call me’ means pick up the
phone. If you wish to be more precise you
can use that phrase, too.
Email me, is fine but it’s weak. Perhaps: e-
mail me and tell me your dream vacation is
If you want your piece of that travel pie then
you’ll have to cook up the best sales and
service recipe you have to offer.
Practice Makes Perfect Pie
There you have it. Practice your slogans.
Practice asking for the sale in word, in text,
in person, by video, include a speech bubble
on all your direct mail images…Tweet it and
Facebook it and post it on your blog: ”I want
your travel business and I’ll come to you.”
All blogs should end with a CTA. Everything
you send to your clients should have a CTA
embedded in them. “Why don’t you come
with us to Jamaica?” is a CTA. Simple.
In the Woman’s Day Magazine article there
was a comment made about travel agents
selling travel insurance to boost their
commissions and also a comment that
suggested to the reader that all they need for
coverage when they travel is what their
credit card includes.
As a SUPER AGENT you’ll be all over the issue
of travel insurance and well informed on just
what credit cards actually include in the way
of protection for their clients. The chart you
see here is the chart you need to download
and study. It was updated April 2013. Who
knew credit cards do not cover hotel burglary!
Make it a goal in life that no client leaves your
side without being fully protected especially if
children are travelling, too.
I’VE BEEN FRAMED! THEN WRAPPED IN PLASTIC. THEN MY EDGES WERE
TRIMMED! I’M TELLING YOU, SOME CREATIVE SOFTWARE IS TOUGH TO WORK
WITH – UNTIL YOU GET THE HANG OF THEM.
SUPER AGENTS UNITE! There is one tool in
the tool box that every travel agent relies on
from time to time. The SUPER AGENT uses it
all the time. Each day, every day. I’m talking
It’s true to say that Creativity is the Ultimate
Resource. I coined that slogan back in 1998
and it’s still relevant today. More so in fact.
Your creativity should be enhanced by one to
many of the software tools now available to
you. No more hand lettering! No more hand
cranking off copies! What an easy life we
lead today, eh? And it’s made much easier
still thanks to Adobe and Laughing Bird
Software, Weebly, Issuu, SnagIt and more.
The idea behind owning your own creativity
and enhancing it by using these tools is that
you can create fantastic graphics, alphabets,
calls to action and even cartoon yourself or
create a cartoon mascot to meet the
younger generation who are reading Manga,
graphic novels and graphic books at
Join my Tour of Romania!
Perhaps not to extremes – but if you have
the confidence to use your own face and
body, dress it up or down, snap a few images
that you can then tweak within your graphic
software, you’ll not only have fun, you will
be free of copyright law. That’s right. When
you use yourself as the ‘poster child’ and you
use your own images taken during your
travels, you will be free of any copyright
infringement. That said, be kind to yourself
and also your male and female friends who
would pose for you – as you know, what goes
online, stays online.
The two head shots shown here were taken
on my webcam (which takes 10 mp images)
- then I messed around in Photoshop
Elements 11 ($99) just twisting and turning,
then using poster edges, followed by cut-
out. I lost track of all the tweaks, but I got to
the point where I thought, hey that’s wild
enough. I could promote a tour to see
Dracula’s pad with that one!
You can remove the colour to leave one spot
such as the lemon shown above… caption:
“Have all your vacations been lemons?”
Then you go on to sell your knowledge and
talents. You’ll need a closing slogan for that
too, such as, ‘… and my juice is worth the
The Female Cartoon
I know many women in travel who prefer not
to cartoon themselves and that makes sense
to me. The option of course is to create a
mascot or cartoon character to represent
you and your business. When you take a look
around the trade, especially suppliers and
destinations, they often have a character
‘doing the talking’ for them. The roaming
gnome for instance.
Keeping It Businesslike
So no cartoons for YOU! Which means you’ll
be keeping yourself businesslike when you
are featured in your marketing, promotions
and social media.
Make sure your image features YOU as you
are TODAY! This is an absolute. Do not use
ten year old mug shots. If you do, you will
lose all credibility when a customer sees you
in the flesh. If you fake your image – what
else are you up to?
