Lessons To Help Grow Your Cruise Business Part III

by Ming Tappin

One way to personalize your client relationship - send handwritten notes by mail for that human touch.

This is the cruise for you! If you have qualified carefully, you should be able to narrow down just 1 or 2 cruise options for your clients.

Get online - social media is the way of the future for the next generation of travellers.

Think ahead and make a plan - it's your path to success.

This week we're wrapping up our series on how to grow your cruise business which was inspired by Adam Goldstein's keynote speech at Cruise360.

Personalize the Relationship

This complements the point of owning the customer mentioned in the 1st part of this 3 part series. Clients are loyal to those who have taken the time to get to know them and have created a meaningful relationship with them. If your clients know that you  understand their needs and can cater to their preferences, they will stay with you and book with you. In order to reach this understanding, you need to engage with them on a regular basis, send them pertinent information that appeals to their interest and demonstrate that they are more than just a number in your database. Personalize your notes and phone calls to say hello rather than rely on electronic messages.


Often, we try to impress our clients by sharing all the knowledge that we  have; after all we want to show that we are cruise experts. But this could actually be very confusing and overwhelming to them, and can cost you the sale. "Less is More" is truly applicable when providing cruise quotes. Give no more than 2 options. In fact, if you have properly qualified your clients, there should only be 1 choice that best suits their needs. In the end, your expertise will come across in the few recommendations that you make, because the client will realize that you truly understand them and have used your knowledge to recommend the best cruise for them.

In addition, avoid using industry jargon without a proper explanation. Guest space ratio or gross registered tonnage mean nothing if clients don't understand how it applies to their situation. Every time you mention a point, ask yourself 1st: Is this point relevant and am I explaining how it will affect their cruise experience?

Go Digital &  Go Social 

There is no argument that we all need to be on social media. Some agents say  their clients are older and don't use computers or social media, so there is no need to have a presence online. Unfortunately this is a very near-sighted statement. As business owners, we need to look ahead to the future, to capture the next generation of travellers, who are all online. Social media is where people are expressing their views, opinions and passions, and there is no better place to express your passion for cruising and pique their interest. Many agencies are employing millennials to look after social media postings, and there are also social media gurus available to teach the proper techniques.

Think Ahead

Adam Goldstein concluded his speech by asking all of us to think ahead. We are often too busy processing the daily grind and few take the time to list our long term business goals. He encouraged us to take 1/2 or a full day out of our schedule to think where we want to be by a certain time, and make a plan on how to achieve that. Whether it's hitting a sales target, achieving higher commission levels, growing the size of your agency or increasing your database - write down your goals, and then implement steps to make them a reality.     

Thanks for following me on this journey and I hope you will apply these  lessons to your business.

Ming Tappin is a cruise veteran with over 20 years experience in the industry and has sailed on 38 cruises and counting. Based in Vancouver, Ming  is Owner of www.yourcruisecoach.com.

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