Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March Marketing (and Sales) Memo

To: Telephone Staff and Guides

We have begun having a Marketing and Sales meeting every two weeks. The participants are Nicole, Dan, Rick and Steve. While the four of us are busy selling charters, contacting Community groups, keeping concierge happy, and interacting with the Convention Centers we adhere to two main principles: 

  1. EVERYONE employed at Tours Northwest is a Marketer. Every action on the job (and many off the job) reflect on the company and have the potential to convince people to take our tours in the future.
  2. EVERYONE employed at Tours Northwest is a Sales Person. You have many opportunities to convince people to make a reservation for an additional tour.


The Telephone staff are Marketers first. They often provide the very first impression someone has of our company. Speaking clearly, being friendly and informative, and answering every question is key to convincing people to consider our tours.

The Telephone staff are Sales People also. Not only do we want them to make the sale in the first instance (taking a reservation for a tour the guest called about), we want them to nudge the people onto our other tours. Often a person calls with a very narrow view of what we do. It is the Telephone staff’s responsibility to ask and inform. Just like the checkout person at the grocery store: “Did you find everything you need?” Ask “Have you visited our web site and/or Facebook page?”

Our Guides are both Marketers and Sales People, also. Every action they take on the tour can be thought of as Marketing: condition of coach, driving, greetings, content of tour, and conscientiousness of service.

And Guides should cross-merchandize as much as possible. Describe our other tours, mention them when there is a tie-in to what you are looking at on the tour you are running. Offer to call the office to book for your guests when they show an interest. Share with them what others tours YOU conduct.


All this comes full circle after the tour, back to Marketing. Make our guests our Marketing Partners! Encourage people to visit our web page, our Facebook page, Tripadvisor.com and Yelp.com. It is very fun to post pictures and say a few words about their experiences.

March 8, 2011
Steve Powell

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Safety Videos

T or F? The Clutch should always be checked on a vehicle with an automatic transmission.
Its that time of the year again! ALL of our drivers are expected to review the 7 Safety Videos that are available on the Guide Room Computer. Here are the Guidelines:
  • Safety Videos should be viewed primarily between spot time and leaving for a tour. First get your coach ready!
  • Second, communicate with Dispatch to know how much time you have. 
  • Third, be flexible if a call comes in for earlier departure.
  • Drivers can view ONE (1) video after they return on the clock; more if they want to do it off the clock.
  • This room should be quiet, and the door closed, when there is someone watching a video. If you come enter to get a bag, please respect the concentration of the driver who is viewing.
Obviously, there is some information that does not apply to us. Its not that burdensome to simply answer those questions as well (don't skip, or your Certificate will show you have a lower percentage).

And some of the questions are rather picky and tricky and inapplicable. Thus, we are allowing ONE incorrect answer (approx. 96%). If you get two wrong, please redo that section.

Treat this seriously, and get it done asap. It is a great review and we, as a company, pride ourselves on our Safety Record.

Finally, if you have any suggestions for change in our routines, please talk to Liz. We'll consider any idea, and provide you with a reason why we do it the way we do.

BTW, the correct answer to the question above is FALSE. Duh!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

State of the Union Appearance

Sarah Sucher, Mike's daughter, is a page in Congress these days. That is her smiling face peeking through to greet the President after his State of the Union address. Go Sarah, Go!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Arizona Dreaming

While we sit here in Seattle complaining about the wet, cold weather SOME of our employees take corrective meansures.

Here's Robb and Bryan in Arizona. Robb lives there in the off season, Bryan visited him, while biking from Neah Bay to the Florida Keys. Follow Bryan on his blog!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day ... and Happy Birthday, Ben

Today is Benjamin Franklin's birthday (1706). I think some of his sayings are apt for our work (or not, depending on your imagination). Nothing ventured, nothing gained. (Chaucer, btw, not Franklin). Do you have other, better Franklin examples? Send them my way!

And I wonder what Martin Luther King, Jr. thought of Ben's sayings? Good food for thought, and THINKING/PONDERING/CONTEMPLATING seems to be a very good approach to today's holiday.

Little strokes fell great oaks.

Befriend the curmugeon on your tour with smiles and conversation. Find out their specific interests and point out those spots around the city.

MLK: This seems to sum up his approach to civil rights very well.

Plough deep while sluggards sleep.

Nicole may not be a farmgirl from Nebraska, but this saying fits her consistent, thorough marketing efforts throughout the year.

MLK: Again, apt.

Early to bed and early to rise, Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

All hail the Mt. Rainer guides in the summer, the BT-school bus drivers on winter weekdays and those who open up the doors and set up for the day.

MLK: This speaks to his hard work and tenacity.

Read more about Ben Franklin at The Writer's Almanac

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

New York Times Locker article

Know your history! This is what the rest of the country reads about Seattle:
"Before the Seahawks or the Mariners or the Sounders soccer team, before Microsoft or Boeing, before the Klondike gold rush or even statehood, there was the University of Washington, founded as the Territorial University of Washington 150 years ago next fall with a single professor and 30 students."