“Your Relationship WITH the client is worth more than the product or service being sold TO the client.”
Sally Hogsworth shared that slide on her facebook wall this week. https://www.facebook.com/HowToFascinate . It resonated with me. It what’s I believe, and how I run my business. My relationship WITH the client is worth more than the product or service being sold TO the client.
I hadn’t known of Sally Hogsworth and her work on “how to fascinate” until I attended Virtuoso’s Travel Week in Vegas last August. Sally was our keynote speaker. She got attendees to do a personality profile test in advance of arriving in Vegas. I dutifully obliged.
This wasn’t my first day at the rodeo. I’d done lots of personality tests over the years – Myers Briggs, DISC, etc, etc.. I’m an analytical person (hyper-analytical, you might say, as I’m an actuary by training). So, I tend to believe that personality tests are only as accurate as the mind-set you are in when you answer the questions. I’m always slightly amused by such tests. They tend to be over-simplified, and focus in on just a couple of personality traits, when everyone is much more complex than that… and you can always find a kernel of truth no matter what they say. I don’t expect any surprises.
But Sally’s test surprised me.
My answering a few short questions somehow allowed Sally’s research to zero in on my “personality” type as a “victor.” Apparently, my primary trigger is “prestige.” My secondary trigger is “power.” Labels. Semantics. So what, you might think… but I feel like it “got” who I am, and how I work for my clients. If you’re reading this, you’re either an existing or potential future client of mine. You should know what I can do for you. And what my “prestige” and “power” combo of triggers means in terms of how I work, and the value I bring my clients.
From Sally Hogshead’s studies (see www.howtofascinate.com), people with the primary trigger of prestige earn respect, focus on adding value through better execution, are conscientious of the smallest details, are motivated by a competitive spirit and determined outlook, and expect the highest quality deliverables from self and others. And that is an accurate assessment of me. It describes how I work, and how I push for my clients.
Her reports also note that prestige folks are ambitious, detail-oriented, recognized, uncompromising, and focused. I use these skill sets and drives to add value for my clients’ travel experiences.
Sally also suggests that prestige folks are recognized as an achiever and/or expert. They influence people through their high expectations of themselves and others. And they constantly envision ways to improve and upgrade. That is me.
I focus on getting the best for my clients, and getting the job done well…. and doing it better than the client could themselves. Sure we still work together – I don’t do this in a vacuum. I collaborate with my clients on the travel planning – the planning is part of the fun. But I focus on delivering experiences to my clients that they cannot get themselves. I leverage my relationships with preferred suppliers , and I use the power of those connections to VIP my clients. I work to ensure my clients get experiences they can find on google.
I have higher standards – for myself, and my suppliers. I use “prestige” (or whatever label you want to give my collection of drive and skills) to exceed the client’s expectations. My small but specific way that I offer the “ultimate” is my attention to detail on all the client’s needs – whether it’s a customized Walt Disney World vacation itinerary with dining reservations, or VIP’ing my client when they arrive at a 3-bedroom suite at a Virtuoso partner hotel so that their favourite beverages and amenities are awaiting them.
My clients have attained success and achievement. They want a vacation that is stress-free and rewards them.
I work in a very specific way. I design a plan that is unique to each client – and from our first conversation to their return, their vision of what their vacation should be is being fulfilled. I pull out the stops with all of my colleagues and all of my Virtuoso partners. While they are away, I’ll be checking on their journey, checking on details, and making sure all is going when. And when they return, we review together who everything worked.
So, what Sally Hogshead research pinpointed about me is true.
I don’t focus on the product or service I sell a client. I focus on the relationship I have with the client. Products and services are interchangeable, transaction focused, and price defined. But I focus on delivering experiences to my clients. I focus on delivering something that wows the client, that meets their needs, that makes them feel valued and important, and allows their family to have a fantastic vacation… and I go about my work in a very particular way. I focus on results.
I don’t battle for the business of online bookings, and lowest price for no service. I’m not in that dogfight. I can be selective about the sort of work I do, and that is not where I want to be. And… my clients are above that too.
My clients deserve customized and individual attention, and the professional and dedicated services of a travel advisor who will put their needs first, be attentive to detail, and demand excellence.
Don’t you deserve that?
Let’s have a conversation about how I can fascinate you!