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The DESIRE to travel starts early and continues throughout one’s life – are you marketing to Generation Z?

Share your money making ideas in SELLING TRAVEL. CONTACT Steve Crowhurst steve@sellingtravel.net 250-738-0064 www.sellingtravel.net Publisher: SMP Training Co. www.sellingtravel.net Contributors Steve Crowhurst

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10/29/13 2:18 PM


The WILL to

Steve Crowhurst, Publisher

Selling the Mysterious Ancient tombs, radiated patches in forests, lights in the sky, haunted castles, islands appearing out of the ocean, lost cities, newly found artifacts, 3,000 year old ships found in the mud, dino footprints… and a customer wants to book what? A beach vacation!!! What can I say? One tourist’s beach is another explorer’s mystery adventure. In this issue of Selling Travel we’ll take a look at selling something different, something just slightly off the track, beaten or otherwise. Selling the world’s Mysterious Places might just become a new niche for you. We’ll also explore the contents of a new eGuide: Selling With Humour and how the use of humour in your sales & marketing activities can warm more prospects to you and even speed up their buying decision. On the social media front, I have to tell you more about why I’ve put my Facebook business page on hold. Okay let’s go inside…

Here’s to your continued success in SELLING TRAVEL.

Best regards. Steve Crowhurst, CTC, CTM Hon. steve@sellingtravel.net www.sellingtravel.net

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Well what can you say, mystery is in the eye of the beholder… and there are mysteries everywhere you travel and then some.

Unravel a mystery or two for yourself and then you’ll have direct knowledge to market to your client list.

Always keep an eye open for anything that’s new, different and causes your clients to think.

Where have you visited recently, or in the past, that was anything bordering on mysterious? Now that could mean you were lost in the mist, you heard someone who wasn’t there calling your name, you noticed the angle of the pictures on the wall change… you were suddenly in a different time dimension and saw yourself in 2030… all clever stuff. A bit of Hollywood. So OKAY… BACK TO REALITY which in itself is a mystery! In truth, where have you travelled that haunts you for all the right reasons?

Let’s get a handle on the word mysterious – the definitions come back as: difficult or impossible to understand, explain, or identify… puzzling, strange, peculiar, curious, funny, queer, odd, weird, bizarre, mystifying, inexplicable, baffling, perplexing, incomprehensible, unexplainable, unfathomable… and I bet that you can place a memory or two against each of those words. I once hitch-hiked across an area in the UK known as Dartmoor. Now that was freaky Friday let me tell you. And of course we had to be there as night fell. Not sure why now, I suppose we wanted to test our resolve and perhaps see if we could meet any of the mass-murderers being housed in the prison of the same name, who might be out for an evening stroll. Being out on the ocean can be mysterious. You can see things that may or may not be there. You can witness such wonderful skies and turbulent seas one minute and calm the next and even see a line where two colours of ocean meet. In the forests, atop mountain peaks, walking in the valleys and flying in a window seat… you can witness sights, sounds and events that you might class as mysterious too. After the death of a loved one, a white dove flew into the garden where I was standing and came right to my feet and stayed there whilst my Mum and I crouched down with our hands out… the dove stayed with us for three to five minutes and then it was gone. Ancient events often leave a trail and an atmosphere that you sense when you enter that space, you can touch walls and doors and again, get a feeling of what happened there. Real or being tricked, sometimes we just don’t know and all of this makes for great marketing and even more so if you have photographs or a video of what you experienced. In terms of UFOs, my wife scores two to my one! Well, I was driving and couldn’t look up, otherwise the score would have been 2-2.

Welcome! Welcome! Let me show you to your room‌

The Pyramids are mysterious. Easter Island is mysterious. Ghost ships like the Baychimo are mysterious. Bigfoot is in there somewhere too. Nepal has its own ways and what about those Nazca Lines and crop circles and similar phenomena? Did you know that there are hundreds of reports and books all about those crop circles and there are crop circle tours of the world too.

Here’s one UK company that’s focused on this niche and their rates are $6,000 all-in for the tour and accommodation etc. Not bad! Another website that’s focused on this mystery uses a phrase Sacred Geometry and that has a nice ring to it. Part of your success in marketing and selling mysterious places will be how you label your company or products.

Headings for your e-Blasts might be something like this:-

Explore the Mysteries of… Walk Where Gods Walk Unravel the Mystery of the Vikings The Mysteries of Zen Buddhism Stone Circles, Crop Circles and More You have an excellent opportunity here to also include places that hold a “power” and those places can range from libraries to mountain peaks, to waterfalls, to a forest glade… and the power is often related to what happened ‘there’ or what the place of power holds such as an ancient text for instance. Why not ask your clients to BRING YOUR TRAVEL MYSTERY TO US and then plan that once-in-a-lifetime trip for them?

