When Henry Met Seabourn: The Making Of A Great Partnership
with Ming Tappin
Agents were welcomed to the training Seabourn-style with a glass of champagne.
A video on the upcoming Seabourn Encore featured highlights of the new ship.
BDM Tom Steer took his turn at the podium to discuss the luxury merits of Seabourn.
(l-r)Jane Zappone & Karen Nunner of Expedia CruiseShipCenters enjoyed lunch with Vera & Ben Chan of Cruise Holidays.
(l-r) The Maritime Travel Team: Katherine Young, Christina Chysyk, Sheila McPhail, Sandy Kollenz & Sue Vogl
Seabourn hosted 55 travel agents for lunch at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in downtown Vancouver this week. BDMs Tami Normann & Tom Steer welcomed agents with a glass of champagne, followed by a presentation and 3 course lunch prepared by the wonderful culinary team at the Rosewood.
The product presentation included the usual client demographic, value proposition and new ship details, but the focus of the afternoon was on how to sell luxury and how agents can build their own success through the power of suggestion. Tami told the group that she has cruised Seabourn "incognito" 4 times, and each time onboard she has asked fellow cruisers why they picked Seabourn. The most common answer: "My travel agent suggested it." Agents - you have more power than you think!
Ben Chan from Cruise Holidays is such an agent. As a luxury seller, he says clients trust an agent's advice and opinion, because we are the experts in the field. If you are not talking about Seabourn, someone else who does will get the booking. But the key is to take it beyond just listing what's included. Paint the picture for your clients - describe the experience of walking amongst the penguins in Antarctica, then returning the ship to enjoy caviar and champagne. Or sailing into Amalfi for the famous drive, only accessible to small yachts like Seabourn, while others have to port in Sorrento, more than 30 km away. These are all intangible experiences that I have written about - priceless moments that create lifelong memories.
I also met a group of Maritime Travel Sales Managers who came to support Seabourn. Sandy Kollenz, who oversees Maritime's retail operations in Western Canada, works very closely with Tami & Tom to grow their Seabourn business. She is very excited about Seabourn's return to Alaska next year after a 15 yr. hiatus, and will be promoting a group departure to their past guests.
Luxury cruisers are no longer just for the retired senior. An interesting name has been coined for a new breed of luxury traveler: HENRY - High Earners Not Rich Yet. These are the working wealthy - entrepreneurs, business owners & professionals age 45-64 who are looking for extraordinary and high end experiences. They are prime candidates for the ultra-luxury Seabourn yachts. Leverage your power - introduce a few Henrys to Seabourn, and watch your relationship flourish.
Ming with Tom Steer & Tami Normann of Seabourn Cruises.