Q&A – Wayne Beard, Cruise Sales Executive North and Scotland, Saga Cruises

Wayne Beard

How long have you worked at saga cruises and what attracted you to the role? 

A: I have been here six months. It’s a brand new role building contacts with the cruise specialists.

What do you like best about the cruise industry? 

A: The relationships in the industry and working with key partners.

How is your company different to other cruise lines? 

A: Saga Cruises offers so many inclusions in the initial cost of the cruise: for example, chauffeur transport, insurance, specialty dining, WiFi, and a no gratuity policy.

What are you looking forward to most about your job over THE next twelve months? 

A: Developing relationships with key agents and sharing everything Saga to challenge their perceptions of our cruises.

Can you describe the typical Saga customer? 

A: They are over 50 years of age, looking for a luxury onboard experience with outstanding customer service. They want a choice of fantastic dining options and added value in the cost of the cruise. They like travelling with like-minded guests visiting enriched destinations.

How much percentage of growth are you targeting from UK & Ireland customers each year? 

A: We only sail from the UK. We are launching a new-build ship in 2019: 52,000 tonnage with less than 1,000 guests – and every cabin will have a balcony.

How does saga cruises work with the travel trade? 

A: We offer full marketing opportunities, agent ship visits and fam trips.

Why should agents sell cruise rather than a land holiday? 

A: For just the price of the cruise so much is included – from fine dining and entertainment to diverse destinations and experiences – and only having to unpack once. Most of all – memories to treasure.

If agents only sell one Saga voyage this year, which one should that be? 

A: Norway is always a top seller and this year we have our North Cape Adventurer Cruise from May 28 for 15 nights onboard Saga Pearl II. The other would be the Wildlife Special Cruise as guests will be joined by a representative from ORCA – the marine conservation organization – and can spot whales, dolphins, seabirds and other wildlife in the company of experts.

You come from a travel agency background – what is your advice for other agents looking to develop their careers in a similar way? 

A: Strive to learn at every opportunity and want to become the best at what you do. Follow your dreams with passion and the world is your oyster.

Tell us one thing about your life outside of Saga that agents may not know about you.

A: I am a keen photographer and have met many celebrities through taking press photos at concerts. Since being on the road, there has been little opportunity due to a full work diary. However, I have had the pleasure of meeting Rihanna, Whitney and others.

Top three tips for agents selling cruise

1 Sell the benefits of all that is included in the price of the cruise. Break the cost down to a per day price.

2 Compare cruise to a land trip based on quality and value for money.

3 Training is crucial. Know the key selling points of each cruise line to match with the right customer.

 

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