More than ever, product knowledge is a “must” now, and it’s the main driver when it comes to defeating the OTAs and direct-booking sites. As a result, luxury travel advisors need to continue honing their sales and marketing skills. Let’s admit it, we didn’t get into this business because we love to sell and market. We are in it for the love of travel and to experience vast lands and cultures. When was the last time you took a true sales-skill course or a marketing curriculum based on branding or creative execution?
There are plenty of classes out there on how to tackle digital marketing. But there are very few when it comes to developing pure selling skills. One of the best teachers in the business is Anne Scully of McCabe World Travel. Anne will be speaking at our Ultra Summit this month in Washington, D.C., and I can’t wait to hear what she has to share with our elite audience of advisors and suppliers.
On the cover of this month’s issue is another industry icon, Gary Murphy of AmaWaterways, who truly understands the art of sale.
For those of us who don’t have access to learn from these veterans, I suggest joining your local chapter of Hospitality Sales & Marketing International (HSMAI). This is an excellent association that will help you find those inner sales skills for sure.
Luxury Travel Advisor recently sponsored The Top 25: Extraordinary Minds In Hospitality Sales, Marketing and Revenue Management at HSMAI’s Adrian Awards. Pictured here with me is Jeff Senior of KSL Resorts, a past winner, and Justin Barnette of South African Tourism, a current recipient. So go to www.hsmai.org and become a member and, one day, I hope to see you on stage being awarded for having an “extraordinary mind.”