Lisa Farquharson

Lisa Farquharson

 
 
AGENCY: Expedia CruiseShipCenters (North Office), London, Ont.
 
AFFILIATIONS/ACCREDITATIONS:  MCC (Master Cruise Counsellor – CLIA)
 
HONORIFICS: 2016 Top Selling Expedia CruiseShipCenters Consultant for Celebrity Cruises in London, Ont.; 2016 Navigator’s Club Sapphire; 2014/15 Navigator’s Club Sapphire; 2013/14 Navigator’s Club Platinum; 2012/13 President’s Circle Silver; 2011/12 President’s Circle Silver; 2010 Top Outside Sales Consultant for London, Ont.
 
How long have you been in the business?
Seven years, eight months.
 
First job?
Camp counsellor
 
Why do you enjoy selling cruise?
I really enjoy helping my clients create memories. You unpack – once! – and, then over a very short period of time, experience multiple regions of the world. You can only do this on a cruise! I find it very rewarding to open e-mails that my clients, often still on holiday, take the time to send with news from their vacation. Their enthusiasm, photos and quick stories all seem to leap from the screen! These really are “feelgood” moments.
 
How many time have you cruised yourself?
By year’s end I will be at nine.
 
What was your favourite itinerary/ ship?
I love Europe so much. It is very hard to pick a favourite itinerary. On both my Mediterranean cruises I had the pleasure of sailing with Celebrity Cruises. Each was a terrific journey. If I must choose, I have to go with my 12-night round-trip Barcelona sailing on the Equinox. Every time I stepped off the ship and explored a new port, I fell in love! I think the places that evoke the fondest memories are the Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, Venice and Dubrovnik.
 
What makes Celebrity so special?
The people. It all starts behind the scenes and resonates from there. Celebrity Cruises truly appreciates travel agents. They invest the time to properly support us with evolving technology, passionate Cruise Sales Managers and knowledgeable customer service reps. It makes a difference! We feel supported and hold the confidence that the team on board will take care of our clients. Continuity is also key. Many of my clients are returning Celebrity passengers. They tell me that no matter the class of ship, they simply feel “at home.” Celebrity delivers an exceptional experience every time.
 
Tell us about your success selling Celebrity’s Canadian All Included Vacation Packages?
Celebrity’s Canadian All Included Vacation Packages have opened the gangway to cruising for many clients who previously would simply have dismissed the idea. The driver of my sales is a pro-active outreach program targeting my 4+ to 5-star all inclusive resort clients. Many have this misconception that cruising is too complicated to plan and so they disregard and don’t read the advertisements or e-mails related to cruising. You would be pleasantly surprised how many of them are ready for a change and to try something new. You won’t know if you don’t ask.
 
What kind of client feedback have you received?
The first year Celebrity All Included Package was offered from our local airport (YXU), a client called me the day they returned home and said, “Book us on the opposite itinerary as soon as possible, we are going back!” It was their wedding anniversary and he had never been able to successfully surprise his wife. During the week, she had a few appointments and didn’t notice he was slowly repacking the luggage with the clothes she had just washed from the week before. He told her just two days before they left. The simplicity of the package made it easy for him to pull off the Big Surprise, and, oh boy, she was surprised! We have a good laugh each year when they book their next Celebrity Cruise.
 
How do you qualify a client for both Celebrity and the All Included package?
It is very important with prospects to ask thoughtful questions and never assume you know what they want. It is also important to learn about their children if they will be cruising with them. Not all kids want outdoors sports facilities, they might in fact be budding filmmakers or techies who would love to make their own short film or battle it out in an Xbox tournament. My second piece of advice is to slow down and listen to what your existing clients are saying. They might be hinting it is time to graduate to a Premium line like Celebrity Cruises, or perhaps they are with another Premium line but don’t understand the value of the perks or the All Included Package that Celebrity offers. You are not only doing your clients a disservice by rushing, you are potentially cheating yourself from a higher commission. Place the right client with the right cruise line and you will have long-term clients and referrals.
 
Any other tips for selling Celebrity?
One of the best things I did when I started my career was to invest my time in attending events offering ship tours. The first time I stepped onto a Celebrity ship, I knew I had found my fit – my “home.” I made an instant connection with the people, the modern luxury and the atmosphere. As consultants, we can’t cruise on every ship, however, first-hand experience transforms how you speak with prospects and clients. Invest in yourself, it will pay off in increased sales.
 
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Lisa was chosen by Celebrity Cruises to be profiled in CT Magazine. Why?
Lisa Farquharson, Expedia CruiseShipCenters London, was nominated for this profile because she is the top-producing agent in revenue sales for Celebrity Cruises for her agency. Lisa pays attention to the details and is customerservice focused. She successfully markets herself and takes groups of clients every year on a Celebrity cruise. She is also a huge Celebrity Cruises advocate.
 
- SANDRA PENNINGTON, Market Sales Manager, Celebrity Cruises

See the full INSPIRE issue here:
https://www.hinzie.com/writer/media/magazine/pdf/452.pdf
 
 
celebrity cruises
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