Creating Special Bonds With Clients & Colleagues

by Vanessa Lee

Buchan’s 1st day home after his operation.

Cruising on SeaDream with a wonderful group of women... while the men were all drinking!

On Avalon's Tranquility II Christening Cruise with Globus family of brands' Kim Clarke.

There are times when it is hard to find something interesting to write about, even in the exciting cruise world, especially during the dog days of summer. And for me it is even harder to focus this week as I am going through a tough and heartbreaking time with my own dog, my wonderful Golden Retriever Buchan who has been diagnosed, at just age 9, with inoperable cancer tumours. Therefore this will be a shorter column and those of you who do read it, may enjoy the brevity for once!

When you have emotional and painful times in your life, it is  so hard to continue with day to day normalcy. I am spending 24/7 with my pup in his last week and ensuring I  give him joyful and happy experiences. Now - how do I relate that to selling cruises and travel and finding something useful to take from my experience?

It occurred to me that in both good and bad times in life, it is important for a person to feel engaged and involved with others. When the world is a happy place, it is lovely to hear from people who wish to share your happiness and joy – for whatever may be going on and for whichever celebration may be occurring.

Equally in those times when tears flow and hearts break, it is even more meaningful for people to reach out and touch. To simply let you know they are there or taking time to care and be involved with us.

And so I urge you to also stay connected with your friends and colleagues as well as with your clients. Find out more about those you work with – the suppliers who come and visit your offices – what can you learn from them and what knowledge can they impart that will make life and work better for you? What about you and your clients – how close are you to some of them? Do you know when they are going through happy or sad life changes?

Many clients, particularly those in the middle and upper boomer years (and there are millions of us) are going through a number of life moments and have cause to travel perhaps even more exponentially than in the past. Life celebrations, many of which can now be health-related, are ideal reasons to book a special trip or cruise.  If we know more about those in our lives, even as long-standing clients in a business sense, can we not move that relationship to something more personal? Do we know when it might be the right time to suggest a certain kind of vacation? Family reunions at sea, a celebration of a return to wellness perhaps – or just one of those 2ndtime around romance moments – a great reason for a cruise, and let me assure you -  I should know!

As our work and personal lives tend to intermingle more and more these days, lives blur and blend and clients can become friends and friends are often our clients and those we work with, in the supplier to retail side of things – many of us have become friends along the way too. We all do well by feeling and receiving the warmth and caring attention of others. It is a good and right thing to do, in this hectic and frenetic life we find ourselves a part of, to always be aware, tuned in and thoughtful about those in our world.

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