UK Cruise Convention: Agents should not waste time on bargain hunters

Independent agents shouldn’t waste their time on bargain hunters looking for cheap cruising deals, Princess Cruises head of brand marketing Pieter van der Schee told the cruise convention.

In a session offering top tips for agents looking to profit from cruise, van der Schee said sometimes a deal is not worth doing.

He said: “It is hard to walk away from business but you could spend hours doing a deal and make nothing. Concentrate on first-timers who want help and advice and don’t always expect a discount. If you get clients on the right cruise most will become loyal customers.”

Van der Schee said agents should use margins from cruising to reward staff rather than to make a sale. He said: “We offer discounts so you don’t have to. They make people look at cruising, help to create interest and bring some urgency to the sale.”

Van der Schee said direct marketing is important, as is well-targeted advertising. He said: “National advertising is the quickest way for small agents to lose lots of money because it is very expensive and hard to track results.

“Concentrate on local and regional papers and on direct marketing, but don’t just focus on price. Sell the experience. People like to read about destinations and what it’s like on board.”

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