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IC Travel Agent august 2014


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The How-To Magazine for ICs, OSRs & Home-Based Travel Agents

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IC Travel Agent august 2014

  2. 2. 4 EDITORIAL Selling travel from home does not have to be a puzzle when you read IC! Find the host agency that best suits your needs. Share your money making ideas in IC and help your IC colleagues. CONTACT Steve Crowhurst 250-738-0064 Publisher: SMP Training Co. Contributors Steve Crowhurst IC TRAVEL AGENT is owned and published by Steve Crowhurst, SMP Training Co. All Rights Reserved. Protected by International Copyright Law. IC TRAVEL AGENT can be shared, forwarded, cut and pasted but not sold, resold or in any way monetized. Using any images or content from IC TRAVEL AGENT must be sourced as follows: “Copyright SMP Training Co.” SMP 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 IC TRAVEL AGENT. T: 250-738-0064. 7 HOW TO BRING YOUR PAST CAREER WITH YOU 12 PART TIME OR FULL TIME 14 ARE YOU ON THE LIST? 15 PUBLISHED THIS MONTH 16 TRAVEL TRAGEDIES AND HOW TO SURVIVE THEM 17 TRAVEL SAFETY 101 18 HAS DIRECT MAIL GONE THE WAY OF THE DODO BIRD? By Jill Wykes 19 ASK YOUR CLIENTS 20 PACKING THE PADLOCK 21 BERNIE, MASCOTS & MORE 24 THE PHOTO PAGE 25 TRYING TO BE ALL THINGS TO ALL TRAVELLERS 26 SAM URAI’S SALES TRAINING SCHOOL 27 THE MIKE T’ METHOD 28 THE TRAVEL INSTITUTE – VILLA TRAVEL COURSE 29 SELLING TRAVEL WITH STEVE 33 CLASSIFIEDS TABLE OF CONTENTS – IC AUGUST 2014 If it’s not yet 5pm where you live, you still have time to make one more call, close one more sale or e-mail one more promotion! Advertising in IC Travel Agent reaches the serious business-minded travel agent. Promote your products and services via video, audio or generic text and images. IC Travel Agent is marketed direct to over 4,000 travel agents plus thousands more via social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, SlideShare, trade contacts, partners and educational institutions. Your ad includes a BONUS How-to-Sell article. Full page rates range from $300 to $425 based on number of insertions. For even more selling ideas read SELLING TRAVEL!
  3. 3. TRUE SUPPORT FOR TRUE PROFESSIONALS At Nexion Canada, we know that you are passionate about your travel business. So we provide you with the professional support and industry relationships you need to be more profitable and efficient, giving you the freedom to run your travel business the best way: your way. A full-service host agency combining decades of experience, Nexion Canada provides independent, Canadian-based travel professionals of all experience levels with: • Your choice of up to 80% of commissions • Top commissions with leading air, cruise and land suppliers • Technology tools to better manage your business • Access to our exclusive point-and-click booking engine or through the Amadeus, Sabre or Galileo GDS systems • Training, coaching and networking opportunities • Innovative marketing programs to grow your business • Exclusive cruise block space and supplier offers • Lead generation for qualified agents • membership included at no additional charge! It’s time to join a family of professionals that truly supports your independent business dreams. It’s time to join Nexion Canada. • Your choice of up to 80% of commissions • Top commissions with leading air, cruise and land suppliers • Technology tools to better manage your business • Access to our exclusive point-and-click booking engine or through the Amadeus, Sabre or Galileo • Training, coaching and networking opportunities • Innovative marketing programs to grow your business • Exclusive cruise block space and supplier offers • Lead generation for qualified agents • membership included at no additional charge! Contact us today to learn more about our growing family of travel professionals. Visit Email Call 866-399-9989 MENTION THAT YOU SAW US IN IC AGENT MAGAZINE AND RECEIVE YOUR FIRST MONTH FREE! 10131503-Nexion_Ad.indd 1 10/29/13 2:18 PM
  4. 4. Bringing Your Past Career With You The travel industry is a world unto itself and attracts people from all walks of life. It’s a tough business and not for the weak or underfunded so it helps if you have one or two extra gifts, skills, and talents to help support your entrance into the trade. Business continuation is what everyone is aiming for. You will want to be selling travel 5 and 10 years from now. One way to make sure you can sustain your travel agency is to bring past skills and know-how with you. With a tweak here and tweak there, you’ll be able to promote your degrees earned in another industry and you might even end up selling travel back to your previous industry. It’s all in how you tell your story and marry it to selling travel. Make sure you read that article in this issue of IC TA. There is also a page or two about selling travel part time or making the big leap and going 100% fulltime. Of course it’s your decision, however, know now that selling part time has its downsides, stresses that can affect your sales. See you inside. Don’t forget to check out the new titles at The Travel Agent’s Store. Here’s to your continued success! Best regards. Steve Crowhurst, CTC Steve Crowhurst, CTC, Publisher Click me to Opt-In to the NEW mailing list for SMP.