TV Shows Hey look at this, on the Travel Channel… Mysteries at the Museum. Have you watched it? The shows are excellent and each museum they review gives you a new opportunity. Why? Well thousands of people in your neck of the woods just might be watching the same show. When you market a Museum Mystery Tour… featuring for instance four or five European museums all within a train ride away… well that’s a group tour itinerary ready to go.

Waterfalls These thundering torrents have held visitors spellbound at their awesome power and some of them hold a mystery dating back centuries. Some have caves behind them, some footpaths leading ‘somewhere’ and some have rock paintings. Now if you want to view something spectacular click here. Cave Paintings These amazing records of our ancestors are losing their mystery as those that know are finding them and decoding them. For the moment tourists can still enter some caves to view ancient cave art – but that will cease soon as the breath of tourists cause the death of the artworks.

Genealogy Mysteries At some point in their lives, usually around age of 50 – 60 people start to think about their ancestry and if you are watching the Genealogy Roadshow then you’ll know that so many people have a family mystery that needs solving. You can embark on a tour to Europe, South America, Eastern Europe, Asia and focus your tour on helping certain people (could be by race, religion, interest…) get to places where they can attempt to unravel their own mystery. Mysteries of the Universe Are we alone? Are we watched? Do those cave paintings tell us something we ought to know? Probably watching too much TV however, the universe does hold one heck of lot of mysterious things and you can bet that once again, thousands of people in your area have questions. Just to gaze up through a powerful telescope can be life changing. A trip to all the famous telescopes in the world might just be a tour you could offer.

There’s still ghost towns to explore, the Bermuda Triangle, lost tribes, haunted hotels and if you need more click here for 60 mysterious and interesting places to visit. The mystery will never end as you well know. So many places to see before “we” step off the globe and enter a new universe. As the saying goes, “Life is short, death is long” so solve the mystery of your client’s mysterious travels needs now. 

Real or Fake? Well, the photo is fake... a combination of a seascape, a rock from my garden and a silhouette of me, layered together after removing the backgrounds. Fake or not, you can create your own imagery to market what you sell.

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Palace of the Winds, Jaipur, India. Photo: Steve Gillick

Your Mystery Active Ingredient, Steve Gillick, President, Talking Travel An off-quoted phrase is that “yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift and that’s why they call it the present”. We can complicate things by citing the 1964 song, Forget Domani (Forget tomorrow), as “tomorrow never comes”. So where does this leave “mystery”? Historically, the word ‘mystery’ referred to secret rites, divine rituals and something hidden from mere mortals. Today we refer to anything that is hard to explain as a mystery. Stonehenge is a mystery. The pyramids of Egypt are a mystery. So are the whirling dervishes in Turkey. But as we probe deeper and scientific explanations turn mysteries into probabilities, a sense of discovery still exists. And from the point of view of human curiosity and travel, the sense of enchantment, supernatural, hidden meanings, fantasies, storybook tales and innate wonder, seems to take over our sense of logic. The idea of placing yourself in the state of mind that “I am witnessing this for myself; The idea of placing yourself in the state of mind that “I am witnessing this for myself; I am a modern day explorer on my own terms, I can be Indiana Jones or Lara Croft or the real life Freya Stark or Wilfred Thesiger, is very compelling. Mystery for the sake of mystery becomes a bone fide attraction and becomes a strong draw for travellers looking to put their own footprint on the globe.

Angkor Wat is a fascinating temple complex. It’s a mystery even after knowledgeable local guides explain the significance of the bridges, the niches, the statues, and the position of the complex. Then you travel from Seam Rep in Cambodia to the Bulgaksa Temple in Gyeongju, South Korea or to Sigiriya, The Lion’s Rock, in Sri Lanka and you hear similar tales of structures providing pilgrims with a way to travel from the mortal world to the abode of the gods, many times with Apsaras (female celestial spirits) guiding the way. Even though the explanation has been provided, the thought behind the construction and the very process by which the temple complexes were conceived, remains something extraordinary and fantastic. The mystery of these legendary places continue. And mysteries come in all shapes and sizes. Some are on the regular tourist route: trying to imagine the actual Roman Coliseum in

