“To sell luxury products successfully, travel advisors need to have ESP,” says Anna Pinto, Executive Director of luxury land/tour operator Micato Safaris, one of the expert insiders featured in our newly launched Online Luxury Travel Specialist Course, 4th edition.
What is Luxury ESP, according to Anna? Here is an excerpt from her interview in the Luxury Travel Specialist Course, 4th edition:
By ESP, I mean having a laser focus on Experiences, Service, and Privacy.
Experiences. Luxury travelers, of course, want the very best luxury journeys, but I have found that they do not want meaningless bragging rights. Luxury travelers want local immersion, so they can connect deeply with the places they go and have experiences that are as meaningful as they are exclusive. On an African safari, this might include private meetings with wildlife conservationists, local artists, and celebrity chefs; the privilege of being the only outside guests for an annual tribal celebration; or traveling by helicopter to the Turkana basin to look at fossils during exclusive one-on-one time with the first family of paleoanthropology, the Leakeys.
Service. The key to orchestrating luxury travel is looking at the road map of your client’s journey, identifying where all the stress points are—as well as where new ones can crop up—and making them disappear. Also there is a certain grace in not taking a bow every time you’ve eliminated a stress point—the very definition of seamless is removing the seams, and if your clients don’t see all those seams you made go away, the more magical they’ll think you are.
Privacy. Real privacy takes both planning and reliable connections on the ground, and, for a luxury traveler, that cone of privacy must be sustained throughout the journey. Lapsing into a semi-private experience is simply not acceptable for many luxury travelers. So, for instance, if you learn last minute that an exclusive-use property or private plane you booked for your client is no longer exclusive or private, you need to have the infrastructure and relationships on the ground to swiftly make alternate arrangements.
Additionally, part of having ESP is knowing your clients and the products that will match their desired experience. How will you know what your clients want from their vacations? The answer is by properly qualifying them, which is even more important in the luxury market.
Here is a sample of qualifying questions recommended by some of the luxury expert advisors featured in the new course:
Kareem George, CTA, Principal, Culture Traveler, LLC:
- Why are you interested in destination X?
- What are your goals for this trip? How do you want this trip to make you feel?
LuAnn Lisell, Owner and President of Lisell Travel:
- Where have you traveled in the past?
- What is your vision for this trip?
Angela Hughes, CTC, Chief Visionary Officer, Trips & Ships Luxury Travel and Founder, Luxury Travel University:
- What are your must-see destinations?
- Do you have any brand preferences regarding accommodation, transportation, or activities?
Christine Smith, CTA, Senior Travel Advisor, Global Escapes:
- Where have you traveled before, and what did you love?
- Which is usually the top priority for your travel—the quality of experience or the cost?
We offer a heartfelt thank you to these experts and to all the generous advisors and insiders who contributed to the new Luxury Travel Specialist Course, 4th edition. To read more compelling tips, enroll today!
Here it is! The NEW 4th edition of our Luxury Travel Specialist Course!
The Luxury Travel Specialist Course from The Travel Institute is cutting-edge, timely, and filled with expert advice and insights on current trends, traveler types, product offerings, and proven sales strategies—along with the latest tips on branding and promoting a luxury travel business.
If luxury travel is on your radar, this program is a must!
Premium Library members have access to this course. Sign up today to receive all Destination and Niche Market courses, plus amazing power sessions from sales to marketing, destinations, business development, and more. Bonus: the new Luxury course is worth 10 CEUs for those who are certified!