  5. 5. Jam… onyourtoast... Not on the road! JoinToday! Call: 416-367-8263 Tollfree: 1-844-845-8263 BB023 11-6-14 JoiNAWEbiNARTodAY! • You keep 85 -100% of preferred supplier base commission. • Get commission paid twice monthly! Why wait? • Upload your promotions to over 300 social networks in seconds. • Gain access to 100s of suppliers thru our affiliation with TRAVELSAVERS. • Get your own personal dashboard report to manage your bookings. • Have your personalized, fully-bookable website. • Enjoy your own phone extension that rings at your home. • Know where you stand with real time commission tracking. • High end customers? No problem with the Affluent Traveler Collection. • Marketing that includes direct mail to your customers. Work in the comfort of your own home!
  6. 6. How To Bring Your Past Career With You The travel industry has attracted people from all walks of life and many have left their existing careers to enter the business of selling travel. Not sure why, but when someone does move from one career or one industry to another, they tend to shut the door on their past career as they delve into what will make them successful in selling travel. The fact is, you do not have to close yourself off from what you did before or keep it quiet. Better that you learn how to embrace what you’ve done and weave it into your selling travel marketing plan. “So, what did you do prior to joining the business of selling travel?” That was one question I would always ask a new franchisee who joined the Uniglobe franchise. As the then VP of Uniglobe Western Canada what someone had achieved in the past was to me a crucial element of their success going forward. It’s the same today as you join the travel industry to become a home based seller of travel, joining via a host program or franchise. What so many miss is the connection between what they’ve done in the past and the current world of selling travel. Whether you were an accountant, a tradesperson, a CFO, an admin assistant, mechanic… and all the rest, there is always something that you can use to promote yourself with a differentiation. I’m sure your host agency has already advised you on how to do this but let’s review it from the marketing point of view and how you can write the words to sell your inherent skills such as number crunching for instant. Accountant: Let’s start here. Your skills are obvious so some not so to others. The idea here is to promote your accounting talents and tie them into selling travel. “As a former accountant let me search for the best overall price for your next trip!” Tradesperson: Your keywords are related to building and planning and putting things together: “As a former tradesperson, let me build the best tour of Europe, just for you!” CFO Chief Financial Officer: Your keywords are all about numbers, investments and return (ROI): “As a form CFO, I know how to negotiate and invest your hard earned money into a one of kind dream vacation. Your ROI will be a list of fantastic lifetime memories!”
  7. 7. Admin Assistant: Your past career gives you many options both in wording and actual doing – such as arranging meetings, groups and events. Look at what you actually did in your past career and pull out those activities that also work in the travel trade. “As a former Administrative Assistant it’s in my blood to help others. Let me be your personal travel assistant and help create the best trip ever!” Mechanic: Your keywords relate to getting things running properly, running smoothly. “As a former mechanic I know when something is running properly. Let me book your next vacation, check all the details and make sure your trip will go as smooth as the engines I rebuilt!” Okay. You get the idea. Everything you need to kick start your travel trade career can be found in your past career, job, work. Don’t hide it, bring it into the world of selling travel. Start by listing what you actually did for a living and search for those keywords: planning, building, checking, arranging, talking to, negotiating, budgeting, managing… as all of these are involved in planning someone’s vacation, business trip and also meetings and events. The other thing you can connect your past to is your present-day passion – which might be adventure travel for instance. … as a former pilot you know I’ll make sure you are booked on the BEST flights!
  8. 8. You might also have a love for a certain country or culture. Once again, you will tie in the words and phrases and your inherent skills and talents to support your niche. Now, if your previous career was as a photographer, writer, tour guide, flight attendant, hotel front desk, hotel manager, luggage retailer then your previous experience is directly linked to travel and if you have worked in retail before then you should be ahead of the game when it comes to talking to customers and helping them make a purchase. Marketing Your Past This is where many who join the travel industry from a previous career tend to fail. Marketing expertise is a talent, a skill and something that can be learned over time, or, if you invest yourself 100% you could learn all you need to know within a month or more. After that you need practice. Sales and selling is the next challenge. You must be able to ask for the business and then close the sale. There is no free ride when it comes to sales and selling. You live by your own means and it really is down to you. Prospecting for new business rises to the top for most newcomers to the industry and now, with the anti-spam laws tightened up it is going to be very difficult to generate leads unless you know how to use what might be termed “old” or “traditional” marketing techniques. You can turn to your host agency and franchisor for more information on how to source and use the traditional forms of prospecting that can also be applied to social media. Arrange a sit down session with your HQ contact and start the ball rolling now. As a former events planner… I’ll make sure every detail of your vacation is checked and double checked. Proof and Credibility To support your marketing slogans you should go into those old boxes you’ve stored somewhere and retrieve those diplomas, certificates, photographs and anything else that proves you did what you did. It’s important to name names not just write that you “worked for a very large firm…” – as that reads as if you are hiding something. Tell the world who you worked for, name the firm. Claim your title and what you did there and obviously within reason – you cannot give away company secrets of your past employer. Look for photographs you can use and make sure just your face is featured unless you have permission from others in the photo.