Italy or the Roman amphitheatre in El Djem, Tunisia; gazing at the Sphinx in Giza, Egypt; wandering down the street in Ephesus, Turkey to wonder at the Library of Celsus; standing before Ahu Tongariki-- the platform of 15 Moai statues on Easter Island; or scampering on one of the original “wild” sections of the Great Wall of China. Some mysteries are more nature-oriented: Oggling at the pink flamingoes in Lake Nakuru, in Kenya or the wildlife on the Galapagos Islands or on Japan’s isolated Ogasawara Islands; climbing the Santa Ana Volcano in El Salvador to see the brilliant turquoise crater lake; exploring the astounding land formations along the Quebrada del Rio de las Conchas, the road

that stretches from Cafayette to Salta in northern Argentina; and exploring deserts, gorges, canyons, waterfalls and rivers. Some mysteries inspire reflection: the Potala Palace in Lhasa Tibet, the city of Bhaktapur in Nepal, the Palace of the Winds in Jaipur, the Taj Mahal in Agra, Machu Picchu in Peru, Pompeii in Italy, Goreme in Cappadocia, and more. It’s a veritable world of wonders out there and the sense of mystery is a very personal ‘driver’ of travel dreams. For the travel seller it’s necessary to consider your own travel ‘drivers’ and then interview your clients with the same sense of awe and enthusiasm as you would plan your own journeys.

Selling mystery is like a detective process. Following these leads will uncover your clients mystery needs: 1)

Create the atmosphere. a. Posters on the walls b. Photos or short videos of mysterious venues c. Subtle music playing in the background (Irish reels or Indonesian Gamelan or Taiko drumming or Brazilian folk) d. Tasting options. Keep a few bottles of local drinks on hand to give a tiny taste of the destination (wine, whiskey, sake, pisco sour) e. Attitude. Nothing puts a damper on the mystery of travel than a travel agent with a blasé attitude and an order-taker mentality. Perk up! Get enthused! Show dynamic positivity. It’s infectious and your clients will reciprocate with their own enthusiasm.

2) Qualify the client a. Ask open-ended questions during the client interview. “If you could wave a magic wand, where would you want to go; what would you want to see and experience” b. Where have you been—where haven’t you been?

c. What’s the theme of your next travel? Beach? Adventure? Peace and Quiet? History? Mystery? 3) Do your homework. Every destination has its mystery elements. a. Be ready to suggest some, based on your knowledge of the client. b. You can do some prep work before the client’s visit if you’ve worked with them before, or you may need to follow up with a client to enhance the value of the destination. c. Eventually, you will put together your own compendium of mystery features that cover destinations your client base is apt to visit. (Thinking of Japan? Have you ever thought of a temple stay in Koyasan? Or staying with a fisherman’s family in Tagarasu?) 4)

Try it yourself! Remember that every time you travel and for whatever reason, you are investing in your career. a. Ask questions, take photos, assume that one of your clients will want to travel to the same destination at some point in time.

b. Know the basics: the attractions, hotels, restaurants…but also know the mystery? Where is the mystery and why was it so compelling? 5) Don’t underestimate the ‘call’ of mystery in the travel-selling equation.

The Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet.

Sigiriya (The Lion's Rock) Sri Lanka.

a. Key words, such as ‘mystery’, ‘unusual’, ‘hidden’, ‘secret’, ‘thrilling’, ‘discover’, ‘explore’ etc plant seeds of inquisitiveness in your clients and they will want to hear more. b. Consider adding another line to your business card: “Mystery Maker” of “Mysteriously Yours”

Santa Ana Volcano, El Salvador.

The 3rd Century Roman Amphitheatre, El Djem, Tunisia

Anthony Dalton, FRGS, FRCGS

The big ship rolls with the heavy swells. Cold winds sweep the open decks. Spindrift whips off the tops of restless waves. Keeping station on either side of the upper decks, a dozen or more albatrosses ride the air currents with practised disdain for the howling wind. Gliding just above the wake left by the cruise liner’s passing, another squadron of albatrosses follow us with effortless style. Albatrosses, mariners believe, are the wandering souls of the sailors who lost their lives near Cape Horn. If the legend is true, those souls are now graceful in the extreme. We’re crossing the Drake Passage, a 600 mile wide part of the Southern Ocean, where the winds and waves are unhindered by land. They power in from the west on a non-stop parade around their cold and stormy domain at the bottom of the world. Cape Horn is behind us. We left that craggy promontory astern a few hours ago. Ahead is the icy continent of Antarctica. We’ll see her massive glaciers, vast snow fields, drifting icebergs and her exuberant wildlife tomorrow. For now, late in the afternoon, some passengers are sampling wines, or drinking coffee, reading books, playing bridge. Others, equally disinterested in the ocean outside, are playing bingo, or feeding coins into slot machines. The hardy few, all bundled up against the cold, share the promenade deck with me. All of us are anxious for our first look at the vast southern continent of ice and snow. Together, until sunset, we scan the waters for signs of whales, or dolphins, and we watch the skies for the wide wingspans of the great birds that frequent this desolate, mysterious part of our planet. We are out on deck again at daybreak, determined not to miss anything if possible. Weather conditions, however, interfere with that plan. We pass Smith Island’s latitude but could not see it due to the misty weather. A couple of hours later, after passing a few large, drifting icebergs, we enter the Schollaert Channel, cruising between the rugged shores of Brabant Island on the starboard side and Anvers Island off to port.

