It was ten minutes to 5:00. I saw a family in the lobby booking a vehicle at the front counter. I was glad it wasn’t me as there seemed to be some issue and 5:00pm was rapidly approaching. I was curious about why they had been in the office so long. The reservationist came into my office and said he had to leave and they could not decide what vehicle they wished to charter. I told him to bring them into my office and I would finish. So much for leaving at 5:00pm!
A gentleman, his wife and daughter entered my office. I introduced myself. As the man introduced himself, I recognized his name as being the franchisee of the local Caesar’s Pizza chain. In our area, that includes 12 locations! The company is very active in community events and donations. I blurted out the words, “Pizza, Pizza” and smiled. He seemed impressed that I knew who he was and asked me how I knew. I told him when people are constantly doing good things in the community, people learn your name and appreciate you for what you do. I had scored big time!
Seems his daughter was having an upcoming birthday and wanted to take a few friends out in a limousine for a few hours. I am going to guess she is about fifteen. I directed my attention to her and asked her what her plans were for the night and her expectations. Her biggest concern was how many friends could fit in a limousine. I suggested we take a walk to preview one of our limo buses. I told her she could bring more friends and I could create a scavenger hunt for them if she would like. I also showed her how she could plug her I-POD up to the sound system of the bus. I told her father that I knew just how to make the night perfect for his daughter. He said he had been quoted on the limo-bus previously but thought it to be too pricey for his daughter. I asked her again if she wanted the limo-bus and she definitely did. We went back to my office. I told him that we provide “special consideration” for community leaders. I worked some numbers on the adding machine if only to knock off 10% of the price. He was delighted that he was getting a discount simply for being him. I asked him about paying the deposit and he replied that he would just pay cash right now and be done with it. I promised to take good care of his daughter and provide a night she would remember.
I then asked, “What about Mom and Dad? When are you going to treat yourself out to a night on the town”? They looked at each other. I commented that I was sure they get tired of pizza and the same old restaurants around town. How about a nice dinner in Beverly Hills some day? I know all the hot restaurants in the area and I could get them in to any restaurant they wanted to go to on any given day and let them know what a VIP he is. Before you think I have contacts there, it is just about picking up the phone and making a reservation for the client. It was a very simple gesture that went a long way. Moments later I was figuring the cost of an eight hour charter to Beverly Hills next month in a limo-bus. No restaurant was chosen but they will get back to me on that. More cash was given to me to secure the date for that trip as well.
It was now almost 6:00pm but I had $2,800 more dollars than I had at 5:00pm so I wasn’t sweating it. I truly believe all of this happened because we all want a little respect. We all want to be treated like a high-roller and we wish that people knew just who we were. Although I had never met the family before, by knowing their name in the community I made them feel special. The encounter ended with the family insisting that they have pizza delivered to my house for dinner on them!
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