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Razzle Dazzle – Simply Sales with Scott

Razzle Dazzle – Simply Sales with Scott


Written By: Scott Koepf, Vice President of Strategic Development – Cruise Planners 


In my continuing quest to make musical theatre the classroom for sales success in retail travel, I hope these lessons will make their way into your daily routines and change your life in unimaginable ways. Now you might say that I am the master of hyperbole but actually that leads me to the point of this month’s dissertation!


You are a part of the most exciting industry in the world (well, actually, your business is the world!). You have the privilege to help customer’s dreams come true. You provide the avenue to Romance, Adventure, Relaxation, Exploration, Education, Interaction, Renewal, and a thousand other results. Travel is fun and while I am a realist and I know how hard you work, your clients only want to know that you are the right choice to bring them what their heart desires. And how do your clients know you are the right choice? The answer is actually simple. I would love to tell you that it is because of your exceptional product knowledge and the fact that you have been certified by 48 suppliers and have specialist certificates from 112 countries. But I can’t. I could tell you that your success is determined by the 400 hours of sales training you have attended and that the top ten closing techniques are tattooed on your fingers. Sadly, I can’t tell you that either. Then I should be able to tell you that it will be your extraordinary customer service and the love and affection that you shower upon your customers that will be the reason your customers will know you are the right choice. Uh, wrong again. I cannot tell you that because it is simply not true.


Product knowledge, sales ability and customer service are all very important and will be imperative for keeping customers for the long term. However the sad truth is that customers are going to decide if they want to do business with you in the first few minutes they interact with you. Your knowledge, skills and service cannot be fully displayed in the time that the customer is deciding to work with you. So, what is it then that you need to do to have the chance to use that well-honed product knowledge, that polished sales approach and that loyalty inducing service? Simple.


Give ‘em the old Razzle Dazzle,

Razzle Dazzle ‘em

Give ’em act with lots of flash in it

And the reaction will be passionate

If you are familiar with Chicago the musical you know this song is sung by the infamous Billy Flynn and that the song goes on to extoll the virtues of ‘fooling, flim flaming and generally hornswaggling’ people. Rest assured I do not recommend that in any way, especially in our business which is naturally exciting and thrilling enough.  The problem is that after more than thirty five years in this business I have seen or heard too few travel agents who ‘wow’ customers in the first few minutes of the first contact. You know the clichés about how fast first impressions occur and I can promise you they are not just clichés! When you answer the phone or say hello you have to think like Billy Flynn. This is your show, you are the star and you need to shine! Razzle your customers by the tone and excitement in your voice. Dazzle them with an introductory sentence that is unique and embodies what you sell – Romance, Adventure and all of the other emotions elicited from the list above. Flash may be considered inauthentic but if you believe in yourself and the positive impact you will have on your customers’ lives then Razzle, Dazzle and Flash will be the difference between you and the rest of your competitors who have forgotten what it is they are really selling!


As the lyric says “the reaction will be passionate”. Can you think of a better result you would desire from your first two sentences with a customer? We often hear how important it is to be passionate in this business and for this business. I am here to tell you that is only the price of admission, the real indication of your ability and your income potential is if you can create passion in other people! Think feathers, think soft shoe, think show time and then Razzle Dazzle your customers and not only will the reaction be passionate but your income will soar. If you don’t then you will be just like Mr. Cellophane, but that’s another article!