Advice: How to upsell to a premium escorted tour

Advice from Paul Melinis, UK sales director, Insight Vacations

People remember experiences, not the cost of the holiday.

If you have already sold them on to the idea of an escorted touring holiday, then try to make the holiday even more special by upselling them to a premium tour that offers further levels of luxury and comfort.

Here, Paul Melinis, UK sales director at Insight Vacations, offers five tips on how to upsell to a premium escorted tour.

Know the tours and sell on quality and value
If the value gained from the holiday is greater than the price, then the customer will buy – it’s that simple. I have mystery shopped so many agents over the years who have given me three or four brochures to choose from, but these consultants are missing a trick.

All they are doing is baffling the customer with choice instead of making a recommendation based on the quality and value of the trip. This, after all, is why they have come to an agent in the first place – they trust you to know the products and guide them accordingly.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get
I love the sayings ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’ and ‘Would you like some olives with your wine?’.

When we set up our new call centre, one new consultant was selling more Luxury Gold and business-class fares than the whole of the team put together. Her secret?

“I just always ask the question,” she said. It’s not about the hard sell; it’s just about asking questions like ‘how are you getting there?’ or ‘what are you doing for the nights before the tour starts?’

What’s the worst thing they can say?

Make it hassle-free
Clients with the budget to spend on premium travel are looking for someone else to take care of the detail, so don’t forget to mention the little extras that make a big difference. Things like VIP airport transfers or priority boarding can make a huge difference to the start and end of their holiday.

Give them bragging rights
It might sound silly, but once you’ve mentioned that (the right kind of!) celebrities have stayed here or visited there, you’ll notice how much easier it can be to sell an itinerary there.

‘If it’s good enough for them, then it’s good enough for me,’ is the way many customers will respond. People want bragging rights and remember experiences over the cost of their holiday every single time, so if you can offer them the dinner party chat of a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon or a jeep safari in Crete, this could be the clincher.

Spot the earning potential
If nothing else, let the commission rates be your motivator.

Generally speaking, escorted tours have so much more included upfront that they represent great value for the client and fantastic earning potential for you, even more so when you’re selling premium or luxury trips. It’s a win-win, so embrace it.

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