Both are heavily glaciated; each beautiful in an austere, frigid way. Along with Gerlache Strait, they were named by members of Belgium’s Belgica Expedition of 1898-99, the islands and the straits are breathtaking in their mysterious beauty. Without warning, a pair of humpback whales show themselves. Twin spumes of spray followed by two backs breaking the surface. Two large tails wave in the air, and they are gone again. Paradise Bay is a deep circular opening in the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Named by whalers in the early 20th century, if a paradise can be cold its name suits it well. We move slowly past the rocky headland on the north side of the large bay. Two other,

smaller, expedition-style cruise ships are there before us. One is preparing to leave as we arrive. The other, a ghostly image in white, is almost invisible against the snowfields. There is plenty of room for us. Our Greek captain has a great respect for Antarctica’s ice, and for its beauty. With a Chilean ice pilot on watch at his side, he makes his ship pirouette slowly so all on board get to experience the panoramic views without running from side to side. More whales appear for a few seconds each and a line of penguins can just be seen angling up the lower reaches of a glacier. The Antarctic Peninsula is home to an exotic collection of southern creatures. There are six species of penguins, at least seventeen types of birds – plus many more over surrounding waters, including the glorious albatrosses. Then there are six varieties of seals, eight species of whales, plus hourglass dolphins and the orcas – or killer whales. The wildlife, for me however, is only part of the show: the dramatic scenery dominating the bay has me spellbound. Craggy peaks, encrusted in white with black and grey rock showing through on the steeper elevations, overlook the still waters. The mist sweeps in and recedes just as quickly. A light rain falls; then turns to snow flurries. The sun is visible as a strange orb behind the lowering clouds. The temperature hovers at just above freezing point. Despite the conditions, the open decks and the ship’s rails are lined with people. No one wants to miss a second of this magical scenery. From Paradise Bay we travel north-east, following the peninsula on one side and the South Shetland Islands on the other. Our new destination is Elephant Island and a date with the memory of Sir Ernest

Shackleton, one of Antarctica’s greatest explorers. The island is said to have been named for its abundance of elephant seals and for its shape, which, on a map resembles an elephant’s head and trunk. We discover it is a desolate, barren piece of frozen real estate. After his expedition ship was sunk by ice, Shackleton and his men made their torturous way to this bleak, inhospitable island. Leaving 22 men to live under an upturned boat, Shackleton and five companions sailed over 700 miles in another open boat to find help. Four and a half months later he returned with a ship to take his men home. It is a remarkable story of survival, determination and leadership. From the comfort of our cruise ship we study the frozen shores of Elephant Island and wonder how those men survived. To emphasize the dreadful cold that is part of Antarctica at all seasons, a monster iceberg is stranded a few miles off shore. Shaped like a rectangular table and covering an area equivalent to a city block, it has grounded in 900 feet of water, leaving an estimated 100 feet showing above the surface. Close by another berg, a little smaller but equally impressive, glides past the ship and the giant berg. Ahead of us, as we leave the vicinity of Elephant Island, is another crossing of the Southern Ocean and a return to warmer lands. No one on board really wants to leave: Antarctica has captured our imaginations and, for some of us, our hearts. For me, a return to the ice is a silent promise made to myself. I’m hooked on mysterious places. I’m hooked on Antarctica. 