  9. 9. LET ME SHOW YOU MY COUNTRY Like no other travel agent can Something else for you to think about. Not only can you bring your past career with you, you could and should also bring your culture and country if you hail from somewhere other than where you are now living and selling travel. There’s a “but” coming, and that but this: before you promote you know your own country etc., you must be 100% fluent in the language, you must have travelled your own country from border to border and coast to coast, know all the events, the weather patterns and seasons and of course the best places to visit. Anything less and your credibility will not stand for long. Note: if your suppliers have packaged tours to your country work with them not against them – or you’ll lose your shirt. Block & sell seats with them.
  10. 10. As a husband & wife travel team we specialize in tours to Asia. Are you, could you be a husband & wife team? Think like those real estate couples who use the word “team” to great effect. Of course marriage isn’t really required – just partner with someone and you have a team. Now if the team consists of one male and one female you will attract who? Yes, couples. And that can be your niche. Tours of Asia for couples. Team up. List your joint past experiences that you can apply to your travel selling career and start marketing now. What else can you bring with you? Do you have a religion? A specific cultural connection? Ancestry overseas? A language skill (fluent)? Are you well read and know all the classics? Are you an artist? What’s your sport? What’s your lifestyle? Think deeply about YOU and as I suggest, list everything you feel you can bring with you into your new industry and business. From my own experience I can tell you that pretty much everything can find a place in this industry. 
  11. 11. Part Time or Full Time So which one is it? Yes for part time or yes for full time? A tough decision when you are holding down a so called “real job” and earning $40,000 a year or more and if your salary range is up to $150,000 then it would be a huge decision to drop that income to go full time into selling travel. Decisions, decisions… When it comes to selling travel as a home based travel agent you will be faced with this decision, eventually. The challenge comes when you are, as they say, chasing two rabbits. The outcome is you catch neither. Pecking away at selling travel whilst doing your “real job” can cause you more stress than you realize. Travel is as you will know or come to know is alluring, seductive and inviting. It is also, as an independent contractor, a slow growth business if you follow the normal IC route to success over time and work two jobs, or more. It will, or can cause you to lose focus on your day-to-day job/career and that will be to your personal detriment. On the other hand you could make that leap of faith and go for it. Get into the world of selling travel full time. What happens when you do this? You are able to focus all of your energy and talents into learning about and selling travel and when time allows, to travel. But what about that monthly salary you had coming in?
  12. 12. And that’s the big if. What if you had no safety net? Well here we have to discuss the issue of why are you even getting into selling travel. Something is either wrong at the real job or you are simply dissatisfied in your chosen field of work or you have realized that life is passing you by as it is everyone on the planet and it’s time to follow your dream – which for you is travelling the world and selling your experiences. The Dual Career As it happens, some careers fit nicely with selling travel and each one becomes an extension of the other. Each one feeds the other. Jobs such as photographer, author, writer, blogger, chef and fashion designer… each of one these jobs are, or can, become a dual career and each combination presents the opportunity to specialize and also offer group departures for same interest customers. The Full Time Commitment Although you will hear different, if you do turn your attention to going full time and committing every waking minute to building your travel business then you will earn the money you desire AND get to see the world you love so much. Travelling is now your business and it is something you must do, and do frequently if you are going to promote yourself as a dedicated travel agent and you can only do this if you own your own travel business. Travel counsellors working for smaller travel agencies and larger firms rarely travel other than one, perhaps two, FAM trips per year plus their annual vacation time of 3 weeks or less. For you, life is different as you own and run your own IC business. You can travel whenever you want. What About The Money? Well now. What you earn is resting on your shoulders. You no longer have a large company behind you, marketing themselves and putting customers or contracts on your desk for you to service. You must now generate your own buzz and attract clients to do business with you. And you do this all by yourself, using the tools of your host agency. How much you earn will depend on how much you prospect, what you invest to promote yourself, how well you sell and close and what your goals are. You could generate $50,000 a year before tax and travel the world at the same time. It’s doable. Sell higher grade travel and you could increase that $50,000 to $75,000. Go for groups of deluxe travellers and your $75,000 can go to $100,000. Back to what you’ll hear in the trade about how much money travel agents make. Of course as in any sales business there are some you are not making it. Did you know that the average real estate agent in North America is making under $20,000 / year. Then there are those who are earning millions. Same in the auto business – some salespeople are moving 10 cars a month and others are moving 75 cars a month. For inspiration in the travel trade, look up online for the Top 100 Travel Agents, chosen by Conde Nast magazine. Now there’s a listing of travel agents who are making it happen for themselves –with consulting fees at $650 for the first hour. So now… will it be part time or full time. Discuss this issue with your host agency HQ / BDM and do the math. They can show you HOW to generate the income you want. 
