It’s that time of year. Couples are getting engaged during the holidays and will soon be coming to you to plan their honeymoons.
The most important thing you can do to make your soon-to-be-wed clients comfortable is to present an aura of confidence. They may be nervous about cost and they may not agree on what they want to do. They’re also likely getting advice from everyone on where to go. It’s a chaotic, exciting time for them, that’s made even more complicated by the fact that they’re planning a wedding at the same time.
A calm, cool and confident you can be the oasis of comfort the couple has during this time. When you plan your first consultation with them, don’t push for them to make a decision on their luxury trip. This is a time for listening. You’ll need to be a counselor, a psychiatrist, and you’ll also need to deal with the fact that the couple has been Googling the heck out of where to go for their post-nuptial getaway. As a result, they’ll now have too much information and too many choices and are sure that no matter what they decide to do, they’ll make the wrong decision. Having too many options can do that to a perfectly sane person.
Try to have this first meeting in person. The environment you meet them in should be professional and soothing and just scream luxury through and through. Have a bottle of champagne ready for uncorking when they come in and welcome them with a flute of the bubbly once they’re in their seats. This is a marvelous time for them and you’ll want them to feel that they’re celebrating. Even take their picture as they’re sitting there; you might be able to include it in your trip proposals or final documents once everything is ready to go.
During this first meeting, you’ll want to get all of the information you can from them. What do they want to do, what do they hate to do? Which vacations have they enjoyed the most and which ones have they hated? What’s their idea of a dream hotel?
Because the couple is excited, it’s very possible they’ll leave out important information that you need to make their trip a success. Do they have points they want to use for their airline tickets? Are they members of hotel loyalty programs? Are they afraid to fly in prop planes? Is there a certain date they need to return home by because they’re starting a new job? What about food allergies? A true luxury travel advisor thinks of all these things ahead of time.
Who is the decision maker of the two? This is not a question to ask, but you’ll probably be able to figure out who has the last word as you listen to them. If they’re asking you to replicate the same trip their best friends took for their honeymoon, dig in a bit. Is this a trip they’ll both really enjoy, or are they just trying to keep up with their neighbors?
Take copious notes and study them. Set up a time to speak with each of them again, separately. Ask each privately what their ultimate honeymoon trip would include. They may have been too shy to bring it up in their previous meeting with you. Maybe she always wanted to go to Tahiti but thinks it’s too expensive. You might have access to a cruise that sails in French Polynesia with a two-for-one airfare. Get the destinations and experiences down that they’re really dreaming about and see if you’ve got anything in your toolbox to make it all come true.
A final note: Be sure to charge fees for these consultations. Your time is worth money and so is your knowledge.