How to Help Clients Invest in an Elevated Travel Experience
Making the Luxury Shift
There comes a time in your travel career when you want to shift gears. You are tired of being all things to all people or selling the same experience over and over.
It may be time to make the luxury shift.
What is a Luxury Shift?
First, we need to clarify, what is a luxury shift. We know that luxury means different things to different people.
According to Websters, the definition of luxury is:
A condition of abundance or great ease and comfort. Something adding to pleasure but is not absolutely necessary.
In this sense, every advisor that transforms a vacation from ordinary to extraordinary has already made the shift. You are a critical part of the luxury experience for your clients.
The opportunity to shift into the luxury segment has never been greater. This is because the segment itself is by far the fastest-growing one in travel.
Not only are consumers making up for the lost time but there is also a driving need to find unique, authentic experiences that come before cost.
74% of respondents agree that they care more about creating a travel experience that meets their expectations than about the cost. - 2023 Global Travel Trends Report, Amex
It is not just about selling to the ultra-rich anymore. While there is an ultra-luxury segment, the biggest opportunity for advisors lies in the emerging middle of the market that are ready to upgrade part or all of their vacation.
In fact, according to a recent study by booking.com:
48% of millennials are willing to GO ALL OUT when it comes to the cost of their next vacation.
What kind of luxury are clients most willing to pay for?
Research shows that the type of luxury most travellers are willing to pay for is personalization. This means creating a customized vacation that has their unique needs in mind from start to finish.
The key to personalization is to better understand what each client deems as a want versus a need based on their intrinsic motivation.
Here are just a few of the key "motivators" for investing in a more elevated experience:
Status and belonging
Successful luxury advisors take time to explore each of these areas with their clients prior to making any recommendations.
The Advisor's Mindset: Shift from Saving to Investing
Making the luxury shift starts with believing in the value of these key motivators for your client. The mistake we make is trying to “save” our clients' money, rather than help them invest it well.
It’s natural to respond with “sticker shock” when we see travel costs skyrocketing post-pandemic, especially in airfare. However, we cannot assume that the client is not interested in upgrading.
Some clients will invest in luxury from start to finish, while others will be highly motivated by certain luxury elements.
For example, if flexibility is important, the busy client may not think twice about paying double the price. If safety is key, upgrading to a luxury resort with a medical facility on site is priceless.
The key is to ask the right questions. How important is "flexibility" or "safety" to you on a scale of 1 to 10? Whatever they respond with – 7, 8, or 10, the next question is why 7?
The key takeaway: Get deeply curious about what motivates a person's sense of value and you will be able to curate the right level of investment for them.
Points to Ponder
Every item on this "Motivations list" will help you curate the personalized vacation that the new luxury traveller is looking for. For each "motivation" create an example of how you could elevate the experience in a way that the client would value.
Exclusivity: Only a select few have this opportunity. A private driver so you don’t have to fight for a taxi or wait for the bus to fill.
Space: Did you know that the suites on ships have a living room area and extensive balcony for entertaining – especially spectacular for sail away parties and balcony breakfasts?
Safety: This property has a full medical facility onsite.
Now it's your turn. Create a compelling description for each of these that demonstrate the value of the investment.
Status and belonging
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