  13. 13. If you like cutting edge, no-fluff, little-theory how-to information then join THE TRAVEL AGENT’S STORE list and receive notices of new publications, 20% off all your purchases PLUS 1-hour coaching sessions per topic. CLICK STORE TO JOIN!
  14. 14. Published This Month Here are two brand new, hot off the keyboard publications that will help you better plan and manage your travel trade career. MANAGING YOUR CAREER MANAGING YOUR HOME-BASED TRAVEL SELLING CAREER This 66 page eGuide focuses on you and your career and nothing else which means the content puts your career first above any concerns for the company you work for. The topics cover off your career and where you wish to take it, how you can move to a different role in the industry, how to quit, how to fire a bad boss and overcome the walls that prevent you from advancing, how you can go from travel counsellor to VP, agency owner, manager or start a series of boutique hotels. You career is only limited by your imagination. As the title reads, this eGuide focused on how you can manage your independent career working from home. The emphasis is on selling travel full time and how you can manage your time, your travels and also how you can lead a dual career if you wish. This means adding another talent you have to selling travel. Become a travel agent / blogger for instance. Live overseas and still sell to your client base ‘back home’. When you go home to sell travel a whole new world opens up to you. But it must be managed. CLICK HERE TO VIEW CLICK HERE TO VIEW
  15. 15. Travel Tragedies And How To Survive Them Having spent many years in the travel industry I can tell you from experience that each and every tragedy has a moment in time when it is front page news and then, except for the survivors and their families, the event is lost to history except for when the mass media channels resurrect the pain and suffering on the anniversary of the event. This is a fact of working in the travel industry and selling travel for a living. It is not all happiness and joy and you must know how to handle yourself and your business when these things happen. As you read this issue of IC Travel Agent you will I am sure be teary eyed about the loss of life in the MH17 crash. Such a waste of life. Then another crash. And another. Finally the mass media channels identified something they could “expose” or go with for maximum eyeballs tuning in. The outcome of the mass media take on these recent aircraft crashes was to ask “Is it safe to fly?” Under the guide of ‘keeping them honest’ as one news personality likes to say, their reporting is usually off base, presenting by someone who has no connection to the travel trade or airline industry and simply delivers scary information that causes nervous fliers to cancel their trips with you. When these tragedies happen you must be on top of it and become your own spokesperson in the local community. Get yourself on a radio talk show and be featured in the local press too. Be armed with knowledge and be ready to put down the commentary that the mass media organizations are putting out there and challenge them for scaring the general public and also for perpetuating the sorrow that the surviving families are experiencing. Death by flying is about an 8 million to 1 chance. Better than crossing the road or driving to work. Most tourists who are killed during their vacation are hit by a car, or inside it driving or as a passenger. In the US in 2013 3.8 million people were injured in a car accident. Over 32,000 were killed. Flying is safe and you need to stand up and be counted in the local news arena. Challenge the mass media output in your blog, on your website, and even hold a consumer event to discuss the issue. Bring your clients together if they are concerned and lay the facts and stats in front of them. Look for positive trade responses from various and well informed parties such as IATA and well known spokespersons that represent the travel and tourism and airline industries. Beware however of some comments that are just plain grandstanding and full of fluffy statements that are not quite meaningful to the situation or the business at hand which is to keep selling.