With a selection of great businesslike images
you can build your creative slogans around
Smart Phone Captures
Use that smart phone of yours plus the
photo apps that come with it and capture
anything that says TRAVEL to you.
The next image was taken at a movie theatre
at the kids play area where for a coin you can
try to hook a stuffed toy. I looked through
the glass and I saw FAMILY TRAVEL. Look at
those faces. There’s one for every relative.
Look who is showing up in the lower left. Is
that Mickey or Minnie? Not sure, but now
you know what I would be promoting
something beginning with ‘D’ and ending in
You can find a stone lantern pretty much
anywhere. Check around in local parks and
gardens and even at your local Japanese
restaurant. Shoot it. Make changes, add text
and you’ve created your very own “Let’s Do
Search through all your old photos – digital,
paper and transparencies too – and find one
that has a story attached to it. Crop it to 16:9
which would be wide screen as this is the size
“we” as TV and video watchers are becoming
more attuned to watching / seeing. Add your
text or add a caption and then post it with
your story line.
Adding a call to action to your imagery is a
great way to ask for the sale if you are not
confident doing so in person. As you can
read on the next image I have prompted the
viewer to consider our tour. “Won’t you join
us?” is a passive call to action. A stronger one
would be, “We’re leaving on June 9th and we
want you with us!” This shows your interest
in having your clients join you, more than being too aggressive. This is an invitation and people
like to be invited. Saves them thinking yes or no. Now, when you next visit your local newsstand
– check out all those travel magazines – so many slogans, layouts and ideas waiting for you.
Female Cartoons & Mascots
Here’s three different types and styles of cartoon-mascots that you can explore.
Use something that represents
your niche market. If you
cannot find what you are
looking for have them custom
sketched to suit.
Silhouettes can be found
in Microsoft’s Clip Art.
Great for highlighting a
certain type of tour.
This type of
character is well
used today and
found in graphic
Have a quality
cartoonist draw a
caricature of yourself in
TO SELL IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT
Using every ounce of creativity in your mind, body and soul and using all the tools that are waiting
for you, will help you sell it like you mean it. Some tools are already in your computer, in your
smartphone, your tablet and others are on the shelf begging to be purchased. Check the
Classifieds at the back of this magazine and click the links on the programs you want to review.
Some offer free trials and others offer a discount when you purchase.
Some have a secret sauce, hot and zowie! Other’s have a secret this and that but
YOU, you have a SECRET ORB. Yes you do. That orb is your world, the world you
live on and the various places only YOU know about. Well at least within your
own circle of friends, colleagues and clients. It’s this ability to sell your own world
that can separate you from the rest of the trade in your community.
As a Super Agent of your niche it would be
expected that you know everything there is
to know and then some.
Let’s assume you do have a grip on
everything there is to know about your niche
destination and the type of vacation you love
to sell. Could be cruising, could be island
based holidays, might be weddings,
honeymoons or both… wine tours perhaps,
ancestry, antiquing? There’s no short list of
the possible niche markets that you can sell
into. Each one usually has something
different going for it and everything happens
on our own ORB. Mother Earth.
Selling The Secret
So what is it you can sell me and others who
want to know more? What’s the secret? Well
before you tell me, better that you lure me
in with your promotion of the fact that ONLY
you know about ‘this’ and only YOU can sell
it to me.
1. Secret beaches, coves, scenic spots
2. Secret hotels, B&B, pensions
3. Secret cafes & restaurants
4. Secret local deals
5. Secret routes, trails and hikes
6. Secret photographic locations
What else could be a secret to sell?
My very own secret beach. I know where the best shells
can be found. Also the location of a marked grave out
there in the ocean, visible when the tide is out.
Sell The Fact You Know The Secret
As you will know, we are supposed to sell the
sizzle not the steak. Same thing with your
travel secrets. Sell the fact that you know
and others don’t.
SECRET BEACHES OF THE WORLD
Come with me and let me show you the
most gorgeous of secret beaches that you
would never find on your own.
You get the idea. You can apply this style of
messaging to whatever your niche or secret
So, SUPER AGENT and master of all things in
your world – what Secrets of the ORB can
you sell? Where can we dine tonight in Paris
that would be off-the-beaten-track where
only the locals would go? How about Kyoto?