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Okay. Here we go. Make ‘em laugh as they say, and the money will follow. And I have to say, from my own career selling travel, it works. Take a few minutes to think back through your own career and chances are when everyone was smiling, happy and laughing with you, that you found it easier to close the sale. For those of you new to selling travel, make no mistake that selling with humour is a selling technique that should be as natural to you as waking up. If you fake this, it will show and your clients will go. But not with you. So listen and learn. Better still, read and learn. Who knows where it comes from, but my family were funny. They loved to laugh and that was how I grew up. We found life in general funny or we made light of things that would get others down. Hey no money this month – we laugh about it. No food. What a chuckle. And of course this humourous trait was developed during WW1 for my grandparents and WW2 for my parents – with my Dad spending five years as a POW in Poland during the war, he needed his sense of humour to survive. That’s what he brought home after the war, well that and a few memories he chose to bury. My Dad sold life insurance for the Prudential and that line of work also required a sense of humour! Getting back to work after being a POW – well that too required a sense of humour. Having me as a son, well… say no more! Apparently I was a funny kid. Made ma & pa laugh and when I set of around the world at age 18, well my letters home were humourous too. That trait stayed with me and I have trained many other travel agents over time in how to find and use their funny

side. It’s not for everyone of course as some of us are just not humourous. Not so say some have no sense of humour, they do, but they just cannot impart it and when they try, well everything goes pear shaped. But then, if you can’t say it, can you spell it out, can you write it, can you create it in a graphic? These are the tools you can use, if you don’t happen to be a stand up comedienne like Steve Martin or Carole Burnett. If you can laugh at yourself and have stories to tell and photos too, then you are on your way to selling more travel and laughing all the way to the bank – and that my friends has a nice ring to it! Are you a woman in travel? Could you emulate any of the female comediennes? Are there stories you can tell that are funny, happened to you or your clients? If so, then why not script yourself for a short stand up introduction to open a consumer event with? It works. Believe me.

Agency Comics & Cartoons Find yourself a local cartoonist, tell them all about the things that have happened to you and also to your clients when they travel. Let your cartoonist create your comic strips and cartoons for you and then you can select the best ones for your website, flyers and even your brochures.

Okay, over to you. Start to record those funny events and situations that both you and your agency team and all of your clients have experienced and or reported. These stories will help your cartoonist do their job. Once you have

a decent selection you can start posting them on your website and who knows you might even have enough to publish a booklet that you can hand out to your existing and new clients. So, how much fun would this be? Funny money!ď ‘

Believe it or not, this takes practice. If you intend to sell with a smile then we’re talking about in person, on the phone, via your website, in your written communication and over social media too. That’s a lot of smiling, but it will be worth it. Let’s start with your website as this is where so many customers and customers-to-be go when they want to check you and your agency out. Whether you are a single independent, home-based travel agent or you work at a downtown, full service, physical location… your website is where the so called customer is won or lost in an instance.

What’s On Your Screen That’s Humourous? Take a look to the right and note that this webpage belongs to National Geographic Traveller magazine, India. When I searched for websites with travel humour this was the first to pop up and it really does have quite a selection of funny “stuff” – even a video of Jerry Seinfeld talking about air travel. The key to this webpage and the humour it dispenses is that the humour is clean – and that’s important. I viewed other websites that actually boasted travel humour and comedy but I was put off by the lewd humour and expletives. Might be funny at another time and place, but there’s no need for it on, in this case, your website. To attract the visitor to your website and to have them stay on your website at least until they click to read about your services and latest tour offerings, all you need to do is to position a video slap dab in the center of your website.

This video could be all about one of your funny encounters, it might be from YouTube or an embedded video you found online and it’s free to use, or it might be a series of funny images that you personally shot. Using my own website home page as the test page layout I’ve kept the header image and blanked out the rest of the page… now I can insert something humourous. Start with a title for your humour page. Factor in the word/s fun, funny, humour… in other words tell the visitor to your website what they’re looking at… then add a tag line to entice them to read on, click on, check out… or get in the mood to travel. A little humour at this point reduces the fear of flying and the hesitancy to book or try something new. I’ve come up with a name for my travel humour page as The Funny Traveller. How would you label your humour page?

Get in the mood to travel with our travel humour page!

This cartoon I’ve created is more a humourous reminder to the traveller that you get what you pay for and at the same time reminds them of the time they booked on line or paid for cheap seats and got them! Think beyond the humour for a real time meaning / education behind the words/image. As far as we know from those that do website testing, the typical visitor to a website will spend 20% of their time, which could be three seconds, focused on the center of your webpage. If that is true, then that’s where you’ll want to play your humourous video, or set up a slide show of funny images or embed a cartoon. If you have your humourous content behind a tab on the navigation bar labeled Resources for instance, not too many visitors will find it let alone click on it. This is why it’s important to make use of that Home Page real estate.

