Selling Luxury: Chris Austin, SVP, Global Sales and Marketing (Podcast)

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Welcome to Selling Luxury, the podcast produced by the editors of Luxury Travel Advisor. This series inspires and educates travel advisors who want to enter the luxury arena and provides great insights for those advisors who are already successful in this niche.

Ruthanne Terrero, VP and editorial director of Luxury Travel Advisor, chats with Chris Austin, senior vice president of Seabourn, who shares his expertise on how luxury travel advisors can sell more luxury vacations.

When it comes to finding clients that have never cruised and booking them their first voyage, Austin says one of the key points is the value. While a hotel may offer breakfast, a luxury cruise will likely be an all-inclusive package, where guests receive three meals daily, unlimited drinks and more. Another tip her offers: Don’t use the word “cruise.”

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“Say, ‘I've done some studying. I know that you chose to go to XYZ resort, because you love the spa. I have identified this amazing spa, but it's also a wellness resort,’” Austin suggests.

“I think the tip here is, tie into the passion points,” he adds. While you might not get a booking immediately, you certainly will have sown the seeds.

Austin says that advisors shouldn’t be hindered by clients who don’t typically take luxury vacations. “Every single client could be a luxury client,” he says. They key? Sell them on booking a luxury, or ultra-luxury, experience for those once-in-a-lifetime experiences—a big birthday or anniversary, say. But you really have to know your clients.  “Knowing when those dates are, and actually presenting that opportunity, maybe six years before the date is a great way to unlock that opportunity,” Austin adds.

On that note, he also says advisors shouldn’t be shy about upselling. “We have many clients that are obviously far more affluent, wealthier than we are. So, sell to their taste and the affordability that they can obviously extend,” Austin says. “Don't sell from our own pockets. I think that's critical.”

In this episode, Austin also discusses creating and maintaining customer loyalty, becoming a specialist in a brand or destination, streamlining your process in 2020 and more.

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Teo's previous experience includes Waldorf Astoria, The St. Regis, EDITION, The Ritz-Carlton and InterContinental hotels in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific.