Taking time out from his day job, Peter Ruck recently completed the Marie Curie Swimathon - swimming a total distance of 5km (200 lengths) in 2 hours, 21 minutes and 50 seconds. At present, Peter has raised nearly £800* for Marie Curie Cancer Care - with more people donating now he has completed the Swimathon event.
It's all part of a very hectic schedule for Peter, who joined GoCruise Franchise only 18 months ago. He'll be going on Royal Caribbean's new Anthem of the Seas this weekend and will be travelling to Japan with Princess Cruises later this year. Following his magnificent achievement and exciting travel stories, we decided to have a chat with Peter to find out more about his experiences and his story with GoCruise so far.
Peter has spent a considerable amount of time within the travel industry, having worked for an agency for over 40 years. "I'd spent 43 years working on the high street and was considering retirement. After leaving my job, I took a month long cruise to the Caribbean with my wife and said to myself 'I still love the travel industry so why leave it!’"
Having worked in the travel industry for such a considerable amount of time, Peter has seen almost everything there is to see and has taken over 20,000 photos. From travelling to the Arctic, cruising along the River Amazon and exploring the Galapagos Islands; to flying in a light aircraft, following Southern Right Whales and swimming with sea lions - it's safe to say Peter has had many amazing experiences.
Peter was looking for a way forward in the industry and wanted to be his own boss. "After looking at the options, I joined GoCruise and was welcomed with open arms by Bridget Coe (Franchise Manager) and Geoff Ridgeon (Head of Cruise). It was nice to be acknowledged."
"If I had chosen to retire, I would never have had this opportunity."
After joining GoCruise, Peter was overwhelmed with the support and welcome he was given. At the initial interview, he met some of the managers who offered advice with every aspect of the franchise. Upon joining, Peter was welcomed by nearly all the staff - who are always on hand to provide advice and assistance.
"Since joining GoCruise, I've had some fantastic opportunities. I've been able to go to ship visits with Hebridean Princess and the conferences have been great. I'll be going on Anthem of the Seas this weekend. That will be unlike anything else."
Undoubtedly, having a knowledge and addiction for travel will be a significant boost when it comes to working within the cruise industry. If you are able to convey your passion and experience to your clients, they will almost certainly book with you time and time again.
"You have to be confident with the product you are selling and establish a level of confidence with your clients. People trust me." Knowing your product is paramount and if you can relate to every client's individual needs, you instantly have the edge over competitors.
As previously stated, Peter started his GoCruise career with a handful of core clients and admitted that attracting new clients was not always an easy task. "Sometimes a whole day would pass and the phone wouldn't ring at all. Quite often Holiday TV leads and web leads don't mount up to anything."
But after persevering and getting his name out as much as possible, Peter has attracted new clients and many more travellers are turning to him for their cruises. "I had someone come through who wanted to organise a cruise for their 93-year-old mother and her 85-year-old friend. I had to ensure their needs were met and they were understandably nervous. They booked through me and were impressed with the service provided. They are already enquiring about another cruise with me again this year."
The emphasis really is placed on knowing your product and ensuring your clients feel confident in you. As Ray Kroc (famous for building McDonald's into the fast food giant it is today) once stated: "Look after the customer and the business will take care of itself."
To put it shortly "Every day is different." Peter stated that an average day will usually start with swimming in the morning followed by breakfast, which is when the computer is fired up for the day. "After breakfast, I respond to emails and sit by the phone - ensuring everything that needs to be done is completed."
"Some bookings take two or three months to complete - but confidence grows with clients and they continue to make reservations." When Peter isn't in the office, he travels the world - which in turn ensures his knowledge of cruise is always fresh and up to date.
"Know your product. It's as simple as that."
The philosophy behind Peter's selling technique is to know the product inside out - ensuring you know everything you can possibly know about the world of cruise. "If you don't know the product, your client will, and they'll just book through someone else."
"If you've had a career as a window cleaner and are looking to have a successful career in the cruise industry; there are many training opportunities online. Try to go on as many ship visits as possible." Having completed a course with Princess Cruises, Peter has been invited to go on a cruise with the firm in Japan - which is sure to be another unbelievable experience.
If you love cruising and want to experience the world of travel with a career in an industry you love - why not follow in Peter's footsteps and become a GoCruise Specialist? Whilst we ensure you are in charge of your own business; our dedicated cruise experts are always at hand should you have any queries.
To find out more, you can call us via the Freephone Number above or complete an Online Enquiry Form.
*Update 08/07/15: Peter Ruck has now raised £870 for Marie Curie Cancer Care.