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As most of my friends will tell you, I’m a golfer. Not a good one — in fact, a pretty bad one — but I do enjoy the sport. I’ve been fortunate to have played some great courses around the world, and I have a wish list of places that I would like to visit one day. (I’m looking at you, St. Andrews.)
My cousin, meanwhile, is a skier — he has hit the slopes everywhere from France to Japan. And he doesn’t go alone: He has a group of friends who plan vacations together. I’m sure they have an extensive list of dream trips, too.
My cousin and I are not unusual, of course — we’re just two examples of people whose passions influence their travel decisions. Whether clients love running, cycling, hiking, kayaking, diving or something else, the opportunity to indulge their interest often sweetens the deal and makes it easier to splurge on a bucket-list getaway.
This issue’s cover story (“Game On, Hawaii,” page 12) examines the sporting opportunities available in the Hawaiian Islands. In fact, one of the destination’s selling points is the range of activities for all sorts of travelers. The versatility of a Hawaii vacation is a great jumping-off point for an advisor’s sales pitch.
In order to appeal to a client’s interests, however, an agent needs to know about those hobbies in the first place, which means the topic must be part of the initial conversation. Plus, the advisor should keep up to date on changes in the sporting world. (How much do you know about the rise of esports, for example?) Finally, make sure that you regularly challenge your assumptions. When I started in publishing, there were some editors who still thought that all surfers were beach bums who couldn’t afford a plane ticket. Today, all you need to do is look at the cars parked along California’s Pacific Coast Highway any morning to know that plenty of surfers are gainfully employed.
There’s no doubt that aligning a vacation with a client’s sporting passion can be the secret to a big-ticket sale. Best of all, it takes a relatively small amount of effort for what could potentially be a significant reward.