Most of us are perfectly happy to book a couple on a nice cruise, especially if it’s on a luxury cruise line.
But what if you could turn that booking and every other one like it into a group? If you say that’s impossible . . . well, your probably right. But with the right mindset you may be able to create more groups than you think you can.
First of all, there’s what I call the “you want friends with that?” ploy. I hope those of you who have my course are already using it.
Cruising with friends is a lot of fun and suggesting that clients who are about to book might want to ask some close friends to join them often pays off. It might not pay off in enough extra cabins to justify a group. But then again it might, especially once you sell the advantages to your original client.
For starters, starting a group booking means a better fare. If your host already has blocked group space, you can suggest that bringing just two extra couples along will put the original client in line for some nice perks (which you can contribute or negotiate for with your BDM).
Cruises celebrating a major wedding anniversary are a good target for this approach. “How many guests were at your wedding? Wouldn’t it be great if they could help you celebrate your tenth anniversary?” That kind of proposition has a great deal of appeal, both to the happy couple and their friends, and a successful promotion can easily mean a nice cabin upgrade for the celebrating couple.
Then again, if you start a group and fall short, many cruise lines will honor the group fare, knowing that you have made an honest effort.
If you have been around for a while, you may have already noticed the phenomenon of people coming to you with a request to book them AND another couple or two. Now you have a head start!
If you book European river cruises, you should always think groups. Most, if not all lines consider five cabins a group. With a little hustle this is a very achievable goal, especially when three couples show up ready to cruise together.
Obviously you won’t succeed every time, but you will get there some of the time. And even your “failures” will be a success because you will have booked a few more cabins than you would have if you had simply settled for that single booking.
There’s lots more infomation on how to book cruises like a pro in The Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course.