Vanessa Lee, Seabourn’s Peggy McNeil, Renata Grant, The Travel Network & Michael Geske, Worldview Travel.
Vanessa & Peggy's Presentation
Last night in Toronto I helped organize and co-hosted an intimate client event for Seabourn Cruise Line. It was decided a different approach to such an evening should be taken and I proposed an "In Conversation" concept whereby the cruise line representative and myself were seated in armchairs with a screen between us to showcase imagery and video. The clients and their travel advisors attending all found this format engaging and appealing - much to my delight.
Certainly it's a different way to dialogue on news and updates from a cruise line and with 2 different voices and approaches, I felt that it kept the audience's attention. It's also a softer sell approach to the client and clearly a welcome one.
Seabourn is a great small-ship luxury cruise brand at the top of its game. Some of the guests were past Seabourn cruisers but a number were new to the line and indeed some were even new to cruise. There will be at least 6 bookings made specifically from the event making it a hit. Now would those people have booked anyway - possibly. But I don't believe they all would have and certainly they may not have booked Seabourn.
The whole event was an exercise in opportunity when we found out Peggy McNeil from Seabourn was coming to town to do an agent event. We quickly blocked time in her schedule and agreed on the kind of event to host. Seizing the moment as it were. It's not often we get this kind of opportunity (or can create same) so it's important to recognize how to take advantage and ensure some sales where there may have been none.
Frankly, it's also almost an "excuse" for advisors to reach out to their valued clients and to ensure they network to get people out citing timing and naturally, the time-limited offers to ensure they can "close the sale".
I find clients do have a lot of questions and want to know more and understand the key elements of a cruise line and of course, understand comparisons to other lines they may have experienced. Giving info and clarity is a huge part of the sales process. And it can ensure the client is also choosing the right vacation and cruise ship best suited to them. Any good reason to touch and connect with a client or a prospect is always valuable. Often more than people realize. It increases the "attachment" value between agent and client and likely increases the life-time value of said relationship.
And Seabourn has a great story to tell as well. The new Seabourn Encore coming this December, the more than stunning design for it from the renowned Adam D. Tihany and of course, the partnership with acclaimed American chef, Thomas Keller.
Likely you are aware of Chef Keller whose restaurants, French Laundry in Napa and Per Se in NYC are among the finest dining experiences. If you can get a reservation at French Laundry, it will be a pricy meal. On Seabourn Encore, The Grill by Thomas Keller is complimentary. A small version of The Grill has now been retro-fitted on Seabourn Quest with Odyssey and Sojourn to follow.
Seabourn is also a brand-leader with creative and meaningful partnerships with UNESCO and their Seabourn Conversations programme with luminaries from a wide range of fields who lecture and dialogue with guests onboard. And then there's the Ventures offering which truly piqued a great deal of interest from our audience as they heard about kayaking in Antarctica with expedition leaders while immersing themselves in the region’s sheer natural beauty.
And recently announced is the new wellness programme from the highly regarded Dr Andrew Weil - an industry first. Plus Tim Rice is now involved with Seabourn and that's sure to be a fascinating onboard series as it is rolled out as an 'Evening with Tim Rice' onboard these gorgeous yacht-like ships in the months to come.
Yes there is a great deal of story-telling from such an impressive line and yes the audience was listening. And they will be booking. Something we all want.