By Tom Ogg
As cruises become more and more like commodities and cruise lines keep dropping their prices in stiff competition, consumers are shopping for the best price online, which affects cruise professionals who often do the initial research on behalf of the client to find the right ship and itinerary for a client who then simply takes the information and shops it on the Internet. This reality leaves the agent who did the research with no remuneration for his or her efforts and ushers in the “Plan to Cruise Agreement” to protect agents from this scenario.
Another use for the “Plan to Cruise Agreement” is when a client is looking for low yield cruises, yet is going to require an inordinate amount of time in comparison with the embedded commission in the sale. This would be due to the client’s cruising inexperience or their being overly demanding. A “Plan to Cruise Agreement” can boost otherwise insufficient revenue due to low cruise pricing, NCFs and other factors and make the sale profitable.
It is quite easy to determine if you should introduce the “Plan to Cruise Agreement” during the initial qualification of the client(s). If the client is asking for prices on short, or low priced cruises, has little actual cruise experience and a lot of questions, is non-committal about booking or is demanding and appears might be difficult to deal with, that is the time to introduce your “Plan to Cruise Agreement”. It is pretty simple to draw the conversation to a “go / no go” point, as if a client refuses to execute the agreement they probably would not have committed a booking to you and you would have worked for free. Here is how to introduce your agreement.
Depending on your relationship with the client, you first need to establish that you are a cruise expert. Be sure to share your UVP with the client with as much validation as possible. Be sure to watch the “How to Create an Elevator Speech” video tutorial to see exactly how to do this. Once you have established your credibility you can introduce your “Plan to Go Agreement.”
When planning a cruise the options are overwhelming! Which cruise line? Which ship? Which itinerary? What shore excursions? And so on.
I specialize in cruising and can really help you and your family drill down to the exact perfect cruise vacation that includes pre and post cruise accommodations and activities and the perfect shore excursions during the cruise. Here is how I do it.
I use a “Plan to Cruise” agreement where you engage my services to consult with you to determine the perfect cruise line, ship, itinerary and shore excursions for your family. There are so many different opportunities to spend less, see more and have more fun while cruising that my expertise at doing this will guarantee you the best cruising experience.
Once we establish perfect cruise vacation for you, I will give you a quote for your vacation that you can then go on the Internet, other travel agents or anywhere else you would like to book the cruise. If you end up booking the cruise with me I will allocate XX of the “Plan to Cruise” deposit towards the final payment.
This is the best way to make sure that you get both the perfect cruise experience for you and also the best price. Let me know if you are interested in having me start the research process and I will send an agreement and request for deposit.””
As you can see this approach makes a ton of sense for a consumer because it gives them the information they need to shop a cruise and still get the best cruise vacation experience. And, it makes sense for an agent to also do the work necessary to research the cruise vacation on behalf of the client because they are guaranteed payment for their services.
Plan to Cruise Agreement
Your Logo and Info Here
Plan to Cruise Deposits Are Required On All Itineraries
In order to perform the professional services required to plan and arrange your cruise to ______, a deposit is required. The deposit is non-refundable, but ___% is applied toward the cost of your cruise final payment. Planning cruises involves much time. My work is based on years of personal experience and professional expertise. I research cruises, hotels and shore excursions to meet your specific needs, contact suppliers, coordinate transportation, and draft itineraries. Your final itinerary and documents will give you as smooth a cruise vacation as is possible. Once (Your Agency Name)l has constructed your itinerary, you are free to shop it on the Internet, or wherever you would like. If you choose to book your cruise vacation with another agency, the Plan to Cruise Deposit will be retained by (Your Agency Name)l as payment for services rendered. All cruise vacations arranged through (Your Agency Name) offer peace of mind, as we are experienced professionals in the business of planning individual travel for sophisticated travelers who demand the most professional individual attention to detail and execution of a well planned vacation.
Deposit Required To Plan Vacation
Plan to Cruise Deposit: ____ passengers @ $____ each = $ ____ Plan to Cruise Deposit
TOTAL DEPOSIT DUE: $ _______
If paying by check, please make check payable to ____________________________
Credit Card Deposits
Master Card VISA American Express Discover (please circle type)($_________ fee applies)
We will need a copy of the front and back of your credit card OR the CSC # on your Card.
Account #:__________________ Exp___/___/___ CSC (Card Security Code) ____
Name as it appears on Credit Card:______________________________________
Signature:____________________________ Phone #:______-______-_______
I agree with the above terms and conditions and engage ________ Travel to research my Cruise plans. I agree that if I decide not to continue with the cruise or I book it with another agency, that _____ Travel will be entitled to retain the Plan to Cruise Deposit as remuneration for research made on my behalf.