London? Pago Pago?
“SO NOW YOU WANT
TO KNOW THE
SECRET TO THIS
One of the best things you can do when you are reading supplier brochures,
watching destination videos, attending webinars or watching a travel program
on TV – is to listen for and capture key phrases and slogans. To sell it like you
mean it means being able to attract your next customer through your very
clever words, phrases and taglines. You cannot afford to be too clever or too
creative as the message can be often missed by a busy mind. Keep it simple.
Keep it direct. Keep it focused on YOU. Keep it focused on your promotion.
A recent TV show updating is on
Tutankhamun and all things new was
cleverly called: “YOU DON’T KNOW TUT!”
Very compelling, evocative as usually You
don’t know… is followed by an expletive. So
this known pattern causes our eyes to go
there immediately and read it. A thought of
“Oh that’s smart, that’s about...” and your
mind fills in the blank.
With permission you could run your own
“You Don’t Know TUT!” tours to Egypt once
the riots die down. It’s a terrific tour slogan.
And that is the idea here. As a SUPER
AGENT you must learn how to push out the
best and most captivating slogans and
headlines to capture your existing client’s
eyes, hearts and minds and also those
drive-by, walk-by and social-by prospects.
To do this you’ll need the following.
1. A slogan notebook, journal (paper or
digital) where you can record the
various slogans and ad titles you’ll read
and hear each day. The number is
something like 3,000 ads each day per
person… and if that’s true you should
have an extreme number of slogans to
use by the end of this week!
2. Next you need to learn how to use
WordArt in MS Word, MS PowerPoint
and then you can create your slogans
right in the document. Similar to what
you reading / looking at in this e-mag.
3. There are other programs that you can
purchase and the one I use is The Logo
Creator. It’s so easy to use and
publishes a JPEG or PNG image which
you can then cut and paste.
4. A key to sloganeering is to match the
font and size of the font and the colour
with your slogan. You want bold where
you need it, large, small and bright or
dark or shaded and shadowed. Sounds
like a lot of work and it might be for the
less artistic, however like all things –
with practice, you’ll get it.
All I can suggest here is that you study the
font list in Word - for instance type a strong
slogan and keep changing the font to see
the difference. In the latest versions of
Word you can highlight the slogan and just
scroll through the fonts to see the changes.
When you read your supplier’s brochures
you’ll notice the tour titles that the graphics
team have created. You can always copy
their colour schemes and font style. When
you receive supplier promotions in your
email, same thing – look at the colouring,
font style and layout. Your suppliers spend
thousands of dollars to get these
promotional graphics right – your education
is FREE if you take notice.
Slogans Featuring You
Okay SUPER AGENT… what would you like
to say about yourself? How would you
promote yourself in a slogan? Think hard.
Are you the best, or THE VERY BEST? Can
you lead a tour around the world or can you
OFFER THE BEST GUIDED TOUR THE WORLD
HAS SEEN! Have you travelled or have you
VISITED HAWAII 30 TIMES AND KNOW
EVERY NOOK AND CRANNY…
You get the message. You don’t have to go
over the top with all the CAPS – you can use
colour to make a bold statement. You can
use simple BLACK & WHITE for a high end,
When combining an image with your
slogan, they should match and support each
other. That means no t-shirts when
promoting yourself as a luxury cruise
If You Can Say It…
We are so lucky marketing travel in this age
of all things digital and especially now that
we have video at our disposal. It’s been said
before, a picture is worth a thousand words
and video is worth a million words. So why
create a printed slogan when you can say it
To do this we’re not talking a 5 minute
pitch. We’re talking perhaps a 20-30 second
clip. You on camera - let’s go with your
iphone or your webcam. You are dressed
the part, looking good, eyes right into the
camera lens and you own your space and
you say: “Come with me to… for an
unforgettable…” Now you add your
slogan, call to action and you are ready to
email and upload your promotion.
Today you can email your video promotion
and slogan through Constant Contact,
BoomBoom and also create it in
PowerPoint. Either way, video is top of the
game right now. When there’s a choice,
people click on the video, not the text.
Slogan & Font Examples
Take a look at the following. You like some, love others.
