|Ruthanne Terrero, CTC, vice president–Content/editorial director|
This year, you’re facing a rosy economy; there is trepidation over terrorism but overall, consumers are braver than ever and more likely to forge ahead with travel plans than to hole up in their homes. They also forget things rather quickly, as 24/7 news stations drop major stories for newer major stories.
Affluent consumers have already been spending, big time. I went holiday shopping recently on Long Island’s North Shore and the number of awesome, brand new, top model automobiles cutting me off in the parking lot was extremely impressive; it was all I could do to stop and stare at the shiny new colors and fancy body trim as their owners frantically blinked their headlights at me to get out of their way.
So we have an upbeat consumer, willing to travel to places they feel safe. How can you spin this dynamic? Upsell, upsell, upsell. Paint the picture of the view from that suite with a balcony, seduce them with how they’ll feel when they walk into that five-star hotel lobby and send them into rapture over the buzz they'll get when they’re driving that exotic car you insisted they book for that excursion down the California coast.
I’ve been upsold several times recently. When I bought a car, the dealership was so spacious, the salesman was able to show me the SUV I wanted in every color, in its most basic format and in the fully loaded version. I could touch and feel them and weigh my options very easily. In another instance, a young woman selling prints of her fashion illustrations at the Christmas market in New York’s Bryant Park took the design I’d selected and effortlessly popped a black frame around it. “I can mat this for you in three minutes,” she said. Delighted with how much better it looked, I gladly spent an extra $10.
Being able to actually see what one is buying makes spending extra money a complete no-brainer, and if the salesperson is patient, intuitive, humble yet agile, there's no stopping the sale.
And today, there are so many technology tools available; be sure to invest in them and keep your eye on what's happening with virtual reality (or “VR” if you want to sound hip). That's an immersive, 3-D experience that unfolds with the use of videos and images with 360-degree perspectives that's really moving in to the travel sector. It’s becoming super prominent because Samsung and Google are making devices to view the technology extremely accessible. Imagine what this means for pitching a destination or a hotel; you’ll now be able to sell the actual experience as well, all from your office.
Technology, paired with your human relation skills, make the mix for amazing upselling potential. Go for it in 2016.