Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Why are we Giving Thanks?

What comes to mind when we think of Thanksgiving? Family gathering, football, Turkey, cranberry sauce, pies and shopping on Black Friday are images that cross our minds. Of course, none of this came to mind when the Pilgrims sat down with Wampanoag Indian Tribe. It was a Harvest Feast for them, giving thanks for "nature." We model our modern-day Thanksgiving Holiday after Harvest Festival. The Pilgrims and The Wampanoag gave thanks for nature. Why are we giving thanks?

From Wikipedia, definition of Thanksgiving Day

"The First Thanksgiving", painted by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863–1930).
Thanksgiving Day Observed by Canada, United States
Type National Date Second Monday in October (Canada);Fourth Thursday in November (U.S.)
2008 date October 13, 2008 (Canada);November 27, 2008 (U.S.)
2009 date October 12, 2009 (Canada);November 26, 2009 (U.S.)

Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a traditional North American holiday, and is a form of harvest festival. The date and whereabouts of the first Thanksgiving celebration is a topic of modest contention. Though the earliest attested Thanksgiving celebration was on September 8, 1565 in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida[1][2], the traditional "first Thanksgiving" is venerated as having occurred at the site of Plymouth Plantation, in 1621. Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Thanksgiving dinner is held on this day, usually as a gathering of family members.

Why I give Thanks
My Friend everyday we should give thanks. Give thanks to God for being able to wake up another day. We should give thanks for our health, our family, friends, our jobs, being self-employed, people who adopt, people who give to charity, people who help the elderly and the sick, people who feed and shelter the homeless, Organizations that help fulfill needs, Our forefathers, our Leaders, Pastors, Teachers, Doctors, people who instill vision. Give thanks for everything, and everybody!
Today I reflect on what I am thankful for. I am thankful for a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food on my shelves, my son, family, and my health (just to name a few). I am thankful for making a decision to FIRE my boss 13 months and 26 days ago. I am blessed to be at home, raising my son. I am thankful for my 400+ business partners who decided to a part of the 2% of the wealthy people. It's not easy making a decision to do something different, and or get out of your comfort zone. Be thankful for having it all or next to nothing. Be Thankful that you lived to see another Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers! Share with me, why you give thanks? Or what Thanksgiving means to you.

Monday, November 24, 2008

How To Market To A Broader Audience

As a Travel agent, one would rather sell one on one with a "qualified client" however, this is not always practical and, does not allow you the chance to prospect. Additionally pitching to a broader audience opens the doors for more potential leads. You may want to consider Direct Mail Marketing, also known as Direct-response marketing it is one of the most effective ways to solicit existing and potential clients. Direct communication can be as simple as mailing a postcard or as elaborate as a mailing package.

Below are the statistics from the U.S Postal Service
  • 55% Look forward for their mail
  • 56% of adults say that receiving mail is a pleasure
  • 67% Feels as though mail is still more personal than the Internet.
  • 98% of Consumers bring in their mail, the day its delivered.
  • 77% Sort through their mail immediately

Compared to other Media, Mail connects to the individual on a personal level

  • Mail gets your message in your clients hands
  • Mail takes you to the person in charge
  • Mail boast a loyal readership
  • Useful mail performs distinct tasks

On any given day, our clients can take their business else where. You want to stand out above the rest, and market differently. Direct Mail will help you communicate effectively and retain your clients. Use a database/Customer Relationship Manager such as TRAMS Client Base. This will allow you to collect valuable information about your clients. You can also use the data to target or segment your mailings. Database Marketing will save you money and boost your results. You can match your clients based on age, destination, income etc. Most suppliers offer significant resources to assist your promotions including Collateral Customizer and Reprinted material.

Below are examples of Direct Mail Communication

  • Postcards- quick, enticing way to get the phone to ring
  • Endorsement letter with brochure- If written well, can be very effective
  • Shells: Great for specific information, allows for customization
  • Supplier brochures, letterheads etc. (not as personal)
  • Newsletter-Should be considered as regular communication
  • Fliers- Quick, and easy (not as effective)

Consider mail that you receive. If it does not catch your interest, most likely its tossed in the wastebasket. If its intriguing, or personal you open it quickly. Most suppliers/vendors offer customizers. You can design, print, redistribute most of your Direct Marketing Mail with ready made templates. Some are free, others may charge a small fee.

If you decide to use Direct Mail, keep these four core objectives in mind
  1. Personalize to "get it opened"
  2. Attract their interest with a bold message..."to get it read"
  3. Keep the message clear..."to make it understood"
  4. Use a clear call to action..."to drive the client to you"

Accomplishing, these goals is the essence of successful direct-response marketing.

