[NOTE TO READERS: LCT today starts a bi-weekly series of online spotlights of companies listed on LCTConnect.com. This Affiliate Report e-newsletter will be distributed every other Tuesday].
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Diane Forgy, president and owner of Overland Chauffeured Services, could very likely fill a book on affiliate wisdom. She is a two-time LCT Operator of the Year winner, past President of the National Limousine Association, and owner of Overland Chauffeured Services, her Kansas City area company founded in 1979.
About 25% of Overland’s business comes from farm-ins, while farm-outs count for about 5%. When handing affiliate work, it’s important to remember you are not only taking care of your affiliate, but their customer as well, she says. “That’s a huge relationship you are responsible for protecting.”
Her best advice to those new to this kind of work is if something goes wrong during the trip, the best course of action is to inform the affiliate before the client does. “You don’t want them to be caught off guard. If something doesn’t go right, be prepared to compensate. Don’t be difficult and don’t try to make excuses.”
LCT CONNECT PROFILE HERE
Also, if you are aiming for affiliate business from a larger network, operators should remember to be respectful, professional, and patient. “Don’t expect that an affiliate is going to break an existing relationship to do business with you — don’t harass them. Stay in touch periodically and wait for the opportunity.”
As more companies are finding each other through social media outlets like Facebook, it’s nice to have a way to receive a company’s information without having to call them up and ask. Something Forgy likes about LCT Connect is the amount and types of questions each operator is asked.
“Just like anything, it depends on honesty, but I like the format of the platform and the opportunity to put fleet photos on your profile. It’s a cost-effective way to keep our name out in the industry.”
Overland provides a variety of transportation services, from weddings and wine tours to funerals and airport runs. It also offers a large and diverse fleet that includes Lincoln MKT, Mercedes S550, Audi A8L, Expedition EL Limited SUVs, passenger and executive vans, Mercedes Sprinter executive and limousine coaches, and luxury Grech mini-coaches.
Its average vehicle turnover time is three years or 100,000 miles. All of its fully licensed chauffeurs wear dark suits and ties, are drug and background checked, trained in-house quarterly, and Smith System (a provider of collision avoidance driver training) Certified.