If you are outsourcing your group cruise planning, you will almost certainly be assigned a liaison that will handle your needs. This person is part coordinator, part salesperson, but all human being. That list bit is important, because it means that they can be influenced if you are interested. Influencing a group cruise planner could result in getting discounts, insider information, or exclusive access to areas that are difficult to secure without advanced notice.
How do you become friends with a group cruise planner? Well, the answer depends greatly on the situation, but anyone that handles group planning or manages the outsourcing should already have some decent ideas on how to build rapport with their contact. For those that are coming up a little short, here are some ideas:
Corporate gifts – If the corporation has a ton of spare coffee mugs or T-shirts, bring a few along on the first visit and insist that the person show up to one of your functions. Be willing to give them credit for all their help, and they will be certain to go the extra mile.
Give them a reputation – Sometimes giving people a reputation before building a working relationship is a great idea. For example, tell them that you are aware of the reputation their company has for making arrangements that are above and beyond the call of duty.
Talk to their manager – Take a few minutes to call back and talk to a supervisor, even if the initial conversation did not go as well as planned. Sometimes a reminder that job satisfaction is at stake creates a better environment in which rapport can be built.