You get it, you got it, you can do it! Test as many fonts as you can. If you have a good memory,
you only need to review them once. Make notes, capture and label them as I have done so on
this page, and then you will have a quick reference / cheat sheet. In Logo Creator you can
create like this…
Find more ready to copy logos at http://www.sellingtravel.net/free-logos.html
WOW! What a kafuffle that Woman’s Day Magazine caused in the trade. Then
what a response the trade replied with. And it’s about time, too. So many times
the trade voice sat quiet when it should be out front and leading the charge. To
all the trade bodies that berated the magazine’s story about travel agents, we can
say well done and thanks for OWNING THE NEWS in favour of travel agents.
Now that the industry has flexed its muscle
or at least reprimanded those that had it all
wrong – you too can take note. Selling travel
is ALWAYS about owning the news.
You can wait for your trade appointed bodies
to do it, or you can do it yourself and
especially on a local level.
Of course the response the trade delivered
to the magazine was widely read within the
trade itself, chances of the general public
hearing about it, would be slim. That said, it
is and was your job, and still is, to make sure
that the information presented in the
Woman’s Day magazine is not lingering and
causing you a loss of business.
If you’ve been off planet for a week or so,
here’s the current link with the apology from
The lesson learned is to stay on top of the
news. Use the Google Alert app to bring
news to your email inbox each time specific
travel issues hit the fan. You can also use the
RSS newsfeeds to have the news from CNN,
BBC, CTV or your local channel also sent to
your inbox. All it takes is a quick ‘eyeball’ of
the headings and then you’ll be on top form
and well informed.
Depending on the news topic, you’ll be able
to respond in good time on a local level. As
you know, and it’s what I train on, Whoever
Owns The News, WINS!
You’ll want to be a winner each day every
day – so stay informed. Get the facts straight
and then deliver your rebuff, response and if
you have to, your challenge to the purveyor
of the original news release.
Here’s your next read, at home or when travelling – written by travel industry veteran,
explorer, speaker, author Anthony Dalton. I’ve known Tony since 1978 and he is the real deal.
When it comes to exploits he has actually done them as told in his book “Adventures With
Camera & Pen”. More about Tony’s books right here: http://www.anthonydalton.net/
Canadian zoologist Gray Pendennis is pushing his limits.
Desperate to find and protect a man-eating Royal Bengal
tiger in a Bangladesh jungle, he is on a race against time as
two bereaved fathers, whose daughters were killed by the
striped predator, team up to hunt the menace. Working far
from civilization, the three men are on a collision course
beyond the boundaries of conscience. The rogue tiger’s kills
escalate and the zoologist’s work is complicated by his
fascination for a beautiful woman and her underwater
archaeologist husband as they too join the hunters and the
hunted where the mangrove forest meets the Bay of
Bengal. A poacher – a high-ranking military officer – throws
himself into the mix, adding another, deadlier force to the
potent equation. The tiger, top of the food chain in his
environment, uses stealth and cunning to gain the
advantage, only to lose it as nature darkens the world.
Anthony H. Dalton
Now this is kinda neat! You may have already found this tool – but if not then this
could be a bit of a find for you. Assuming you have the confidence to get on that
webcam microphone and serve up a delicious and engaging voice to tour your
clients along a digital route… this could work for you!
You can see in the image above that “we” are
standing outside the Tate Gallery, London. In
front of us would be Trafalgar Square and then
by using the yellow lines you can mouse along
those lines and narrate what your reader /
viewer will be seeing when they book on your
tour. You will be creating a digi-tour, a mini pre-
tour to presell your tour of London.
As a SUPER AGENT this type of pre-tour would be
the perfect way to demonstrate your tour
guiding skills and your travel knowledge. You can
do this by saying such things as: “... and just
down that street is a fantastic café and don’t
worry, we’ll be going there on this trip. Now, just
to our left is the fabulous St. Martin’s In The Field.
Down in the Crypt we can have a sandwich and
also complete some rubbings of various artifacts
You get the idea I know. You create your tour,
wherever it might be, you explore the route with
Google Earth and then you create a short
recording to use in your online promotions. Send
out the link, add and embed to your website,
embed in your e-brochure using Word 2013.