  16. 16. DO YOU KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT TRAVEL SAFETY TO ADVISE YOUR CLIENTS? Make sure you engage your clients in how they can travel safely and better protect themselves by planning ahead, preparing for certain situations within their control and taking the right precautions. Your roles is to handle their travel arrangements expertly, selecting the best air carrier, route and seating arrangements and more – and don’t forget you are supposed to cover every client with travel insurance coverage throughout the trip and until they arrive home. Travel Safety 101 is available now at The Travel Agent’s Store
  17. 17. Many marketers have moved away from direct mail because of cost, in favour of email and social media. This is certainly true in the travel industry and, even though the new Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation is now in effect, most companies will still find a way to continue to email their clients. (More about this in my next column) But direct mail can and should still play a part in your marketing strategy. For one thing, some of your customers don’t use email, and if they do, a lot of it ends up in their trash or they feel overwhelmed by too many emails and press delete. Pressing delete is always an option with email but it’s not an option with direct mail. Yes that’s right….direct mail is making a comeback as an effective tool for travel marketing and a channel that will catch your customer’s attention. There are certain tricks when using direct mail to ensure your message is not discarded….handwritten postcards and envelopes receive more attention. Attractive travel images are always appealing. Personalization of some sort always helps. There are programs which can make this easy for you and you should ask your host agency if they offer direct mail as one of their marketing options. Some agencies have abandoned direct mail but this could be a mistake. Look for a host agency that features direct, direct mail promotions and programs to reach your clients. Find out if they will mail the pieces on your behalf and if so, how many and how often? Sending your clients timely, attractive direct mail pieces keeps you top of mind and recommends different types of travel experiences on a direct basis. Clever marketers have discovered that the letterbox is less crowded these days and your message has a better chance of being noticed and held onto. Remember, if you are out of sight, you are out of mind! Brought to you by: The Travel Agent Next Door Gone The Way Of The Dodo Bird? Has Direct Mail Actually, no… By Jill Wykes
  18. 18. Ask Your Clients There’s a trend in chatter about big data and little data and data bites and deciphering this and that about your customer’s travel and travel habits. You can save an awful lot of time and effort by simply checking in with your clients on a regular basis be it annual or quarterly. Here’s why and how. Naturally you need information on which to base your marketing plans for the year. With good intentions various parties within the travel trade are echoing big and bigger business and advising you to get involved with big data. If you are running a fifty million dollar travel agency then that would be a good thing to do and a member of your financial team would take it on. Most travel agencies are writing $2m to $5m and all that’s required here is to ask your clients about their travel plans this year. You want to sell more, sell up, sell niche, sell luxury and additional services & peripherals then the best thing to do is ask the very people who make up your client list. The Annual Ask Plan your Annual Ask around November and ask your clients about their travels for the coming year. Some will know exactly and other will still be thinking about it to “no idea”. Each response offers you a chance to sell more travel. Plotting Response As the responses return to you it’s an easy thing to plot each one onto a low tech Excel spreadsheet if you do not have a CRM program that you can use. Set up your spreadsheet with monthly columns as a start. Code the responses so that you can plot quickly. Keep it simple and let’s go with a two letter code per country and then a date number. UK9 means this client wants to visit the United Kingdom in September. You can add more coding if you want to such as T for touring and C for cruising, A for adventure. Again, keeping it easy to use and interpret and graph. Asking Part Deux With your spreadsheet completed you will be looking at your sales and marketing plan for the coming year. You can now target your clients based on the month of travel, their destination and vacation type. You can upsell, offer supplier discounts and even suggest another date close to the one they selected that offers something more. You have a chance to offer a customized trip and sell the benefits of an FIT arrangement. Take the time to ask if their friends are joining them, if they can refer their friends to you and how about other family members? Yes you are trying to build a group departure within each client’s circle of friends and family. Timing is Everything Give yourself the month of November to complete your project and be ready to market come January 2nd. 
  19. 19. Packing The Padlock Crazy I know, but then what’s new? It’s the world we live in and travel. Here’s a tour idea whilst the law still permits inscribed “love locks” to be locked to a fence and the keys thrown away – usually into the river if the love lock fence happens to span a river. But wait there’s more… The first thing to note is that this show of love has popped up around the world from Paris to China. The fence behind my cousin Pam from Australia pictured above actually had a partial collapse. Too much love locked on the fence! Officials are deciding what to do and of course, throwing metal keys into the river does raise environmental concerns. If you are looking for something completely different then you could be offering “Love Lock Tours of The World”. This tour would naturally visit the best love lock fences in the world where your travelling love lockers would lock their love lock to the love lock fence! Say that after three beers! Leave that idea with you. If you go for this – there are love lock trees, fences, poles and there similar places where poets write out their poems. Explore how you can stand out from the travel selling crowd in your community. 
  20. 20. Bernie, Mascots & More Who or what is your mascot? Who “speaks” for you when you need it? Who breaks the ice between selling and telling and poses so nicely in your advertising? Welcome to the world of mascots. I’m sure you’ve seen the Roaming Gnome, and cartoon airplanes that speak and even have eyes! Ronald McDonald. The peanut guy. KFC. M&Ms. Of course we can’t leave out Disney! When you check into it, brands that are still with us have had a mascot to represent them and so much so that one glance at that mascot and bingo, you are recalling your meal, trip and taste of chocolate! Yum. So, can it be done with a travel product? You bet. Once again – the Gnome who leaves home, likes to roam. Now here’s Bernie. He’s the sandy haired fella pictured above. I met him on the beach recently when I went for a walk. It all started when we made eye contact. His eyes looked like a clam shell with sand in them. Hey that was it. I saw those eyes, scooped some sand out to give him some hair, a chin, mouth… a face and there was Bernie just smiling back at me. With a little Photoshopping, he perked up nicely. If I was in the business of selling beach vacations I might turn Bernie into my spokesperson. Whatever niche you sell to, there’s got to be a mascot.