If your website is a ready-made template design established by the company you work for or hold a membership with, then if you can update your website without HQ consent, you will need to look for areas on your home page where you can place your humourous content. If there is a spot vacant to the top right – go for it as our eyes tend to end up there after we have swept them across the webpage.

Client’s eyes will end up here – hyperlink an icon to your humour page



The Women Only market is there for every female travel agent to consider as a niche – so think about what you currently sell and ask yourself if there is a ‘women only’ opportunity where you live. This new publication includes a review of travel safety which is the #1 challenge for the travelling woman. Travel safety then is a key component to running a successful women only niche. Not every female traveller is a shopper. Some like fly-fishing, cuisine tours, others a discussion group around a campfire lost in the mountains… so never generalize. For every activity there’s a woman waiting and wanting to do it, by herself or with like-minded women. Check the store today.

Tell the world you sell airline seats: The media have already made comment. They have already asked the consumer, "Do you book flights on the Internet?" Supposedly the consumer has said yes. The media have stated that airlines are moving away from travel agents. That travel agents will be charging more. That the big "I" will take all those airline seat reservations. Perception is reality. Time to start your media ball rolling. Attract the consumer by promoting airline seats. 'Push' Your Web Site To Your Clients: That's right. Add a "We Sell Airlines" comment on your home page. Get noticed. Here's how to "push" or mail your Web site. Open your Web site. Right Click on the grey area just under your URL. Click Command and this tool bar will appear:

out where those money making seats are. Some corporate agencies have the software that will keep searching for a selected seat. When that seat clears — zap! It has been secured and reserved. Study SeatGuru.com to know where the best seats are and know what you will charge for this service.

Click on PAGE and you will see two options: Send the home page or just the link. It's your choice. Sending the page is more graphic and grabs more attention. Be sure to test send your home page to your own email account to make sure the webpage arrives intact. Sometimes the graphics do weird things. If your home page does not look good, then you know to just send the link and add your message.

Seatbelt Signs On: Sure you can wait until someone asks about "any seats to..." or, you could unbuckle, be proactive and check availability in the morning. You'd be checking the point-to-point or end-point destination you sell the most. Knowing seat availability, you can now e-mail or call your "last minute flight club" (you do have one?) and say, "Hi, this is Getaway Gertie calling. I have two seats to (destination X) leaving like now! And I have a great spa that will go with those dates too!" And the fee to go with that is your next statement.

The other method is simply to Print Screen and insert that image into your email, then Right Click on the image and hyperlink it to your website. The Seat of Power is Knowledge: Time to get the agency team back in the knowledge game. Study what makes you money. Find

Flight Schedules: Yes, they still exist. You can send a paper version or electronic. Sure your clients could go online. But that's like saying its Monday and it's raining so no one will buy today. Learn to "push" your know how out to your clients. Remember there is B2B, B2C and then there is U2ME. Keep it U2ME. Send

the schedules. Tell your clients that "someone almost sat in your seat!" Then tell them you saved it for them. For a fee, of course. Re-brand The Brand: Many charter firms and tour firms will let you add your own brand to their flight or air-tour combo. Go for it. The airline seats are there. Flight time and date is set. It's going with or without your group. Best to have a group on that flight, wouldn't you say? Discuss with your BDM today how you can re-brand the brand. Local Store Marketing: Get out into your community. Meet with schools. Talk to teachers about school trips. Move on to associations. Get a camera club group ready to click. Walk into all retail stores in your area and talk about joint marketing efforts. You bring the seat. Let them bring their mailing list. New Seat Fits All: When airlines introduce a new seat, get one in your agency window and invite the walk-by traffic to come in and try it. Remember to sell all the senses. Sell the emotion of comfort vs. the never popular knees-to-chest configuration. Becoming a Glass Act: Do you have an agency window? Chances are you do. If you are in a high traffic area and you have high walk in, this could work for you. You can find

airline seats in town (your town) to use in a window display. Now, hire a student from the local acting school, class or theatre. Have them in the seat, relaxing, holding up signs and interacting with the window-watchers. Most of the time you agencies only feature the seat. Remember we need to add some sparkle. Some fizz. Animate. Sell on emotion. Add an actor and go live action. Best Seats In The House: Do your homework. Which airline has been rated best? What seats are rated best? Find out. Define your Best Seat strategy and get to market. There are probably a million ways to sell an airline seat. Let your preferred airline suppliers promote their destinations. This is excellent backup support for you. Unless there is a seat it doesn’t mean anything. What if you blocked and held under deposit 20 seats to a destination for an exclusive tour. Whatever it is, think seats. Book, block and sell 'em. Sell Insurance: Every airline seat means a chance to sell insurance. How could this not be a sale given the reports on terrorism? Even if you didn't get to book the seat, you can still sell insurance. So let's say you sell 2,000 seats/tickets a year. At a premium of $100 paying 43% commission that would be $86,000 in insurance commissions. Pump up your air seat sales and win!

