The Sandals Difference is in the details: Richards

TORONTO — Agents need to know what they’re selling to their clients, now more than ever, especially when it comes to all-inclusive resorts.

That’s the message from Lorna Richards, training manager for Sandals Resorts, in town yesterday to kick off the company’s cross-Canada series of travel agent workshops.

From dive inclusions (or exclusions), to the quality of on-site spas, to the safety and organization of kids’ clubs, “it’s all in the details,” she said. And those details make the Sandals Difference, and that’s why the resort chain is picking up its ‘The Closer You Look, the Better We Look’ theme for its workshop series.

Sandals’ Red Lane Spas, for example are “second to none”, she says, and while spa treatments aren’t included in the base price, “you can pre-sell and make some extra money. Your clients are doing an average of two treatments while they’re on holiday.”

A new Beaches brochure, coming soon, details the quality inclusions at the family-friendly resorts, from the V.I.K. kids’ camps to a kids’ dive program. Experiences like the Scratch DJ Academy are also commissionable, she adds.

Richards also talked extensively about destination weddings, a pioneer market for Sandals. While only a handful of agents at the Toronto workshop were certified Sandals Wedding Specialists, Richards said she always encourages agents to take part in the program. “It’s an amazing way to grow your business,” she said, adding that Sandals’ Your Wedding. Your Style offers a customizable wedding-planning tool for agents and their clients.

The Re-Tie the Knot program, offering vow renewals, is another potential money-maker for agents, she added. “Re-Tie the Knot bookings are something you need to focus on. It’s a niche that will help you continue to grow your business.”