Every time we get an inquiry from clients we follow a similar procedure and try to offer the best gulets according to their preferences, budget and group structure.
And almost always we offer minimum 2 – 4 different gulets. In this blog post, I will explain what makes clients decide for a specific gulet rental option.
Lots of times we get calls and emails from gulet owners from all over the World asking why we are not sending them more groups.
I already wrote about something similar here: https://www.goolets.net/10-mistakes-gulet-owners-do-toward-travel-agencies
But this is something else. It is about why some gulets get more business than other gulets even if they are more expensive.
Sometimes we get very good prices from some gulet owners. We are friends. We know they provide good services.
But bookings are not flowing in as expected.
If it was up to me I would be the happiest person in the World if I could give 10 – 15 weeks to 100 different gulets….but unfortunately, we are not quite there yet.
Almost every season this kind of situations happen.
We offer some gulet more than 100 times to different groups – and get no confirmations back. And then gulet owners get frustrated thinking we do not give them business because of some strange reasons and “catch 22” happens.
Recently I checked gulets that have the best OFFER/CONFIRMATION ratio and they all have several things in common.
This blog post is about this things.
This is the checklist of 7 things that can improve bookings to every single owner and make clients happy and comfortable with bookings.
If your gulet has bad pictures you have at least 75% chances you will not get lots of bookings. If clients do not get the best possible idea what to expect, they will not book your gulet.
2) PRESENTATION OF GULET!
If you think this is about technical info – you are wrong. It is about general presentation and explanation what gulet offers. It is about equipment on board, size, cabins, deck, salon equipment, cool features of gulets, interesting facts, history all presented in nice (not overwhelming way). If you can present WHY SOME GULET IS THE BEST in 5 short sentences – you will improve the chances of the gulet significantly.
3) REFERENCES – FEEDBACKS OF THE GULET!
If Beyonce, Madonna, Queen of England or Rolling Stones cruised on your gulet in the past – and they liked it – you will not have hard times making more bookings! However, most gulets did not have this kind of guests. But this does mean your “normal” clients feedbacks do not matter. If you can show the gulet has happy clients from the past this will boost the credibility of the gulet.
4) CREW ON A GULET!
If you can show what the chef on the gulet can do for clients and if you can show to what kind of bays owner will take you – you will win. We have gulets in our fleet that are very average looking – but we give them more than 10 weeks/year just because we can promote the captain/owner to our clients. All we have to say is – book this gulet and this owner will “destroy” you (in a good way) with amazing bays, food, flexibility, and hospitality…
5) FLEXIBILITY OF THE GULET OWNER!
This one goes to flexibility before the booking is made. Some owners are 100% strict and fixed on prices, itineraries, food and everything else you can imagine…every inquiry is a different story and the owner who knows how to bend his offer toward the needs of clients…will get the booking. If we get inquiry by a party group that wish to drink a lot and you have to gulet owners:
a) One owner will give 10% discount!
b) The other owner will suggest amazing route for NON-STOP PARTY, give the possibility to bring own drinks on board and say bar will work 24/7
…..who do you think will get the booking?
6) PRICE OF THE GULET!
This one is not even close as important as it might see in the first place. Sure you have clients that will kill them self to get 5% extra discount…but believe it or not, most clients are not like this. They are just looking for best options…and cheapest options most of the time – DO NOT WIN…
20% of the gulets in the market that are fully booked every single year have the highest prices and offer no discounts
…They just provide amazing quality, services and have lots of repeat clients.
Price matters – but not as much a person might believe.
7) LUCK FACTOR!
Yes, I said it. Luck matters in this business also. Sometimes you can do everything right. You have the most amazing pictures, good crew, good feedbacks, very good price, you are flexible, the presentation is made in a good way – but you just can not nail it… But bad luck is always only temporary.
Good things happen to good people so even a short bad luck periods will sooner or later end.
On the other hand, if you do not have good pictures, if you are not flexible, your prices are too high, you do not have any testimonials from clients and your presentation is not made very well – then it will be very hard to get any bookings at all.
I like to put myself in the clients’ shoes all the time:
a) How would I select a gulet?
b) What would I pay attention to?
c) How important would the price be for me?
d) Would my wife kill me if I saved 200 EUR and booked a lousy hotel because of it?
e) Would I be able to survive the wrath of my children if they would be bored?
It is the same with gulets. Just answer the questions below if you are an owner!
a) Did I present my gulet in a way that clients will see it as an interesting choice?
b) Did I show why my gulet is THE BEST for this money?
c) Do I target the right clients with my gulet? (I am in the backpacker market but my entire crew is older than 60 years?)
d) How do I compare in price with other similar gulets?
e) Will I be able to follow up on my promises?
f) Will I be able to suggest best routes and give good suggestions when inquiries come?
And there is 1 more point in all this.
This is called THE “SUBJECTIVE” MIND OF SALES AGENTS!
If we (agency) see a gulet and a gulet owner WE PERSONALLY truly like! If we are super impressed by some features of some gulet. If we are 100% sure that our clients will have an AMAZING TIME on some gulet – we package all this positive energy and transfer it further to clients.
And from my experience – they can feel it.
So my biggest advice for any gulet owner would be this – HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND BUILT GREAT (NOT GOOD BUT GREAT) RELATIONSHIP with your partner agencies! I am not talking about kissing ass. This is negative!
I mean to have a good, positive, open minded relationship with your partners. In this case, 80% of the work is done.
It is not a coincidence that gulet owners who are the kindest, nicest, most fun to work with, flexible and just plain old “cool” – have the most bookings. Even if their gulet is a bit more expensive than that from their direct competition.
So one last time. How clients select their dream gulets?
Here is a simple answer.
They select a gulet that has very nice pictures is presented in fun and easy way.
They select a gulet where they feel they will have the best time on it, where it will be safe for them, where they see other people did it before them and had a great time also.
And of course, it has to be inside of their budget range.
And if they feel the agent offering this is passionate when explaining the benefits – they will go for it.