It's easy to forget some of the "small stuff" in the day-to-day running of a business, but in Drew Daly's mind, it's the small stuff that matters most


"Manners matter," said Daly, the general manager of network engagement and performance for Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises, Inc. "Please and thank you make all the difference. Just like you dot your I's and cross your T's, you should say please, you should say thank you, you should say the customer's name."

For Daly, one of the most important manners agents should mind is following up with their customers.

"The No. 1 thing for agents to help them be more effective is to make sure they're following up with everyone they're talking to," he said.

Consumers are more apt to book with the last person they spoke to, he said, an opportunity agents shouldn't let pass.

Some agents fall into the common trap of mentally scheduling a follow-up time in their own mind without consulting their client, Daly said.

He suggested adopting a new practice, asking the client something like, "If I call you back tomorrow, is 2 or 4 better?"

That way, the client is aware they will be getting a call back, and they know when it's coming.

"You have to follow up," he said. "If [agents] don't follow up, then forget it. But in order to even get to that point of follow-up, they have to be out and about and present everywhere."

To that point, he suggested agents use tried-and-true basic techniques like wearing their nametags in public, networking and passing out business cards whenever they get the chance.

"Those are all mission critical," Daly said. "They have to have conversations with people and talk about cruising and travel in general every time the opportunity presents itself."

Involvement in community groups, church groups or local chambers of commerce are all ways to get involved and meet potential new clients.

"Especially as a home-based agent, you don't necessarily have a brick-and-mortar storefront," Daly said. "You have to bring yourself to your client."

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