By Anita Pagliasso
Financial counselors always advise taking 10 percent off the top of your salary and putting it in a savings account for the future. I use this same theory to invest in securing my client’s future business. By providing an unexpected added value, you are showing your appreciation for their business that will develop into a stronger client relationship with all of the loyalties that follow.
Sample calculation using my 10 percent rule
Vacation cost for 2 at $4000.00 Commission at 10 percent is $400.00 10 percent of $400.00 is $40.00 $40.00 is set aside for investing in the client
This investment is then returned to the client through various gifts, vouchers or certificates related to their vacation package.
In this case, the $40.00 would then be the budget that I allow as an expenditure for gifts for my clients. This can be in many forms, such as a ship board credit, shore excursions, dinner at cruise line’s specialty restaurant, or a fun travel basket that I present to them when I deliver their documents.
- Dazzling Deliveries. Make every travel document you give a client a special presentation. Remember, the idea is to go beyond what is expected. This can be anything from a customized luggage tag for an airline ticket to a basket filled to the brim with goodies that relate to the client’s destination.
Any items that you give to a client should have your business name on them. You can use a custom stamp made from your logo, custom stickers or business cards. Then each time they look at one of your gifts, they will be reminded of you and your services.
If you have had brochures made for your company, always include a couple along with extra business cards that they can pass around to friends and family.
2. For honeymoons and anniversary cruises, include bottle of champagne (or non-alcoholic sparkling beverage) and 2 champagne glasses. Wrap the basket in cellophane and tie with a gold wire ribbon.
For a cruise to Alaska, include binoculars and rain ponchos. (You can buy 2 rain ponchos for $1.00 at the Dollar Store).
When I tie up a basket for cruising, I always like to tie a couple of blow out party favors in the colorful ribbon to give it a festive “Bon Voyage” look.
3. Latin destinations. For under $20.00 I have packed tickets inside of a colorful Piñata and cut the top open and filled it with bright matching color tissue paper. Include items such as sun tan lotion, disposable camera and foreign language book.
4. Trip to Italy. For about $40.00, I once put together a basket that included the video on Italy. I also included some nice pasta, pasta sauce and a bottle of red wine with a note that said “A little something to get you in the mood before your trip to Italy”.
5. Gambling to trips. There are so many “FREE” things that you can get from tourist and visitor’s bureaus. When I called Las Vegas CVB they sent me a box filled with gaming rules, maps to casino, show guides and hotel brochures.
For a bachelor party, I contacted the hotel that they were staying at and asked if they could send me some of their coin buckets and used decks of cards for my group. I put the cards, guides and maps inside of the coin buckets. I then added a roll of nickels with a note “To get you started,” and stuck toy money everywhere in and around the tissue paper. I then put it all in a cellophane bag and tied it with black and red ribbon. The “guys” loved it and I only spent a few dollars on the nickels and wrapping.
I know what you may be thinking…this all takes a lot of time, effort and expense. I am always amazed when travel agents tell me that they can’t afford to do this. However, if you want to be successful and see your business grow, you can’t afford not to do this!
Anita Pagliasso, Ticket To Travel, LLC President, PATH President