Cruise passengers’ demand for small and exclusive ships, private access tours and adventure are the hot topics for 2017-18 – and cruise lines are creating ever more enticing experiences for the discerning traveller.
With a wealth of cruise vessels to choose from, it can be tricky to navigate the best way to sell, so here, Andy Harmer, senior vice president membership & director of the Cruise Lines International Association UK & Ireland – CLIA -, offers his top 10 tips for selling a luxury cruise.
1 – Find out as much as you can!
Customers have different needs and wants, and luxury buyers are just the same. They may want to celebrate a special occasion, be completely pampered, or explore certain places in complete comfort.
2 – Know your products!
There are many luxury cruise providers, and many ships to choose from – if you know what is important to your customer it is easier to match them to the right ship, itinerary and cruise holiday.
3 – Consider all luxury options!
Remember, many larger ships also have premium cabins and suites, or even a whole section of the ship. This may be the best of both worlds for some customers.
4 – Are they more adventurous?
Remember that many people like to explore places off the beaten track – and to do so in style! Check out the luxury expedition providers for a possible solution.
5 – Is a river cruise holiday the answer?
Many of the river cruise operators operate in the luxury sector – with incredible ships and amenities, often all-inclusive drinks and excursions, and visiting some fantastic destinations with exclusive after-hours tours.
6 – Make it bespoke!
Many luxury buyers are looking for experiences that are created just for them – so be confident in offering private shore excursions, higher grade cabins, private transfers and so on.
7 – Add on where you can!
Remember, holidays start from the moment you close the front door so offer to make your clients’ holiday extra special with airport lounges, upgraded flights, great hotels in embarkation ports and so on.
8 – First-hand knowledge is key.
Take advantage of CLIA events and ship visits, or the events and visits offered by the cruise lines themselves – and get to really know the available products, new developments and opportunities. It is much easier to sell a ship if you have visited it or sailed on it.
9 – Do not be afraid of the price.
Many of us are not luxury buyers and so often see high cruise prices as something we are reluctant to offer to customers. You do not have to pay yourself – so offer the cruise and be ready to listen to their feedback.
10 – Not all luxury buyers are always luxury buyers!
Some people looking for a holiday may have saved for that one holiday for years, or be treating themselves to celebrate a certain anniversary or special birthday. Never assume. Be open-minded and treat all customers as potential cruisers!