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TTG Toolkit Selling Power


Steering a smooth course for clients


The decision to start advertising cruises departing from nearby Bristol has proven a success for Miles Morgan Chepstow. Branch manager Simon De Burgh shares his selling tips with Andrew Doherty


“Nobody wants to be in a Hawaiian shirt when everyone else is in a dinner jacket, or vice versa. We know it is important for clients to be comfortable with what they are wearing, so we pay particular attention to keeping them informed during the point of sale. There are always tips readily available in the pre-cruise information packs too.”


Above and beyond Burgh stresses that agents must be ready to go above and beyond when booking cruises for clients with accessibility needs. “We are quite used to booking customers with both physical mobility and mental health requirements, provided a carer accompanies them. In these cases, we have to liaise closely with the cruise company to ensure their needs are met. Most cruise lines can accommodate customers with a range of disabilities. There are specially adapted cabins available and we will provide the cruise operator with full details of the customers’ medical condition to ensure that no problems arise.” He adds that agents must be


Miles Morgan Chepstow’s Simon De Burgh W 48


ith more than 40 years’ experience in the travel industry, Simon De Burgh, branch manager


at Miles Morgan Chepstow, is certainly familiar with the ins and outs of selling holidays. In his eight-year tenure with the agency, Burgh has consolidated his interest in booking cruises following the company’s decision to start advertising itineraries with departures from Bristol Cruise Terminal – located less than an hour’s drive from the Welsh agency. He has garnered impressive sales, booking itineraries worth up to £30,000, escorted several cruises, and writes about his experiences in blog posts on the Miles Morgan website.


22.02.2018


Success in the detail Touching on emerging trends, Burgh explains that Miles Morgan has seen a change in the age of those enquiring about cruising. Over the past few years, the branch has found that clients are getting younger, citing Caribbean fly-cruises and Mediterranean sailings as being particularly popular on account of their value. He explains how the branch markets these packages. “Generally, we’ll share an organic social media post and follow this up with targeted Facebook advertising. So far we’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response, with people commenting and sharing our content. A few of the team have seen just


how amazing the offers are and have decided to book the cruise themselves too.” Burgh says a P&O Caribbean


fly-cruise is a particularly good option because of the airports that customers fly into. “Clients will land in Barbados, which is much easier than flying to Fort Lauderdale or Miami. With the US airports, clients generally have to fly out the day before the cruise and have to go through time-consuming immigration. Barbados is more central to the Caribbean too.”


He adds that agents should be up to speed on the dress codes that each cruise line adheres to.


ready to deal with more complicated cruise bookings too. “Complications can occur when we add flights, hotels, tours or link various parties travelling from different airports to the same cruise. A ship will sail regardless of any flight delay, so we always build in plenty of time for connections.”


In order to minimise both the chances of and deal with problems during a sailing, Burgh recommends escorting a cruise. “The main advantage of escorting a cruise is the ability for clients to join the trip from their hometown. We arrange coffee mornings and drinks parties onboard. We make sure the group is seated at adjoining tables at dinner and we are always on hand to deal with any issues that can arise. I have kept in contact with families while passengers are airlifted to hospital, accompanied people to clinics for x-rays and even helped resolve snoring issues.”


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