BY BILL FAETHIt might seem counterintuitive, but when it comes to anticipating what your clients expect, you should always start with the “after effect” if you’re truly determined to dazzle them. The “after” is an outcome that can be anything from how your service impacts your clients to a business decision you make.
You may already be familiar with the concept if you have gone through my chauffeur recruiting video training series. If you’re not, it’s important to understand what the after is, why it’s crucial, and how you and your clients benefit when you start with it in mind. The after needs to be the very first thing you start with—every time. What are the customer’s pain points? What didn’t they like about other car services? How can you use this opportunity to prove that you are genuinely committed to setting yourself apart from the rest? And, above all, once the ride is over and your customer is well on their way to their destination, how will their experience with your company resonate with them?
To put it another way, if the outcome of using your service is that your travelers will be happier, their spend will be less, and bookers’ jobs will be easier, then why wouldn’t you focus on these three things before you talk about anything else?
Apps, GDS, online reservations, vehicles, pricing, and everything else are just the means of delivering the desired after. The only reason your potential customers care about these features is because they don’t know how to get to their own desired after without them. This means that they are selecting the lowest common denominator familiar to you and your competitors, and using them to compare these features like apples and oranges to make decisions.
As the industry continues to cite high-end service as one of the key differentiators from TNCs, the last thing you want is for your company to be reduced to the basic elements of an app and a ride when it comes to decision-making comparisons. Customers do this when none of the companies they are considering describe the after they are seeking at the start of the sales process.
So how do you apply the after effect and start benefiting from it? The first step is to identify to whom exactly you are selling. Each client has their own after, which is often a combination of why they’re booking a trip with you in the first place, their expectations of your services, and their previous experiences with luxury ground transportation. Is your potential client a travel manager, traveler, DMC, or someone else? You should already know the typical frustrations they have; if you don’t, try asking them the following question: “If I was fortunate enough to win your business and we were conducting an annual review, what would a successful first year look like to you?”
Every subsequent answer you receive will be an indicator of a current pain point. Once you have received an answer, your next step is to deliver the after they desire, and demonstrate how your services can achieve the full scope of what they want.
Keep in mind that the after you provide is the primary positive impact you will have on their travel—but it can also impact their personal life. That is exactly why I opened up the first video in my chauffeur recruiting series with a story about missing my daughter’s dance, because everyone has gone through something similar and can immediately relate. This understanding and empathy allows me to make a personal connection by invoking emotions connected to that shared experience.
If you can relate a personal story to your prospect’s pain points, you will be walking on easy street for the remainder of the sales process. What you cannot do, however, is focus on a negative after when describing your competitor. Remember that you only want to discuss the positive attributes that you can give your prospects.
With time, putting the after first will come as naturally as every other element of running your company—especially once your profit margins starts benefiting from the effort. [CD0616]
Bill Faeth is founder and president of Inbound Marketing Agents in Nashville and founder of Limo University. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.