  21. 21. This good looking fella below was one of my first mascots and he was sketched out in the mid 80’s by Jerry Wong. This next one was sketched at a Disney park in 2002 and cost about $25. Currently I have become my own mascot using my webcam and various cartoon generating software to change my facial contours etc. But what about inanimate objects? All the need is a face when you come to think it, and a background that your clients would connect to you. Are you female? Are you selling adventure? Well it’s either going to be an image of the real you that you use, or you could have a caricature sketched as per mine or, you could go for a custom designed mascot like this image below which comes with the Task Force image collection. Need a cruise ship mascot, here’s one I created in about 15 minutes, mixing and matching images. All you need to do after creating something like this is change the lips/mouth and the eyes to represent Ah or Ooh and even Satisfaction.
  22. 22. How about a ski mascot… easy to create the tip of the ski and change his expression and even put a hat or cap on him / her too. Add a speech bubble and it’s done. Next would be to animate your ski mascot. How about something that resembles an airplane… then you can add a mouth and a pair of sunglasses and a speech bubble… When you see movies such as Disney’s PLANES coming to a movie theatre near you, you’ll know you should create something similar to attract attention to your agency. Cartoons and humour reach out and sell. Here’s a program I use almost every day – and it’s called The Logo Creator which offers a series of add-ons and one of those is for characters and others for mascots. The one shown below cost $27. You’ll need to purchase the main program however that is only $37 give or take a sale price. There you have it. Mascots are one way to gain instant recognition in the local community. You can as mentioned turn your mascot into a cartoon, by animating the character. You may select a whole host of different characters rather than staying with one design. That’s good too – you’ll need however something constant such as your logo or a tagline so the consumer will always know it’s your ad or promotion. I’m planning a series of Manga style cartoons and here’s one scary image of my mug, shot on my webcam and distorted to suit using Elements 12. Have fun! Make funny money! Come fly with US!
  23. 23. The Photo Page The Group Tour Taken with an iPhone 5 Taken in the lobby of a movie theatre in the area where the kids go to play before prior to watching the movie. I’ve cropped the shot, and what’s missing is many more characters with eyes staring out at you. The shot reminded me of all the personalities that turn up on your group tours… so, it came to mind pretty quick that your clients would see themselves and their past travelling companions in such a shot, too. I’ve added a caption just to spice it up for this page… you could do the same when promoting your tours.  © Steve Crowhurst Hey Big Bear, is that a camera in your pocket or are you just happy to be on this tour?
  24. 24. If you’re not sure about managing your time as a home-based travel agent then you need to tap into how others make it happen. Here is a good friend of mine, Mike T, who leads the way in multi-tasking. Take a few light-hearted moments and see how many activities you can detect that Mike is engaged in and jot them down. When you’ve finished, check the answer box below. Multi-tasking Mike is engaged in: Now you have to understand that Mike T is a special kinda guy. He is perpetually happy, has nothing but nice things to say, very funny as in humorous, is certain only good things will happen, positive, mindful, energetic and each year challenges himself to learn something new. His multi-tasking lifestyle can cause his wife a few restless moments, as whilst driving to work in the morning he is shaving, drinking coffee, listening to blues music, steering with his knees, answering his mobile and saying “Yes dear…” like he was tuned in 100%! What a guy!  Sitting Posing Eating Meditation Listening Watching Reading Looking Rocking Smiling Exercising Resting Learning Working (laptopopen!)
