Thursday, August 26, 2010

How Much is Too Much?

First, I had trouble getting back into the BLOG for the last couple of weeks. Had changed my password and never wrote it down. OK, it's an "upper age moment!" It happens. It's in my password list now so I should be more consistent in posting.

So today I ask how much is too much? As a Professional Travel Consultant and CruiseOne Franchise Owner who specialises in Cruise Vacations, we have a very simple business philosophy and have since day one about 9 years ago - DO FOR OTHERS AS WE DO FOR OURSELVES.

To put another way, it's always about our client(s)! I had the privilege yesterday to speak to a new agent training class and this was the focus of the entire presentation I gave about how to be successful in building their new franchise business. Put the Client first!

But the cruise lines aren't make this easy. It has gotten to the point where every week they have another "SALE" and another "Best Offer Ever." They run promotions and offers (special pricing, on-board credit, or something) to attract new bookings. Why? Beause they have space to fill on a ship and of course it's for "New Bookings Only." Why do they have all this space available?

Let's think about this for a minute. The cruise line wants to get the space (cabins) on a ship sold. The earlier they are sold, the better off they would be since they could actually RAISE pricing when there is less availability for a particular sail date on that ship. It's supply and demand, not rocket science!

The bigger the supply (cabins available) and lower demand (people booked), you will have to lower the price or offer incentives to move the inventory (remember a cruise ship sail date can not sit on the shelf forever - once it sails, you can't sell more cabins on that sailing). On the other hand with less available cabins, they could get a higher price or at least not have to lower it and/or give away incenetives. This ain't rocket science, just pure logic.

I am not saying this to get people to pay more for their cruise - yes, the higher the price, the more commission an agent earns (if it happens to fall on the commissionable side of the pricing which lately is not happening anyway,. Increased pricing is in the non-commissionable side of the pricing - do you think we actually get paid on what you pay? No, on many sailings the portion of the pricing that is non-commissionable is higher than the portion that is. That's another whole topic for another day.)

Here's my point. Cruise Lines, wake up! Let's work together and protect the clients who do what we want and book early. Make sure they get the best deal. And if you have to run a "SALE", make it a real one - do it EARLY! And if you don't want to protect the customers, at least don't fight us agents who do. When we call you about these situations, just go ahead and give the customer who is already booked the offer - price or incentive - and we will all WIN. Your cruise line, your agent partners, and most important, OUR MUTUAL CUSTOMER!

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