Here’s where you find your embed code…
Okay… save this link to a place you can access anytime you need it.
When you click on this link you will see this
image to the right.
In the red box is where you will paste the name
of your tour and you’ll do this by copying and
pasting from where you saved your video tour
– usually in My Places. Highlighting your tour,
mine was LONDON PRE-TOUR.
Then paste your capture into the KML My Map
box shown in the red box opposite. Your tour
title will change to the encoded properties.
Now click on the Get The Code button and your
code will appear in the box below it:
Now you can embed your code in your
website, or in your blog and once you do that
the KML Viewer you see above will open and
your Pre-Tour will play.
The PRO Version of Google Earth has a Movie
Maker app that you can use to enhance your
There is a lot more to discover in terms of how you can use Google Earth to promote your travel, tours,
resorts and even ocean going itineraries. Be patient. Take the time to learn and stay ahead of your local
competition. Be the SUPER AGENT of GOOGLE EARTH!
TEAMING UP TO WIN
Whatever it is they’re looking at it’s
got their attention. It’s got to be
something very creative. Something
that will make each of these super
agents more moola. It could also be
the outcome of these three putting
their collective skills together to
generate new business.
That is the essence of teaming up to win
more business. It takes like-minded souls to
work together and put all their talents on the
table and live up to their reputations.
Your next step is to find those, like you, who
want to do something creative and also
generate a new source of business. You’ll
need to be compatible on most things, but
then again, talented individuals are
sometimes difficult to work with. Best to
decide from the outset, who is to do what
and set the responsibilities. After that it’s
everyone to do what they do best and report
in to the team, take input and apply it where
When the money starts to flow, all is well.
When it’s tight, there could be a fight.
This is always a challenge when working as a
team to produce new business. When things
are going well – everyone is happy. When
times are a little rough, there could be some
finger pointing. Just so you know. Assuming
everyone does their bit, let’s explore how
you can form a team of talented travel
agents and go make some money.
Choosing Your Team
Who are these people you can work with?
Look around you. Anyone within the
company? Any fellow ICs you could work
with? How about any competitors you can
Never be afraid of chatting with your
competition. Often they too would like to do
something different and spread the risk and
spread the energy too. All you have to do is
put the feelers out.
The Promotion And The Territory
Okay. You have decided on who you would
like to work with. Now it’s all about the
promotion. You might have already decided
on the promotion before you made contact
with the team to be.
We have a tour to sell. We are going to
create an FIT of Europe. We are going to
select the countries and the itinerary and
then we want to fill at least three or four
tours. We know that the profit in group
travel is in repeating the same tour – so we
want more than one departure.
The Territory applies to each member of the
team and where they will promote, sell and
close the sale. If you have chosen to work
with someone in another state or province
that’s fine. You will all be selling into the one
tour product and the three or four dates.
This type of collective / team approach
generally requires each member of the team
to pay their way and contribute to the
overall promotional fund. If you are
positioned across the country then it would
be a national ad campaign. If you are all
local, and let’s say located at each of the
compass points around the city you all live
in, then it would be a local promotion.
You would have negotiated with the supplier
some form of coop arrangement or not.
Depends upon the financial stability of your
Sharing The Pot
The decision needs to be made as to how
you will share the money you make. Will the
profits be split evenly or will you each earn
according to the percentage of business you
sold? This is a topic that needs to be
discussed prior to going ahead with your
joint – team promotion.
So, who do you trust? Who is out there that
you know has the skills and talents you
would like to add to your own?
If you belong to a host agency or consortium
or group, could you arrange to pay
commission for any bookings your
colleagues send your way?
The team of talent is a great way to turn on
your Super Agent status. The Power of Three
It’s August. You have time to plan your
Spring 2014 Super Agent Team-Up promo to
wherever it is you want to sell.
Now here’s a metaphor for you. It’s a little cheesy but hey, the idea came to me
on the spur of the moment. The image below could be the equivalent of your
agency brochure rack. It could also represent the number of destinations and
suppliers you try to sell each and every day to anyone that asks.
There is a time, which is about ‘right now’ that you should set aside a few minutes
to take a hard look at what’s on your sales table and reduce it to the few you can
truly manage. That ‘few’ could be brochures, suppliers, destinations etc.
