Published On: Sat, Jul 29th, 2017

Mario Scalzi Masters the Artwork of Journey

PHOTO: A good looking Tuscany, Italy panorama, a locale proper within the wheelhouse of Mario Scalzi and Parker Villas. (photograph through Flickr/Thomas Fabian)

In 1991, Mario Scalzi was residing in London and touring throughout Europe as an IT gross sales government. Enamored with Italy, he purchased a home in Tuscany. 

“Upon realizing the dream, I quickly woke as much as the fact that probably the most I may take pleasure in it for was a mere few weeks per yr and one thing finally needed to give,” stated Scalzi, who’s now president of Parker Villas. 

Having traveled extensively all through Europe for work and pleasure, he had amassed a wealth of expertise planning his itineraries and people of his gross sales employees. 

“Clever logistics designed to optimize cross-continent journey with out cramming an excessive amount of in a single journey not solely saved the corporate cash, however elevated employees productiveness,” he stated.

“To insure most effectiveness, I additionally chosen lodgings based mostly on high quality, consolation and proximity. Planning luncheon conferences in Paris adopted by dinner in Stockholm sounds enjoyable, but when, day after day, one finally ends up caught in airports or sleeping uncomfortably in out-of-the-way locations, the power to retain and course of helpful data (or satisfying experiences) turns into severely diminished. Practicality is a superb trainer.”

Deciding to hire a home in Tuscany later grew to become the excuse to vary his profession path. In 1993, he based The Parker Firm on a easy premise: “I’ll not know a lot in regards to the journey business, however I do know how one can journey and the way I prefer to be handled when touring.” 

The Parker Firm owns and operates two firms specializing in Italian trip rental properties.

“You gotta love what you do,” he stated. “Quickly sufficient phrase unfold on each side of the pond. Different property house owners listed their houses, in flip attracting extra purchasers.”

In relation to specializing in villas, Scalzi stated that he has entertained presents to diversify into all method of excursions, nations, cruises, resorts, planes, trains and cars. 

“Air was a catastrophe,” he stated. “Shoppers sad with a seat project, turbulence or a mislabeled particular meal risked casting a meticulously crafted journey in a nasty mild over one thing past my direct management.”

READ MORE: All Roads Really Do Lead Back to Rome

Scalzi was additionally tempted so as to add houses in France or Spain. 

“Whereas I mangle Spanish and French in addition to the following man, at coronary heart I am Italian,” he stated. “Specializing in a single nation was a smart move.”

“Having pushed effectively over 1 / 4 of 1,000,000 miles in Europe, largely in Italy scouting houses, providing automobiles was a no brainer,” he stated. “Shoppers rely upon dependable and competitively priced automobiles to get to their villas and get much more Italy for the buck. Buses and trains are unreliable—even throughout peak hours, whereas automobiles by no means go on strike.” 

Nonetheless, providing automobiles required a tightly managed alliance with a like-minded supplier. For almost 25 years, AutoEurope has been their sole supplier. 

Like his villas, every lodge in his assortment responds to a selected want, are individually vetted, frequently reinspected and, he stated, “should constantly present our friends with wonderful value/worth ratio at unbeatable charges. Lesson discovered, by no means place your self at a aggressive drawback.”  

In relation to obstacles dealing with journey brokers, Scalzi stated that the concern of on-line giants is one concern he hears most about, however he begs brokers to rethink.

“Mega journey websites are very helpful weeding mechanisms,” he stated. “Massive websites are like quick meals in comparison with high-quality eating or a house cooked meal. Study to separate precious prospects who acknowledge and reward experience from these higher served on the on-line drive-through. Solely use e mail/textual content/and so forth. to verify appointments. Do not waste precious time and do not attempt to be all issues to all folks. Each query you ask is a qualifier.” 

Scalzi stated that, over the last 25 years, the journey business has spun on its heels quite a lot of instances and the important thing to survival, success and sanity is adaptability.

“Journey brokers have a bonus over some other distribution methodology: face-to-face contact,” he stated. “Grasp the artwork.” 

In relation to recommendation that he would give others who wish to get into the journey enterprise, Scalzi paraphrased Sam Walton, the founding father of Walmart. 

“Each time the group goes in a single route, head the alternative method,” stated Scalzi. “Do what the large boys cannot replicate: specialize. Strategically place your self. Turn into the knowledgeable and do it face-to-face or by voice. When doubtful, shut up.”

Scalzi additionally instructed these profession ideas too:
— By no means endanger the end result or your popularity by guessing. 
— It is extra skilled to go with the questioner and promise to get again. “Getting again” is a good way to schedule a closing appointment. 
— Preserve management of the gross sales course of by asking the probing questions wanted to cement a reserving. 
— Spend 80 p.c of the time listening. 
— Take good notes. 
— Start the closing assembly by restating every of the consumer’s wants with thought out options. 
— Ask for the sale and be quiet. 
— In relation to journey, nothing beats first-hand information. Know your vacation spot chilly. 
— Go native as typically as you may and in a extremely private method. 
— Develop complementing companions not rivals. 
— From restaurateurs to gear suppliers and every little thing in between you would be stunned at how a lot recommending each other’s purchasers increase gross sales, popularity and reach-at-zero value.

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