Analyze your Promotion. Make a record of your mailing details

  • Mailing and Production cost
  • Promotion Profits
  • Number of pieces mailed
  • Client list selection criteria

This information will help you compute the Return On Investment (ROI). Your promotion profit divided by promotion cost. The higher the ROI, the more effective your promotion was. It helps you determine what you learned so that you can apply it to your future mailings.


  • Direct your letter to the woman of the household. Women mainly makes the vacation decisions.
  • First class mailings, stagger mail over several days to handle the responses promptly.
  • Best times to promote depends on destination (Contact District Sales Manager of the supplier/vendor for further assistance)

Leave a comment, tell me what other ways are you using to market your business?

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Difference Between Greatness and Mediocrity

I thought this was an awesome article, by CEO Mac Anderson, I wanted to share it with you. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did!

Self-discipline and self-motivation are joined at the hip

Why is that?

When you practice self-discipline you feel like you are in control of your life. You feel content and motivated because you're moving toward your goals.

On the other hand, psychologists tell us that stress and unhappiness arise when you feel controlled by outside circumstances, which is what happens when there is no discipline in your life.

Brian Tracy is one of America's leading authors on the development of human potential. He's written 25 books and speaks to over 250,000 people a year. His new book titled The Power of Discipline can change your life forever.

Brian said, "If I had to pick the #1 key to success, it would be...self-discipline. It is the difference in winning or losing; between greatness and mediocrity.

Today, I'd like to share Brian's introduction in The Power of Discipline...7 Ways It Can Change Your Life. Enter "The Power of Discipline" In the search box.

Mac Anderson

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Resources for Travel Agents and Customers

My friend, did you know that we have other resources that we can use to expand or enhance our YTB Business? Yes! besides the awesome benefits, training, and products that comes with your business, you will be able to benefit other travel related resources. Below are a just a few, and more to come. Please subscribe, follow or comment on this blog. Make sure to check for more updates in the future. I am constantly researching for ways that we can become a Better RTA.

1. - Tripology matches customers with travel specialists who can plan and book their vacation!

Here's how it works for the Customer: Tell Tripology about the kind of trip they want to take. Review and submit their request. Within just a few days, Tripology will put the customer in touch with 3 travel specialists.

Benefits of Using Tripology Specialists:
Tripology connect customers with real people who can help you
They inform them that Travel Agents have been where they want to go
Tripology offers personalized service and support
Tripology offers great value at no extra cost

Here's how it works for the Travel Agent: Create- detail your areas of expertise. I hear you saying "Sharnese, I am not a expert!" I suggest, that you decide what area you would like to become a expert in, such as Alaska. Visit the Vendors Site, take the online trainings and get your certificates and or accreditation's. Learn and Earn as you Go! Customize- Tell who your ideal client is. You can decide to choose clients who want to travel somewhere that interest you or one that you have experience in such as, Sandals Resorts, Europe, NY, Eastern Caribbean Cruises, River Cruises. This will help you learn, and become more experienced and a possibly an expert! Click- Get leads from high-intent travelers.

2. - Training, Resources, and members savings.
3. Travel Agents have a chance to win one of 5 Sandals or Beaches trips.

Below is a Testimony from a YTB Agent, on my team. Read it and click on the links, and explore


We would like to share this information with you, so that you can perhaps share it with the members of your team. Just another one of the amazing "Industry Perks" that we have received since joining YTB. Gloria and I are so happy to inform you that we have completed the One Source Academy, Princess Cruise Course.

We signed up for FREE and started taking the 25 hour online study course. We stayed with it, in our spare time for about 3 or 4 days, working our way up the ranks as we went along. Each subject was followed by a 20 question quiz, which was not really hard, as long as you take take good notes. Upon completion, we then took a 50 question final exam, which put us at Commodore Level.

Subsequent to getting that status, we were offered A FREE CRUISE FOR TWO! The offer is valid and does not expire until we actually take the trip. We checked out the upcoming available trips and we couldn't believe our eyes. The trips ranged from 12 to 21 days, depending on the destination. The destinations were Europe, South America, Panama Canal, Asia and Alaska. and were normally very expensive. All that we need to do is keep checking the site until we find a cruise that suits our schedule, whether it is this week, or 2 years from now. NOT A BAD PAYOUT FOR 25 HOURS OF OUR LIFE!

We hope that all of your current and future members opt to take this course as we have. Next it's on to the Cunard Cruise lines Course, which offers the same exact program. ANOTHER 25 HOURS WELL SPENT, I'M SURE!

Joe & Gloria Gallo YTB RTA/REP

I must say that this lovely couple, Joe and Gloria have inspired me to do the same! They are truly a inspiration to me and our team! We appreciate them for all that they do. See you at the top Joe and Gloria!

I will add more online travel training resources within the next 48 hours. So come back and visit, real soon!

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