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Selling the Luxury Segment Is Within Your ReachSeptember 21, 2015 By: Nexion
Integrating luxury sales into your agency makes savvy business sense. It will allow you to work smarter, not harder.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION: We asked Travel Agents, "What's the coolest technique you ever used to upsell clients on a luxury perk?"
It’s simply a matter of dollars and cents. You receive higher commissions based on higher average sales. For example, your average contemporary cruise line sale may be around $2,000, which gets you a 15 percent commission of $300. The average commissionable sale on a luxury cruise line may be $4,000, which at 15 percent commission earns you $600. So why not make twice as much money for the same amount of work?
Get started selling luxury by using the tips that follow:
Know Your Value
If you don’t know your value as a travel professional, then how can you convince any client of it and in a short amount of time? Come up with a single sentence that describes what value you bring to the client, and that should be your “sales mantra.” One example would be: “I curate options that create unique specialized travel experiences.”
This is an especially good one, because when dealing with affluent travelers, the key to success is providing something they cannot find on their own. They want services and products that are customized and specialized to their interests and needs.
Identify Your Passion and Develop Expertise
You know what your personal passions are, so make them make them your areas of expertise. When selling something you feel passionate about, your voice will automatically be different; you will carry your body differently, and you exude enthusiasm. The goal is to make your enthusiasm contagious.
There are a number of ways to develop your expertise. Many consortiums and host agencies offer their own educational resources as well as courses through their travel partners. Take advantage of FAM tours, so you can also sell with the knowledge and confidence of having experienced the products yourself.
Don’t Sell Price, but the Experience
Selling luxury is all about the experience your clients want, so be sure to listen carefully when they speak. A client comes back from a contemporary or premium brand cruise, for example, and says the trip was great but that they would have preferred more intimacy. Now is the time to start describing the experience on a higher-end cruise line, where crew members will address you by name, and wait staff will know your drink of choice before you even sit down.
Look at Your Current Client Database
Your client database should provide more than client contact information. The more information you can collect on your client's likes, interests, ways they like to travel and with whom, the more targeted you can be during your sales process.
With current middle income clients, use your database to search for upcoming milestone birthdays or anniversaries. These are excellent reasons for them to upgrade to a luxury experience. Search select dream destinations, such as Australia, and send information as you get it that might lead to turning their dream into a reality.
Don’t ever automatically decide a middle income client cannot be a luxury client. You never know when they might receive a bonus at work, get an inheritance or even decide this is the year to retire and use their nest egg. The only way to do that is to keep in touch and enter it all in your database.
Sell Affinity Groups
Create your own affinity groups using your database to identify common interests, or a multigenerational trip to go with a milestone event. Many host agencies and consortiums also offer group block space where your individual clients can reap the benefits of a group rate and added group benefits.
Social and Real Life Networking
You should be writing about luxury travel experiences on your own website, on a blog and on Facebook. Social Media is one of the best ways to reach affluent travelers. An estimated 30 percent of Facebook users have an annual household income of at least $100,000, according to a Nielsen NetRatings study. You can also submit stories to professional journals, business magazines and university alumni magazines.
For face-to-face networking, attend charity events (that you feel strongly about), regattas, golf tournaments, art galleries, alumni mixers and world affairs lectures. Don’t forget to collect business cards of everyone you meet and immediately place them in your database.
This article is brought to you by Nexion, and was produced in partnership with Travel Agent Central’s sales team. Travel Agent Central’s editorial team played no part in developing the article.