Stacy Day, ROL Cruise, was honoured with an award for Best Individual Cruise Consultant at February’s Wave Awards. Katherine Lawrey finds out what propels her to the top of the company’s sales leaderboard .
Being stuck for childcare meant Stacy Day couldn’t attend the Wave Awards, so her triumphant unveiling as best cruise consultant was relayed to her by colleagues who were there on the night.
“They rang me straight away, but I didn’t believe them. It was only when they sent a photo of the award, that I started to think it might be true!”
It’s a characteristically modest statement from the cruise sales consultant, who is ranked as one of ROL Cruises’ best, based on conversion rates, revenues and profits achieved. She’s worked for the company for nine years now, and before that she worked her way up the ranks of a Travelcare agency.
“I started aged 14 as a Saturday girl and ended up as manager, but the hours weren’t conducive when I had children. A friend recommended I join ROL Cruise, where the shift pattern works out better for looking after my girls.”
She admits it wasn’t easy transitioning her sales approach from face-to-face to the phone, but says her sales have really started to pick up in the last couple of years.
There are many factors driving her success, not least increasing consumer awareness of cruising, and a concerted approach to ongoing staff training at ROL Cruise, but there’s no doubt she finds it easy to strike up a rapport with customers. “I don’t let them end the call without making a booking,” she jokes.
In reality she maintains her average conversion rate of 82% by focusing on overcoming objections and upselling. “You have to explain things like gratuities, and spend time finding the right stateroom. If your clients think seasickness might be an issue, then don’t book them a stateroom at the front or the back of the ship; go nearer the middle.”
“And I always upsell,” she adds. “You have to paint a picture about the benefits of a balcony for watching the sunset over the sea or a bigger suite so they don’t feel so claustrophobic.”
Last year Stacy made 1,634 bookings, and her profit was up 18% on the year before. She’s achieved Gold standard in ROL Cruises’ staff training programme, demonstrating advanced knowledge of cruise lines and destinations. She’s also attended at least seven ship visits and three fam trips. She’s now working towards Platinum status, which has only been achieved by 3% of staff to date.
To cap it all, last year she won top UK cruise consultant for Celebrity Cruises, identifying Stacy as the top consultant out of 5,000 agents selling the line.
Now Stacy is heavily involved in training and mentoring the next generation of cruise sellers.
“I have a new starter sitting next to me and I listen in to her calls, advising her how she can improve her sales pitch. And there’s another new starter, currently in customer service, who listens to my calls, as a training exercise, before he’s ready to take his own calls.”
“It’s nice to give back like that,” she says. “And it does make me smile when I hear them repeating some of my catchphrases on phone.” Staff at ROL Cruise nominate colleagues for “going the extra mile” at annual awards, and Stacy has been nominated five times now, for her focus on customer care. Last year she received Outstanding Contribution for Sales.
Director of commercial sales Rosie Weir says: “Stacy is really positive and motivated at work. She’s someone that everyone looks up to, and she plays an active role in supporting the team, while also remaining focused on her own targets.”
It’s these targets that give Stacy her drive to succeed. “The reaction [to my winning the award]has been amazing, from colleagues and the industry,” she says. “But I’m just doing my job at the end of the day, and I want to carry on improving, because I love selling.”
She’s due to holiday onboard Celebrity Eclipse in the Canaries with her family this October, when Stacy will finally be able to put herself in that idyllic picture she paints for her clients.