Remember the famous quote by Gary Charlwood of Uniglobe who said, “Minimal Product,
Maximum Revenue” – and that was back in the 80’s and it’s still a quote to live by, present day.
We are in the era of the niche, so make sure you are not spreading yourself too thin. Focus and
concentrate on one to three products. Know them well and then go sell!
My good pal Mike T., mentioned something
about symbols in an email and that sparked
a thought about labyrinths and how these
special places have not been talked about
too much as a niche that you can sell.
You might have to lean more towards the
soul searching side of your personality and
dig for those natural world vibrations that
are still within you if you can tune inwards.
A labrynth in this case means a series of
circles, a pathway that repeats and turns on
itself which someone like you, me and your
clients might walk to gain a meditative state
or simply to de-stress. That’s one part. The
other part is where these labyrinths are
located. One of the most famous is in the
Chartres Cathedral, and you can Google
images of the labyrinth itself.
So now put your mind to the niche group.
Start to explore who might, in your
community or across the country, be
interested in journeying with you to walk
the labyrinths of the world. Now that would
be an exciting thing to do don’t you think?
You can find labyrinths in temples,
churches, fields, on the beach and freshly
carved each day and many wonderful soul
replenishing locales. This niche would fit
nicely into your Religious Travel & Tours
specialty, so if you have sold faith based
tours and have a clientele looking for
something the same but different – now
you have something to think about.
Check to see if you have a labyrinth in your
city and host a gathering there to introduce
your new niche program.
You can subscribe to SELLING TRAVEL Magazine and also
create a ‘stack’ which means you add each new issue of
Selling Travel to your ‘stack’ and then you’ll build a collection
to review when you wish to retrieve an idea or a slogan or
something that would help you sell more travel.
You can also share each issue with your colleagues, post it on
your travel trade social network, leave a comment and more.
Always check the SELLING TRAVEL website, too. You never
know what’s new and always check the free logos and tips.
The E-Reader has become a very handy tool for book lovers when they travel. It’s
also possible to read an e-book on your netbook, notebook, tablet, laptop and
desktop plus your smartphone with the applicable apps.
If you want to download and read an issue of Selling Travel on your own e-reader device then
you might need to read the appropriate information on how to do that. Once you download
the selected issue of Selling Travel from the Issuu website, you can follow the steps at one of
these links below. I have left the full link for you so that you will know the path.
Complete overview of e-Readers and Formats
This list is impressive. You’ll note that the PDF format is the number one format read by 99% of
all e-readers. Keep this in mind for when you create your own e-Book documents to share with
your clients. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_e-book_formats
Guest article by Steve Gillick CTM
Terms of Reference:
Super: above, over, on top of.
Impose: to put or place into or
Superimpose: To place something over or upon something else; to
add a distinct feature or quality to something e.g. He superimposed
his travel experience on the bland itinerary to create an amazing
journey of discovery for his clients.
Let’s face it. If travellers did not want your
input into their vacation plans, they would
make their own travel arrangements. And
we know that some are quite happy to do so.
Others have tried it and discovered the
pitfalls when they chose the wrong flight,
didn’t leave enough time for a connection,
didn’t have the proper travel
documentation, chose the wrong hotel,
ended up at the wrong destination and
basically, didn’t schedule time on their own
holiday to enjoy themselves and appreciate
the value of the experience.
So it is a ‘given’ that travellers already in your
database as well as your first-timers and new
referrals, are looking to you for your input.
At this stage they don’t want an order-taker,
they want a personalized approach to the
whole concept of travel: “Ask me questions
about what I want to do” is the attitude,
along with the proviso that “If you hear
something in my reply that doesn’t make
sense, please let me know”. The implication
of this is that travellers recognize travel
counsellors (agents, advisors, planners,
consultants) as travel professionals. This is
what you do for a living. You live and
breathe travel on a daily basis and therefore
it is assumed that your knowledge of the
profession will result in an amazing and
successful travel experience for the client.
