Princess Cruises’ Helen Courias and Ponant’s Julie Rogers are both finalists in the NTIA Best Sales Executive - Cruise category. Find out what they agree on and where they differ.
WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR YOUR CLIENTS THAT THE INTERNET CAN’T?
As a Sales Manager for Princess Cruises I can ensure that my agents are utilising the free agent selling tools that provides them with the access to exclusive group/select sailing rates, that gives their clients extra amenities for their cruise that otherwise won’t be offered directly by Princess.
But it is the training and product updates I can provide as part of the sales team, to ensure my agents stay up-to-date and gain the skills and knowledge they require to look as favourable as possible to the clients. Cruise is very specific and requires a lot of specific knowledge before a purchase is done. It's all about matching the right client to the right cruise product.
Evoke emotion and passion when highlighting the unique experiences guests will encounter unleashing their sense of discovery.
WHERE’S THE NEXT ‘HOT’ DESTINATION?
The hotly on-trend destination of Antarctica and also the polar regions which are also probably the two least "hot" destinations imaginable. More and more cruise lines have port-rich itineraries to these regions and there are more affordable options to suit broader client types going into Antarctica now, none more than Princess Cruises. We've starting sailing back to Antarctica on several South American voyages where we visit for 3 days on Coral Princess in December and January.
I believe the next HOT destination for Australian guests is The Arctic. Travellers are curious and are looking for authentic experiences combined with comfort and luxury. Also, The prices are surprisingly affordable and it is easier than ever to reach Svalbard and Greenland as PONANT includes Charter Flights from Paris.
WHAT’S YOUR BEST TRAVEL TIP?
Definitely to pack light. I also have a travel toiletry bag filled & ready to go on-hand for any last minute trips that pop up for work or personal holidays. Also to do some research on the destination before arriving to really get the most out of each region.
Take sleeping tablets the first and second night of your holiday to guarantee a good night sleep – you don’t get Jetlag!
WHAT ARE THE BEST AND WORST PARTS OF YOUR JOB?
I love developing relationships with the agents, either the owners, managers and new consultants alike! I like making a difference and helping them build their cruise business in representing a major cruise line that is highly regarded. The worst part is that there is a lot of travel away from home, either by car or air, however it's all part of the job.
The Best: Collaborating with Owners to develop strategy plans that capture niche markets of Luxury Expedition. The Worst: FOMO – I talk to consumers all the time and am often green with envy as they are realising their dream holiday packed with wildlife encounters and adventurous fun!
IF YOU WEREN’T IN YOUR CURRENT POSITION, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?
I have a keen interest in naturopathy and I've always loved property. I wish I had more money to invest more!
I left the industry once to be a Marketing Manager for Calvin Klein and only lasted a year – I love the Industry too much to work anywhere else. If I wasn’t in the industry, I would be dead!
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