  25. 25. Enroll in The Travel Institute’s Villa Travel Course and Receive a FREE Luxury Travel Specialist Course! Enroll in The Travel Institute’s Villa Travel Specialist course before August 15, 2014 and receive a FREE Luxury Travel Specialist online course (a $49 value). Both courses are online and include all testing fees. Earn two specialist certifications for only $49! Have Villa Vacations increased in the last five years? What type of villa do Travelers prefer? Are traditional, classic villas more popular than modern villas? And, most importantly, are travelers who have stayed in villa accommodations satisfied with their experience? Villa Travel link: You will also learn the difference between a Villa Vacation and a vacation home rental, how to define a villa, what services and amenities are included in a villa, and who the villa traveler is. Luxury customers are clamoring for more - more amenities, more destinations, more experiences. As the luxury travel marketplace evolves, the villa vacation has emerged to meet their needs. The opportunities for selling to luxury customers, even in a down economy, are tremendous. Enroll in the Villa Travel course by August 15, 2014 for only $49 and position yourself for profit! Luxury Travel link:
  26. 26.  CT/AMERICA YOURS TO DISCOVER JULY 2014 105 ”T hey’re coming to America…la la la… coming to America…” Who sang that? Ah yes, the great Neil Diamond – or it might have been a great travel agent who knew what niche they wanted to be in and that leads me to my next sentence... I’m thinking that going to America is a box that so many Canadians have already ticked – but then there are thousands of Canadians who have yet to make the trip. Their box is still waiting for a check mark. And those “been there” Canadians might have already visited America, but did they really – I mean really – see America? There are two ways to find out: ask them, woo them – or both. I’m thinking your job this year is to move your clients into a travellin’ state of mind and you’ll do that by pitching the various sights to be seen state by state. Or, you could market the state that has all the activities your clients like to do. STATE Your Business Before we venture any further let’s get you online. Check out www.discoveramerica. ca/usa/states.aspx – it’s full of the information you need to sell more America. When you land there you will see a wall of images, one per state, and when you click on each image you will be seeing many more links to click on for additional information. This is a very quick and easy resource to access. Make Your STATEment Count As I clicked around each state I was noticing a list of phrases that ended in a down-arrow for additional information. The list of phrases intrigued me and I quickly realized that each phrase could be used as a leading headline for any of your soon-to-be-created promotions. Here’s what I gathered from just three states. Imagine the collection of one- liners you’ll have when you review every state, then copy, paste and save your list of headings to a marketing file. Once you have that done you can start to review your headings and determine the tag-line that goes with it. But first a smattering of what’s waiting for you behind each state listing: ★ Best bargains ★ Breathtaking scenery ★ Classic road trip ★ Don’t leave without tasting... ★ Don’t overlook this... ★ Films shot here ★ For your first visit ★ If you want to fit in... ★ Just want to indulge? ★ Made in the state ★ Must-see museum ★ One awe-inspiring building ★ Only have one day here? ★ Outdoor excitement ★ Roadside attractions SELLING TRAVEL WITH STEVEBy Steve Crowhurst, CTC SELLING TRAVEL A Travellin’ STATE of Mind When it comes to the States, make your marketing statements count Making memories: take a moment to think about what vacation memories your clients’ kids will remember for the rest of their lives. H�� T� S��� A���ic� PHOTOS:VISITFLORIDA,SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  27. 27. JULY 2014 CT/AMERICA YOURS TO DISCOVER  CanadianTraveller.net106 Steve Crowhurst, CTC, is an author, speaker, trainer and owner of The Travel Agent’s Store where travel professionals shop for educational tools. Visit Steve’s store at; and like his Facebook page at; T: 250-738-0064. Jointhestorememberlistand receiveadvancenoticeofnew titlesandamember’sdiscount. Scan’n’Go! Wheretraveltrade professionalsshopfor educationaltools. The Travel Agent's Store ★ Top photo opportunities ★ Want to stay up late? ★ Where locals go to relax ★ You might be surprised by… ★ You’ll know you’re here when… ★ Your child will always remember... Let’s Try "Breathtaking Scenery" A bit of a no-brainer, isn’t it? But then again, some scenery is very nice but not breathtaking. Save this heading for the truly wonderful scenery that America has to offer. Next: if you yourself are into scenery – and especially the breathtaking type – then you’ll want to develop a niche market here, and blend in your own style of travel, too. Think: scenery, state, client-interest and activity. Every state has its own blend of scenery, so it’s down to you to match it to your client’s tastes, needs and wants, as well as your own niche market opportunity. For Your Foodies Try "Don’t Leave Without Tasting..." You know that each and every state offers you a foodie tour opportunity, so this is a great one-liner that you can use as the header for your American Foodie Tour. You might go with one state only and hone-in on its specialty cuisine. Whatever way you come at it, that "Don’t Leave Without…" statement causes a response along the lines of: “I gotta taste that!” Attract Your Adventurers With "Outdoor Excitement" When it comes to the outdoors and adventure tourism, you have so many niche market opportunities. You could, for instance, stay within the state boundaries, or you could select three or four states and engage in a specific outdoor activity. Hiking certain trails would be one idea. Camera Buffs Will Want "Top Photo Opportunities" As you know, pretty much, everyone is now a travel photographer, social journalist and travel blogger. Putting together some tours of "Top Photo Opportunities" could be a very attractive proposition for those click-happy clients. And how nicely would this idea tie in with the "Breathtaking Scenery" headline? Your Mission As you can see, these state-related headings are all-purpose, with just one or two pertaining to the actual state they were listed under. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is this: go back to the website and click your way through each state and read through the list of one- liners. Capture the ones that make sense to your particular interest and then start to fashion your sales plan around the words in that heading. And yes, you can adapt, adopt and combine the words you find. There is another heading that I really liked and it is this one coming up… and it fits right into present day trends. " Yo u r C h i l d W i l l A l w a y s Remember..." What a fabulous lead-in to promote family travel, family adventures and theme parks. Go back into your own childhood. Do you remember any great family trips? Yes, of course you do! Now think about your clients… what would their kids remember for the rest of their lives? Meeting a Disney character, for sure. Riding the wildest ride and surviving, of course. Hiking up a mountain with Ma and Pa and sharing the moment – absolutely. You get the idea. In fact, you might even call all your clients to a meeting to discuss family tour topics. When clients have a say in where they might go, guess what? They generally sign up and go. ✪ "W��� ����nt� h��� � s�� �� ����� ���� �i�h� g�, ��es� �ha�? T��� ����r���� �i�� �� �n� g�..."
