Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Aboard the Escape, tips from Norwegian’s sales pro

Aboard the Escape, tips from Norwegian’s sales pro

Photo's taken by Dave Jones
(flickr photos https://flic.kr/s/aHsknU5bR4 )
My Norwegian escape Review
Norwegian Cruise Line’s ace sales instructor Bob Becker was onboard the Norwegian Escape’s preview cruise in early November. Becker, whose official title is senior vice president of consumer research, gave a well-attended talk to agents in the ship’s main theater.

Becker made many of the points he’s made in past sales presentations, but if you’ve never heard them it can be an inspirational hour or so. Here are a few of the pointers from the Norwegian Escape session:

• Help people buy what they need, not what they want, Becker advised. What they want is availability and a price quote. An agent can do a better job of sniffing out what they need than an OTA.

• “Have I ever been in your bedroom?” is a question Becker said he asks of customers who want an inside cabin. “I bet it has a window. So why go on vacation and stay in a closet?”

• Another bit of advice for agents is to do business on the phone or face to face, not over the Internet. 

“There are no relationships in email,” Becker said. When he gets an email inquiry, Becker said he sends back a form letter asking the prospect to call him to discuss his vacation.

“If they don’t call back, bye-bye,” said Becker, adding that long back-and-forth email exchanges can be one of the biggest hidden time-wasters for agents.

• Social media can also fall into that category, Becker said. “Don’t let Facebook screw up your day.”

Becker said that an agent’s information technology time should be reserved first for a customer relationship management system, then email, and only after that for Instagram and Facebook.

“Social media is ‘in addition to,’ not ‘instead of,’” said Becker. 

• Another Becker gem is to find the customer’s hot spot, something that can be used to your advantage in crafting a custom solution for that client. “Who will be joining you on this vacation?” is one of his favorite questions.

Knowing whether a cruise is intended to be a multigenerational family trip or a romantic getaway for two is the first step toward picking a line, ship and cabin for that customer.

Follow up with questions about the names and ages of the customer’s travel party, he recommended. “If they tell you their kids’ names and ages, they already trust you enough to give you their credit card.”