Vicki Freed, senior vice president sales and trade support and service for RCI // © 2014 Volker Corell
Vicki Freed, senior vice president, sales, of trade support and service for Royal Caribbean International, has a long-time and well-founded reputation as an advocate for travel agents. Her popularity is readily apparent in the strong positive response agents have to a daily email.
Agents can sign up to receive the every-weekday emails from Freed on the Loyal to You Always website, which is sponsored by Royal Caribbean. The site promises recipients will receive emails from Freed containing “motivation, inspiration and useful information to help you sell, thrive and live a better life.”
Launched five months ago, the email currently has more than 6,000 subscribers.
Freed says while she was initially concerned about coming up with genuine and inspiring tips and encouragement five times a week, she finds ideas wherever she goes — including at a recent travel agency conference.
“I was walking down the hall, looking at other conferences, and I saw banners at a technology gathering and took pictures of them,” Freed says. “One was headed ‘Challenge the Present’ and talked about how quickly things change, and the other told attendees to ‘Make a New Path.’ That’s just as valid for travel agents as for technology people.”
The banners were featured in one of the emails.
Agents also supply ideas for Freed to share with others. One agent said she brings a tote bag with the name of a travel supplier on it when she shops for groceries, and it often helps launch a conversation about travel with other shoppers. Freed passed the tip along, and another agent reported that he made a sale using that approach.
“I’m lucky,” Freed says. “I’m part of a big corporation, and I get inspired by so many people. But a small business person working with only a few people or a home-based agent working alone doesn’t have those resources.”
While the email subscription has been requested by approximately 6,000 travel agents and suppliers, Freed notes that many of them forward the emails to others, so it likely has a much higher distribution.
“Of all the things I’ve done, this has generated the most buzz,” Freed says.