Jim Luff Scores With Big Contract In Down Times

Posted on October 28, 2009 by - Also by this author

ON THE REBOUND: It is very rare when a big account is simply dropped into your lap in this industry, so the thought of “prospecting” or going on “sales calls” where you try to land an account is very intimidating to most operators. 
 
Imagine my surprise when I completed a presentation for a large oil company and the general manager of the newest, biggest hotel in town approached me about doing business with the hotel. We were both at the same meeting of corporate travel and event planners touting our services. At the end of the meeting, he said he had no idea that we had so much to offer. He had no idea we had so many different types of vehicles and special VIP services. This would all lend well to this major chain hotel adjoining our local arena and convention center. I was thrilled. He told me to get in touch with his sales and catering manager to tell her about our company.
 
I asked my assistant to get me the appointment. She was not successful. I called myself and left a message to no avail. I had another assistant call and she was told they already have a transportation provider. I finally had to pull the “Your boss wants you to meet with me” card. That set the stage for a tense meeting. So tense, I was told we could stand in the lobby and talk upon my arrival. No conference room, no office, just the lobby was as far as I made it. I began my presentation anyway that included brochures, a description of vehicles, services we offered, technology we use, etc., and I just felt I was not gaining any ground.
 
So, in an about face, I asked her to tell me about the property. I asked her to show me the amenities of the hotel since we deal with elite people all the time who have administrative assistants that frequently ask us for a recommendation on the finer hotels of Bakersfield. I wanted to see it all including the penthouse suite where our deal was finally cemented. Her eyes lit up as she toured me through the facility. The floor was all hers. She told me about her team and what they do for corporate accounts. I asked her about taking her team out in our limo bus for a night of fun. She asked how much that would cost. I told her that I would not dream of charging her. Here I am asking her to entrust us with the transportation of hotel guests and I wanted her and her staff to experience first hand our service. She mentioned that their current provider had never offered them a free ride. I told her she, as the sales and catering manager, could get free local rides for herself whenever she needed as long as we had sufficient volume from the hotel. She just seemed to be so excited that I would give them a night out in the bus. We made a handshake deal and a few days later she was in my office to go over all the details we started in the lobby. And we were like old friends.
-- Jim Luff, LCT Contributing Editor
View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More LCT Blog Blog Posts

September 22, 2017

Dealing With Weird And Bizarre Passenger Requests

One party of girls wanted to be smacked upside the backside every time they exited the limousine.

September 13, 2017

Create A Handbook Your Employees Will Actually Read

Black and white words on a page are boring and uninspiring; here are some things to consider when creating a how-to guide for your company.

August 29, 2017

Billy The Coach: How To Plan And Prepare For Success

The LCT Summit keynoter starts contributing this week to our blog by asking: What is it you want bad enough to work for?

August 16, 2017

Don’t Let Poor Grammar, Spelling, And Punctuation Ruin Your Image

You are what you write. Make sure you leave a good business impression, especially on social media.

August 8, 2017

Behind The Screens: Why Face Time Matters

Computers and smartphones have conditioned us to text and email our way through life. Here’s how Millennials and managers can work together to break the habit.

See More

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blog

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - September 2017 $12.95 MOTORCOACH / BUS ISSUE COVER STORY: * Irizar Racks Up A Good Rookie Year * *



Connect

Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close