Luxury Vacations (Avoya Travel Network)
Specializing in luxury and river cruise vacations as well as traveling to Europe and the Mediterranean have fueled Lisa Long’s success. This 11-year veteran of the industry pulled in more than $2 million in sales last year and her agency, which she co-owns with her husband, garnered more than $3.6 million. Affiliated with Avoya since 2011, Long’s agency has received the network’s top honors for business performance and customer service; she’s also a top producer for Crystal Cruises, Regent, Silversea and Uniworld. Avoya’s SVP of sales, Scott Koepf, calls Long a “consummate business owner and travel expert.”
“My goal isn’t just to sell a cruise,” she tells us. “It’s to make a friend and a lifetime client. I’m cheerful so customers feel at ease and trust me with their plans.” Putting clients at ease has been necessary this year; Long says terrorism and other world events have made some fearful of traveling to Europe. She’s soothed their concerns by telling them she’s going there herself. But, she’s also mindful that there is a fine line between soothing and convincing someone to go somewhere. “I respect clients’ emotions and I don’t ‘force’ them. I always say whatever they choose is OK and I’ll look at other options because I’d rather book a vacation they enjoy than one they’re too nervous to take.”
She’s especially proud of putting together a fundraising cruise for her church, which wanted to generate additional income and bring the congregation together. Sixty members sailed together, made new friends and were inspired by a motivational speaker Long had hired. She also made the planning process an experience. “Many had never cruised before so I made sure they knew what to expect, held informational meetings and hand-delivered documents to get them excited about the cruise,” says Long.