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Zicasso Launches New Luxury Travel ProgramSeptember 30, 2010 By: George Dooley
Travel professionals who want qualified leads to luxury travelers should take a look at Zicasso’s new online luxury travel referral service. The program matches discerning travelers with a select group – the top 10 percent - of travel specialists and offers a way to acquire targeted leads, increase sales and enhance productivity.
"Our comprehensive solution delivers the targeted luxury clients that are matched to a specialized travel agent’s skills, as well as offering agents the tools and best practices for them to continually increase sales conversion and productivity,” noted Brian Tan, founder and CEO of Zicasso. He notes that Zicasso.com has been ranked among the top online travel sites.
Tam said the new program is targeted at travel agents – including home based independent agents - and retail tour operators who focus on selling luxury custom tours. Tan also says that the new program enables travel specialists to outsource much of their marketing, sales training, and technology tools needs to Zicasso, allowing them to focus instead on selling and further developing their expertise in destinations and traveler activities. It also addresses the do-it-yourself online booking trend, Tan says. “This leaves travel agents in the custom travel market with a strategic need to revise their ability to compete and remain viable by focusing on trips that are complex to book and luxury-oriented,” he said.
Tan says complex luxury trips require deep specialization in order to design multi-faceted itineraries with unique experiences. “As travel agents specialize, it has also become more challenging and expensive to find new luxury clients who happen to seek their particular specialization, whether it’s destination- or activity-focused. Zicasso solves this problem squarely,” he said.
One agent agrees in a testimonial cited by Zicasso. “Zicasso has been a great way to expand our reach to luxury travelers and grow our business. Working with Zicasso has been an efficient and rewarding partnership,” commented Corinne Goodman, owner of Down Under Endeavors, a luxury travel agency based in Chicago. “Since we are very niche in our service, the parameters we can set with Zicasso for lead qualification ensure we are matched with the right leads. The client is happy to find a specialist, and we are happy to find a traveler who seeks our professional skills. Further, Zicasso’s best practices and personalized sales coaching have improved our closing sales skills."
Zicasso’s lead generation service provides four key components that include: targeted luxury leads, web based client relationship management, trusted travel reviews and personalized sales support and coaching.
Zicasso provides participating agents with pre-qualified, highly-targeted leads for luxury custom tours. This includes detailed customer information, including travel styles, services needed, interests and budgets. The leads are provided with no upfront charge, so travel specialists do not incur any risk or capital investment, Tam notes. Travel specialists only pay commission when these leads convert into an actual sale.
The CRM component allows the agent to maintain tight control on client communications and to control the sales process that is integrated with the leads matched on Zicasso.com, Also featured is a transparent ratings and reviews system for travel specialists. This allows agents to build their online reputation based on bona fide reviews from real travelers who made actual purchases and completed their trips arranged by Zicasso travel specialist partners. All travel companies that are part Zicasso’s select network must maintain 3.5 out of a 5-star rating system in order to remain in it providing one element in Zicasso’s quality control program.
Another feature is Zicasso’s best practices for selling custom tours, refined over the years and based on analysis of thousands of trips planned on Zicasso. This includes ongoing sales coaching for agent partners based on real-time observations and benchmarks throughout the actual sales cycle. One goal: increased sales conversion rates.