And what exactly can you add to the travel
destination? How about
1. Your job experience
Whether you took a formal travel
training course or learned the trade
through apprenticeship, you have (even
if you’re just starting) seen the good and
the bad about the industry as well as a
pretty good idea of how people react
when their dream vacation is ruined
through mistakes, over-bookings, missed
flights, resorts under renovation and
promises that don’t materialize. You
have learned from your experience and
can now apply those lessons to your own
clients. The word ‘experience’ means
‘knowledge gained from repeated trials’.
This becomes the key to your success—
knowing what works and what doesn’t.
2. Your networking experience
No travel agent is an island! Even if you
are home-based, you still have a support
group through your host agency or
through other home-based consultants.
This means that if you have questions
about a property or a procedure, you
INTO DESTINATION SALES!
have your own back-up system. The
knowledge you share and the knowledge
you gain by talking and listening to your
peers can be applied directly to your
3. Your supplier experience
The so-called ‘keys to the kingdom’ lie in
the supplier-agency (or agent)
relationship. Over the years you
establish a trusted core group of
suppliers, many of whom have,
themselves been in the industry for
many years, and they become your
advisory group as well as your “help!”
group. They are usually in a position to
pull off miracles when required. Your
clients believe you are the genius when
it comes to securing an upgrade or
changing hotels. Well you ARE the
genius but it is because you nurtured
these key supplier relationships over the
years and can use them when
appropriate. It’s really a win-win. The
supplier wins through repeat business
(and through their relationship with
YOU) and you win by having the use of
4. Your travel experience
Travel professionals love to travel! Use
your experience, whether it is business
or family travel, to knowledgeably
discuss destinations with your clients.
You can relate to the restaurants, hotels
and transportation situations because
you’ve been there. You can relate to the
tourist attractions and perhaps even
some of the niche travel interests,
because you spent time exploring the
destination. Use this to your advantage.
You can show your clients your photos or
videos, regale them with tales of what
you did-- but even more important, you
are the expert who can, based on your
travels, determine if a destination will
suit the needs of your client, fulfill their
dreams and value-add to their vacation
time. While it’s all about them…it’s
absolutely ok to fit your know-how into
5. Your client referral experience
Satisfied clients are usually more than
eager to tell their family and friends
about the great services you provided.
Referred clients are themselves eager to
know what YOU can do that their former
travel agent was not able to do, or what
you can do to enhance the travel
experience that they could not do by
themselves on one of the online booking
engines. This is your opportunity to
show your stuff but it also means that
the challenge is there for you to ‘go one
better’. Never let satisfaction or praise
allow you to become complacent. It
should be a clarion call to do even better
each time a traveller travels.
6. Your association or regulation
Many agents belong to a professional
agent or agency association with a
professional code of ethics. In addition,
many (especially in Canada) must abide
by local rules and regulations governing
the sale of travel products and services.
These ‘rules’ become a positive addition
to your credentials. By the very fact that
you have to abide by rules, you can
announce to your clients that you are
held to strict guidelines when it comes to
customer service, resolving disputes,
handling their payments, providing
truthful and current information, and
more. It’s all about what YOU have to do
to service the client. It’s a confidence-
enforcing exercise that will assure your
clients that YOU are the right person to
be entrusted with their upcoming travel
fulfill their dreams and
value-add to their vacation
7. Your professional development
You are the embodiment of your
credentials, and a major component of
those credentials are the professional
development programs you have taken
over the years: courses, webinars,
seminars, conference sessions and
updates. They all count and they all
contribute to making you a more
successful travel agent. This is how,
despite your many trips to Europe, you
know what’s new as of today, or what
festivals are ‘on’ this summer, or what
new boutique hotels would be perfect
for some of your clients.
And it’s all because of how you
superimpose yourself into the
destination and the sale.
8. Your business generation experience
Your goal is to have satisfied clients but
also to grow the business, expand your
clientele, keep your products (and your
marketing material) fresh and re-freshed
to attract new audiences. Ensure that
you ask for testimonials from returning
clients as well as for referrals. Your
desire to succeed and to enhance your
business is an underlying theme to what
you do. And you know? It becomes a
self-fulfilling prophecy. Success begets
success. Happy Clients result in more
Experienced professionals know how to
sublimate their own ego and allow the
client to be the featured attraction
during every meeting and transaction.