  28. 28. A HOME FOR THE HOME BASED AGENTS Big Bark has all your print-marketing needs covered! 201 – 3011 Underhill Ave. Burnaby, BC V5A 3C2 BonVoyage BonVoyage THE HUNTINGTON GROUPHUNTINGTONThe agents choice since 1973 Thank you for choosing to travel with take pride in providing one-of-a-kind travel experiencesin Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. The majority of ourclients require a trip customized to their likes, interests andbudget.Whether you wish to travel in the lap of luxury or chooseto indulge in an authentic adventure (we call it ‘roughing-it’) wewill create a trip to suit your preferred tastes. In other words,we will give you a travel experience that goes beyond yourexpectations. Rest assured, is your perfecttraveling companion. Before You Travel:• Ensure that you are carrying your up-to-date passports and have obtainedany required/necessary tourist visasfor entering the country(s) you arevisiting. • You trip involves cancellation penalties in the unforeseen eventthat you cancel/postpone your travelarrangements. Ensure that you areaware of these penalties. • Carry your Out-of-Country Hospital/Medical/Travel InsurancePolicy with you. • Be aware of luggage restrictions such as weight, size and type of suitcasesallowed on the international anddomestic flights on your itinerary.Excess baggage charges are steepand can cause great inconvenience• Ensure you have obtained recommended or requiredinoculations. Certain inoculations are mandatory for travel to endemicareas. Your travel agent will have provided full details. • Check out the availability of local ATMs in your destination and/orpurchase some local currency ortravellers cheques. • Give family/friends the contact information at hotels/lodges youwill be staying during your travel.Information on your accommodationsis provided within your documents.• We recommend that you put your newspaper subscription on hold forthe duration of your trip and haveyour mail collected by a neighbour orheld at your local post office.• It is always recommended that you secure your home with a securityalarm before you leave. 0 Ridgeway Dr., Suite 17, Mississauga, ON Canada L5L 5M5 8.887.9710 | | www. BonvoYage THE HUNTINGTON GROUPHUNTINGTONThe agents choice since 1973 T: 905.857.6333 | TF: 1.866.607.1556 | THE TRAVEL AND TOURISM PRINTER FOR OVER 30 YEARS TOP 6 WAYS WE ARE DEDICATED TO THE HBA: 1. Easy to use, do-it-yourself, 24/7 online print-ordering store. 2. No design/setup fees – choose from our selection of pre-designed templates or Design Your Own. 3. Full use of our image gallery at no extra charge. 4. Travel related marketing products such as calendars and magnets plus all your standard business products – business cards, envelopes, letterhead, flyers, and more. 5. Wide selection of ticket packaging options for groups, weddings, and niches. 6. All products available in small quantities (some as low as 25).
  29. 29. C L A S S I F I E D S Wanted: readers to click on this link and make money selling more travel. Animoto is the BEST and easiest DIY video creator. Try it today. When you need to write something and can’t – hire in a ghost writer like Steve Gillick. Steve produces scripts for your keynotes, webinars and brochures. Contact Steve here. Are you CASL compliant? Do you want to explore using an email service? If so then scan this QR code. Publishing soon. Get what you need to start using more video in your travel marketing & promotions. WANTED! DREAM MERCHANTS to complete a survey. Tell us about your passion for being a travel agent. Click here for information. Had enough of working for someone else? Would you like to explore how you can sell travel from home? If so then click on this link and explore. Your education station is right here. DIY Websites. This IS the Best of the Best. Where travel trade professionals shop for knowledge. THE HOW-TO MAGAZINE FOR TRAVEL TRADE PROFESSIONALS Home Based? Need sales and marketing ideas that relate to working from home? If so then click here and read IC Travel Agent.
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