A group of cruising experts got together at the recent Cruise360 conference and told agents how they can find big spending cruise clients and up their commissions.
We scooped the best bits out of the session and slapped it down here for your viewing pleasure.
Regent Seven Seas’ VP of Sales, Lisa Pile, said it’s all about networking.
“Do lots of events,” she said.
“Reach out and partner with luxury brands in the community.
“You need to be communicating with potential clients constantly.”
- Branch out online
Silversea’s CMO Barbara Muckerman said it’s important to treat social media as a valuable marketing tool.
“There are ways of using social media to be different from other agents,” she explained.
By using the ‘bucket list’ idea, Muckerman said you can inspire a desire to go to a certain destination in clients, then sell them the cruise product as the best way to get there and see it.
“The Galapagos, for example, has more new cruisers than any other destination,” she said.
“Facebook advertising is also really cheap.
“You can easily reach someone in the community and attract new cruisers by using the itinerary, then expand them to other destinations over time.”
- Use the cruise lines
Crystal’s Managing Director & Senior Vice President, Karen Christensen, said the cruise lines come with ample amounts of marketing tools for agents to use.
“Leverage off us as much as possible – we are the content matter experts,” she explained.
“Use us to get your clients across the line.”
That includes everything from stunning videos, images, and other collateral the cruise lines provide.
Christensen also said it’s great to use travel agent rates to take a client on a trip, because “if one person experiences it, 10 people are going to know about it”.
- Fight for famils
According to Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises, an agent’s ability to sell naturally goes up after experiencing the product.
“Your knowledge and confidence goes up after a famil experience,” he said.
“And luxury clients want people who have the knowledge.
“You must have knowledge to communicate with a client.”
Leverage non-cruising clients
Seabourn’s Senior Vice President of Global Marketing, Chris Austin, said “You’re all sitting on a database of what I call ‘Luxury Land Lovers’”.
“They’re the ones spending an awful lot of money on land-based resorts.
“Sometimes we sell people on cruising and their hands go up quickly and they say, ‘No, no, I don’t want to go cruising’.
“We need to educate the front line agents to articulate what cruising really is.
“Cruise can surpass luxury land experiences.
“Hotels don’t move, we’re taking people around the world.
“If people love culinary experiences and book a hotel for that, then there’s your in,” he added.
“So describe for a minute a culinary experience – without mentioning cruise – and they’ll be begging you to tell them where you’re describing. Then you’re in, and can use that to sell a cruise.”