“Lousy seats eh Jimmie, but what a view!”

Social? That’s for consumers. For travel companies, social media means business. As digital channels mature in scope and power, the industry needs to catch up

To download your own copy of this report please click HERE.

Social? That’s for consumers. For travel companies, social media means business Quick facts on travel When researching a trip…

When on a trip… Popular devices used while on vacation

Dream trip list


of people have a list of dream trips


Liked on Facebook


of people have liked a travel brand on FB; hotels and airlines are most popular


8% have been everywhere on their list Online reviews from travelers






of people use the internet while on vacation


76% agree “they give me insider


knowledge not available elsewhere”


agree “they give me the confidence I need to book”

of people book their vacation through online travel agents


of people use Facebook on vacation because they “like to share the satisfaction of being on holiday with my Facebook friends”


of people post vacation photos to Facebook when they return home

How soon people log into Facebook after landing % of people with apps on phone or tablet (type of app)

23% 20% 18%


Before getting home from airport


Same day


Within a week


Online Travel Agent

Hotel Chain

3% 14%

Review Site

Source: Facebook-commissioned global survey of 10,500 people who use social media


A funny thing happened on the way to my Facebook page. I received an email from Facebook, I think… looked like it. But? Anyway it was mentioning new rules for business pages and the fact that I had to operate a Personal Page and migrate to Business Manager… and then a whole bunch more work to meet the new rules. With 729 LIKES I thought I’d delve deeper and so clicked on INSIGHTS found on the top toolbar. Once there you can view the data that’s all about your page. When you click on Insights you will see another tool bar listing LIKES and PEOPLE. I clicked on People first to find out where my LIKES where coming from. The chart shown here is first up and it discloses Male to Female ratios and age brackets and further down, where your LIKES come from. I cropped the chart as shown here in the table, and out of my 729 LIKES you can see the split: 394 live in the USA, 229 in Canada… and there’s that one LIKE from various countries – even Uzbekistan! Next I wanted to know WHO my LIKES were. To find that out, I clicked on LIKES and here was my about face – 60% of the LIKES did not sell travel.

My Selling Travel Facebook page is meant purely for people and businesses working in the travel trade as all of the tips, tools and techniques are related to selling to the consumer. Well, as I went through each of my so called LIKES, I found out why I received clicks when I posted a zany image versus hardly any clicks when I posted something that could boost a travel agent’s sales. Reason was: over 60% of my LIKES were by people with absolutely no connection to selling travel. The big question is: WHY on earth would these people LIKE my page? So then I had the task of cleaning up my Facebook page. That’s where it now stands. I am visiting each and every LIKE which means clicking on the person’s link who LIKED my page and then

that takes me to their Facebook page. If there’s no sign or mention of being in the travel industry that LIKE is removed.

Turning my experience to your own use – you’ll need to check out WHO is behind the LIKES on your own agency Facebook page, and then delve into their Facebook page to find out their status and any mention of employment, recent trips, up-coming travel etc. If there’s no mention of any such thing, or they have booked and paid and travelled and returned and that booking did not go through your agency, then you have a couple of options. One would be to contact them and ask why, the other to remove them from your list.

HOWEVER… here’s a great tool just introduced and it is a CALL TO ACTION button.

Check out your Facebook page. Look for the Call to Action button shown on mine as Shop Now and then just follow the clicks. If your Timeline Image represents a new tour for instance then your Call to Action button could link your Facebook followers to the web page on your website that talks about the new tour. So once I clear all the NON-LIKES from my Facebook page, I’ll be back with some trade stuff. 

