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Don’t Just Sell – Upsell to Higher CommissionsMarch 24, 2011 By: Staff Home-Based Travel Agent
It never hurts to ask, Amadeus says in an advisory to travel professionals, urging agents to sell up. “You’ll make more money—and provide customers with a better travel experience,” Amadeus says, offering a series of well-thought-out upselling techniques and a few tested technology tools to help agents upsell."
“Selling leisure travel is a ‘happy’ business, so make the pitch to make a happy occasion even happier,” says Betty Balli, manager of travel agency marketing for Amadeus North America. “Why not go for the gold when packaging a vacation? The worst thing that could happen is your customer will say ‘no.’”
Here’s Amadeus’ checklist for suggesting travel upgrades that will boost your profits—and increase customer satisfaction – and technology tools that will make the job easier.
• Start with the property: perhaps this vacation warrants splurging for higher-end accommodations? The new Amadeus Hotels Plus SmartTab on Amadeus Selling Platform puts amazing hotel photos at your fingerprints, so you can show customers the glittering chandeliers in the hotel lobby and the rich granite in the suites.
• See if they’ll say “supersize me” when choosing a room type. Why settle for a standard room when a spacious one-bedroom would be so much more luxurious? Or perhaps the property has ocean views, balconies or other perks. Use property photos to make your case.
Up in the air
• Suggest going business or first class, especially for “milestone” vacations like honeymoons, destination weddings or for long international journeys.
• Book using Amadeus Air, where you’ll have access to the flight schedules of more than 766 global airlines, including low-cost carriers.
• Encourage your customers to just say no to econo-class and spring for something bigger and better instead. Especially if their vacation involves driving down long, winding highways (think wine country in northern California, gorgeous southern Italy, the lush tropics of Turks & Caicos). A convertible would give them the opportunity to really experience the breathtaking natural landscape. Or if it’s a big family reunion, why make the trip from the airport to the hotel feel like a sardine can when a mini-van or SUV will give everyone room to breathe? With new Amadeus Cars Plus, a SmartTab on the Amadeus Selling Platform, you can give travelers the rundown on the specific kind of vehicles they’re renting; photos will get them excited about taking hold of the wheel and driving off into the sunset.
Talk up tours
• Tours are a great way for travel agents to earn higher commissions. Using Amadeus Tours—which is available as part of our free leisure portal, Amadeus Vacation Link, and as part of Amadeus Selling Platform—you can set your own commission rate to really take control of your profit margin. But customers love the convenience of tours as well, and often have a better vacation experience with a pre-packaged deal. Talk up tours to create seamless vacations your clients will love—and commissions you can bank on.
• Pitching a bigger cruise cabin in a better location isn’t just a way to score a juicier slice of the commission pie—it’s also likely to mean a more enjoyable vacation for your customers. Suggest a room with a balcony—or better yet, entice them to opt for more elbow room by upgrading to a suite. Use the interactive graphical deck plans on Amadeus Cruise (part of the FREE Amadeus Vacation Link leisure portal as well as Amadeus Selling Platform) to show customers how far they’d be walking to get to the dining floor—or how deep in the belly of the ship they’ll be—if they don’t go for the better location. And be sure to send photos of the swankier cabins if you think they’d be happier with an upgrade.
Pitch peace of mind
• When you upgrade to a higher-carat diamond, you’ve got more to lose if it pops out of its prongs one day. And when your customers upgrade to better seats, bigger rooms or cabins and hotter wheels, they have a deeper loss at stake when emergencies strike. This is why travel insurance is so important—you can tell your clients that no vacation is complete without it! Sell insurance through Amadeus Insurance to enjoy an upgrade in commissions for your business as well.