While after reading this article you may
feel that it is “all about me”, you know
deep down that it’s really all about the
client. You are just using your own
professional skills (cleverly and
appropriately) to respond to the client’s
YOUR TRADE CONTACTS
ARE ALL HERE.
SELLING INBOUND, INTERPROVINCIAL
OR CROSS CANADA TOURS?
Hey Cassie how’s it going?
Great actually. You know this social media stuff
It does eh?
Yes. It took me a few months to get it, but now I
have accounts with Facebook, YouTube,
Pintrest, Twitter, LinkedIn and three others.
Isn’t that fantastic?
Sure sounds like it. Wow you have been busy.
I know and here’s the best thing, it’s so much
fun. Honest. You get to share and socialize and
the key word, the main thing, the big kahuna of
all is to engage the client... and I have to say, I
can do that very well.
What’s that about then?
Well I ran quite a few contests where my social
contacts can enter to win a free trip. I also sent
out photos of my recent cruise, wrote a blog
about cruising, pinned a number of images…
quite a few of my posts went viral.
Now I’m impressed.
Hold on, you haven’t heard the latest… I
generated a 50% uptick in LIKES on my Facebook
page and over 500 people shared the image of
me a bucket of beer being poured over my
head! Great eh? I have to say this social media
marketing is the way to go. I’m getting very well
known and it hasn’t really cost me a dime other
than the free trips I give away.
I’ll say it again, it sounds very, very impressive
and it’s what I read about all the time in the
travel trade press. Hey you’re living the life!
I guess so. But enough about me, what about
you? What have you been doing?
Oh well, nothing like you that’s for sure. I can’t
match your social media successes.
That’s a shame. Perhaps I can help you? Do you
have any business coming in?
Bookings? Oh yeah, absolutely. Big time. Just
closed a large group to Europe – 45 people on
that tour. Have a world cruise booking just
wrapping up, should be about $175,000 for that
one and overall I guess I’m booking about thirty
new clients each month… but as I say, I can’t do
social like you do it.
Err… you mean you generated all that business
without using social media, without engaging
first? Come on. It can’t be true. I mean I haven’t
closed a booking in weeks. It takes time. You
have to build the conversation first don’t you?
You can’t just call a client and sell them… can
I guess I’m doing it all wrong then. I just call my
clients by telephone and send some an email
then I follow up by calling their mobile. I do the
same thing when they refer their friends… I just
call them up and chat about their trip. This year I
should do close to… well, let’s see… I guess
about another half-million dollars in referrals, so
overall probably about a million-five.
WOW! I haven’t broken $25,000 yet?
Well I guess, as you say, that social media
marketing takes time and you have to stick with
it to build those connections. Sounds like you
are on a roll so keep at it. I’m sure it will pay off.
Are you doing any travelling?
Not really. Can’t afford it yet. How about you?
Yes for sure. I’m just back from a 3 week safari,
a small group and I stayed on to tour by myself.
That was great. Next week off to kayak through
Europe and then back to lead another group to
That sounds so wonderful!
Yeah but I tell you I suck at social media. Just
can’t get it going. I know it will come back to
bite me, but by then I hope to have a team of
tour guides working for me and perhaps by then
I can chill out and travel more! Anyway, better
get going. It’s been great chatting with you
Cassie… you are my social media guru for sure!
Bye for now! Yes, wonderful to see you again… and don’t
forget to start planning your social media
marketing campaign… it really does work!
Well that Cassie
sure knows her
social media! I’m broke but
CClliicckk hheerree ttoo ttrryy aa mmeemmbbeerrsshhiipp ffoorr 3300 DDaayyss!!
IN THE TRAVEL
The Travel Agent Revolution is here
to support travel agents’ personal
and professional development!
Become a member and receive:
Become a Member Today!
If you have not
found this side of
Google, it’s worth a
look, or a dive…
and on that note
you can use this
tool for promoting
your scuba diving
niche. CLICK the
image to view and
start looking for
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Selling Travel supports all other travel trade magazines and encourages you to explore the
following publications that deliver news, destination information and more tips, tools and
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The following logos appear in alphabetical order – click the logo to visit the website.
Make sure you subscribe and read not only the publication but also each website as many
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