Selling travel today means knowing more than just where places are and the best hotels. Today the travel professional needs to show their knowledge as it relates to travel related “things” and these things could be services, applications, and especially techno gadgets that could help make a client’s trip more enjoyable. Here’s a few tips: iStick USB Flash Drive This drive is so simple. You use the Lightening connector to attach it to your iPhone or iPad and you then you have an additional 16, 32, or 64GB storage for and let’s go for photos. Now, your travellers can shoot to their hearts content and not worry about storage space. They can retain all their apps and let the Camera Roll transfer to the iStick. To transfer images to a computer you slide the slider to reveal a USB. Click here. SanDisk iXpand™ Flash Drive for iPhone and iPad iXpand™ Flash Drive is the easiest way to transfer photos and videos between your iPhone, iPad, PCs and Mac computers. Quickly free up memory on your iPhone or iPad, and instantly expand storage by up to 64GB. You can search online for where to purchase in your local area. Click here. CardRecovery Software Data Recovery Tools for Camera Cards Price: $39.95 (USD) per copy. No monthly fees. You can keep and use the product permanently to recover an unlimited number of files. Free 2-year upgrades. Click here. Depending on which camera card your client uses, they can also go to their website and look for Data Recovery. I Vest SHAMAN HTUC-System (Hi-Tech Utility Clothing System) Technophiles tend to travel with lots of hardware and gadgets. Each of those gadgets often needs its own charger and we need cables to connect those gadgets to other device. In short, we need lots of space for our electronics when we travel. Shaman HTUC (Hi Technology - Utility - Clothing) System Shaman product utility wear as the light weight pro reporter vest system and the electro traveller vest emphases the concept that travelers and pro photographers should wear all of their devices and accouterments within their, backpack, or luggage but in their HTUC. Click here.

Here’s where you find even more ideas on how to sell travel and boost your revenues. Ct is the trade magazine and every article I write is always geared to new business generation for YOU and your suppliers. The content ranges from a step by step how-to article to a comment about a current topic. Many of the articles are worth reviewing with your suppliers should you be able to work together to generate that new dollar for all. Click here to read.

The full Canadian Traveller logo represents the consumer magazine that now reaches millions of readers. Even if you have your own in-house magazine it is always a good idea to tell your clients about the consumer CT and the main reason for that is some supplements are shared between the trade and consumer magazine. Now you know what your client is reading, you can, from the trade issue, learn how to sell various destinations and then make the call. Everything CT does targets new business generation and hopes to put more money in your jeans. Click here to read.

Our online bookstore is overflowing with training options to boost sales and increase your knowledge on just about any topic! In addition to The Travel Institute’s certifications and specialist courses, we are stocking the shelves with other valuable content. Travel Institute members save ten percent on every purchase.

Home-Based Power Pack (books and a CD) by Anita Pagliasso.

Here are just a few examples of resources offered by members of our Professional Educators Program:

5 downloads from Penney Rudicil, The Gadget Girl, starting at only $4.

Become the Exception: A Complete Sales Strategy, by Mike Marchev, CTC. 15 ebooks created by Steve Crowhurst, CTC on topics such as marketing, sales, charging services fees, presentation skills and much more. How to Start a Home Based Travel Agency and Selling Cruises - Don't miss the boat! by Tom and Joanie Ogg, CTC, MCC

How to Turn Inbox Leads Into Sales (in print) by Stuart L. Cohen.

We are also an Amazon.com affiliate! Support The Travel Institute by using this special link, next time you order. It won't cost you anything and will help us provide scholarship assistance to travel professionals. http://thetravelinstitute.com/amazon ď ‘






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Ensu that re you are to-date passports carrying your upand have obta any required/ ined nece for entering the ssary tourist visas country(s) you visiting. are

trip You involves canc ellation penalties in the unforeseen even that you canc t el/postpone your travel arrangements. Ensure that you aware of these are penalties. • Carr your y Out-of-Count ry Hospital/Medic al/Travel Insur Policy with you. ance • awar Be e of luggage restrictions as weight, size and type of suitc such allowed on the ases inter national and domestic fligh ts on your itine rary. Excess bagg age charges are steep and can caus e great incon venience • Ensu you re have obtained recommended or required inoculations. Cert are mandatory ain inoculations for areas. Your trave travel to endemic l agent will have provided full details. • Chec outkthe availabili ty of local ATMs in your destination and/ or purchase some local currency travellers cheq or ues. • Give family/friend s the contact information at hotels/lodges you will be staying during your trave Information on l. your accommo datio is provided withi n your documen ns ts. • reco We mmend that you put your newspaper subs cription on hold the duration for of your trip and have your mail colle cted held at your local by a neighbour or post office. • is alwa It ys recomme nded that you secure your hom e with a secu rity alarm before you leave.

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SELLING TRAVEL www.sellingtravel.net If you could refer us to your travel trade colleagues, we’d really appreciate it. Many thanks.

Profile for SMP Training Co

Selling Travel March 2015  

Sales & Marketing Tips, Tools & Techniques for All Travel Trade Professionals

Selling Travel March 2015  

Sales & Marketing Tips, Tools & Techniques for All Travel Trade Professionals