At MLT University in Minneapolis this past weekend, Nancy Maupins presented a class on selling MLT's luxury vacations at a range of destinations. As opposed to a high-end FIT, Maupins explained, a luxury package can boost an advisor's commission and get a client some unexpected perks.
Maupins began her class by sharing her definition of a luxury vacation: “It's an experience that makes your customer feel special and provides a real reward,” she said. “It gives the 'Wow' factor.” Of course, every client will have his or her own definition of what luxury means—whether it's an active vacation (think golf, tennis and yoga) or a more relaxed escape with spa treatments and dining in gourmet restaurants. Some clients, Maupins added, may not have a definition of luxury yet, but will simply know what they want when they see it.
Why Sell Our Luxury?
Booking a luxury tour with an operator like MLT, Maupins said, will automatically include a range of perks that would otherwise need to be booked individually, including upgraded flights on unpublished fares, bonus miles, limo transfers, top-tier activities and (of course) access to the top hotels.
Maupins defined a luxury hotel as one that is focused on personal service, as well as having a prime location. As part of a luxury package, a hotel might offer guests easy amenities like private check-in or late check-out. While the top rooms in a package's hotel may not be automatically included, it's often not hard to arrange an upgrade—Maupins recommends encouraging clients to upgrade to a spa room or a swim-up suite, or at least getting the room with the best views.
Hotels in MLT's luxury portfolio in Hawaii include Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, Westin and Fairmont hotels, as well as the historic Royal Hawaiian. In Las Vegas, guests can stay at the MGM resorts, the Wynn or the sister properties at the Venetian and the Palazzo. In the Caribbean, Maupins recommends Iberostar hotels, and likes the Le Blanc Spa resort in Cancun. The Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit has 90 beachfront suites, and guests booking through MLT will get an upgrade to the next level as well as a bottle of wine. In Los Cabos, guests staying at the adults-only Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort & Spa get a bottle of champagne and a free beach bed as well as a room credit of up to $100 depending on category. In London, guests staying at the May Fair will get a free membership to the hotel's casino.
“Talk about travel as a special occasion,” Maupins said when offering advice on encouraging clients to upgrade. “Ask questions about what they want—and listen! Explain the value and sell the experience.”