20 tips to selling cruise

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Jessie Hoo specialises in cruise and is a graduate of the Princess Academy training program. She works as a sales executive of New Shan Travel Service in Singapore, which has recently launched a cruise section on their website that allows clients to select their travel dates, departure ports, ship type as well as special offers and promotions. Here are her top 20 selling tips.

  1. Know the value proposition of cruising, such as the all-inclusive cruise packages which offer a range of dining, accommodation, and entertainment options.
  2. Be familiar with the layout of the ships such as deck plans, cabin categories, key facilities and onboard offerings.
  3. Be equipped with the knowledge of differentiating the cruise lines and their respective selling points.
  4. Determine the demographics of your clientele, as well as their specific lifestyle and travel requirements, so that we can recommend the suitable cruise brands.
  5. Find out if your clients are first-time or repeat cruisers.
  6. Be equipped with knowledge of popular cruise destinations, such as Alaska, Europe and Southeast Asia, as it would help us make the right recommendations to customers.
  7. Embark on a cruise trip for first-hand experience. The best cruise travel agent is usually equipped with the necessary knowledge and confidence needed when recommending a cruise product.
  8. Know the visa requirements for different countries, according to the visitors’ nationalities.
  9. Be familiar with the itineraries for the different cruise lines. For example, we always tell our clients that Princess Cruises has been voted the leading cruise brand for Alaska itineraries for the past nine consecutive years.
  10. Know the distances between airport and cruise ports to prepare customers on their pre-and-post cruise transfers, as well as flight timings.
  11. Keep yourself updated with the latest cruise industry news and be aware of situations such as natural disasters or incidents affecting the cruise industry.
  12. We gauge the interest of corporate clients who are seeking alternative MICE holiday options with a wide array of cruise itineraries.
  13. Share useful tips such as information on the mandatory muster drills, reading the daily newsletter for programme highlights, what to pack for a cruise trip, and items that cannot be brought on board such as hairdryers or irons.
  14. Recommend all the duty-free retail brands available on board, so that clients can plan their shopping ahead of the trip.
  15. Agents should also be mindful of the guidelines for each cruise line. For example, infants need to be at least six months old to be permitted on board due to safety reasons.
  16. Familiarise ourselves with the cruise line’s booking system to check for accurate inventory and availability.
  17. Offer clients value-added services. For example, we offer little known information such as the mahjong sets available for loan on board Princess Cruises’ ships.
  18. Know the membership benefits across the different cruise lines, so that returning cruisers may reap these generous perks.
  19. Advise customers to book long-haul cruises to popular destinations, or on new ships, a year in advance, to secure cabins of their choice.
  20. Relationship building and impeccable client-servicing is key to retaining customer loyalty. Always follow-up with customers before and after their cruise trips.