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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cruise Ship Sales Techniques You Should Never use on the Elderly

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for Ship to Shore Sales Meetings

Have you ever wondered what it takes to work on a cruise ship?  Well if you have ever cruised, you might think the first requirement is to be able to spell your name without any vowels and speak with an accent, any accent.  Or the number of times you can work the guests first name into the conversation during the first five minutes of serving dinner. 

“Oh, he-whoa.  I am RTPGHK Blth Dpwrt, you server.  And you are…?”


“Jody.  Nice to meet you Jody.  Jody, this not you first time to cruise with us, no?  Now, Jody, would you like to see menu? Or for you, Jody, we have special menu.   I call it the special Jody menu. See, have Jody beet soup, Jody salad with Jody Vinaigrette, Jody salmon, Jody cream pie for dessert, and Jody tea.   So Jody, what can I get you tonight?”

While those requirements might be obvious, the most important requirement for those working above the water line is their ability to sell.  What you may not realize is that the cruise lines make most of their money from on board sales. Here you are a captive consumer with only the ship’s stores available for days at sea.

When you need batteries for your camera, who cares if it costs $15.99 for two AA batteries?  It’s not like the captain is going to make a u-turn so you can make a Wal-Mart run.   In the hot summertime the obvious big sales is their cool drinks.  Batteries and alcohol are easy sales so where does the need for super salesmen come in?  Services provided.

“Feeling a little out of sorts on this long voyage?  Don’t rely on prune juice alone; come to the free Detox seminar.”   Of course once the free part is over, the pressure is on to purchase detoxification pill, gels, creams, and juice. 

However, when it comes to pushing their beauty products, their salesmen could use some pointers, especially when it comes to senior citizens.  For example:

1.       Never assume your client waiting for the bunion scraping, heel sand blasting, and toenail grinding is the old lady with the hairy legs in the capri pants.  Instead explain that before you can do any procedures you must see her ID to confirm she is over 21.  When she stops grinning, she might be more receptive to your $200 arch support spiel.

       2.      Never suggest to the senior citizen with the frizzy wiry gray hair that she needs $300  
worth of hair moisturizing treatments.  Save that for the 29 year old who is afraid  of turning 30.  Instead, tell those senior frizzies about the bottle of hair serum found next to the 3,000 year old mummies who still had their wavy locks intact.


3.       Never suggest a $250 tube of face lifting cream to a senior carrying a tube of Preparation H in her purse.  She doesn’t know what your face tightening cream can do, but she has proof of what the Preparation H can do.  Save that for the 39 year old about to turn 40.  Instead point to that young thing getting a facial across the room and mention that you gave her great-granddaughter a manicure the other day.  Your sales might just double.


4.      Never suggest $159 teeth whitening procedures to a senior.  She could tell you she just tosses hers in a glass of Oxiclean for $3.99.  Suggest instead that the procedure might benefit her "boyfriend" and that there is a special couple’s discount.  You might just make your cruise quota.


5.       And finally, don’t waste your time suggesting Botox injections to the elderly.  By the time she finishes filling out all the medications, vitamins, supplements, and recent surgeries she’s had, you will be in port.  Just ask if the senior’s daughter-in-law that is standing next to her is her sister.  You still won’t make a sale with the senior citizen, but the daughter-in-law will sign up for the entire program…and you will get a big tip from the mother-in-law.
Following these tips might avoid a silver-haired senior mutiny, and the cruise lines can continue making a profit. 


Wanda said...

Another winner. But alas, I see my name as sucker if I ever venture on a cruise. I'll have to begin saving money now.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

So did you walk off that ship with any money left in your pocket?

I took a cruise ship trip 10 years ago. If they could sell you the railings, they would try.

fishducky said...

On some of the cruises we've taken, most everything else was free, but a Coke cost $5.00!!

Joe Giorgianni said...

Excellent piece. Having just returned from a cruise, I had great visuals.

Jody Worsham said...

Hey, thanks for the comment Joe and everybody.Without comments, I don't know if people are reading my blog or just those crawler things.

Sharon said...

So funny, Jody.
If I ever save up enough pennies to go on a cruise, I'll take your list along. Hey, maybe I can find the fare on that money tree I just planted according to your directions.

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to lie. I could use some links for SEO purposes. On the bright side, you'll be saving countless souls from months if not years of torment and poverty.