Here are some sights and scenes from one wicked cool tradeshow.
He offers complimentary beverages during limousine trips, makes sure to follow up after every ride, and keeps track of special birthdays and events so he can keep in touch with clients long-term. He also stocks a fleet of three-year or newer model vehicles and keeps them well maintained.
Regardless of fleet size, limo operators who want to succeed in sales need to find a strategy that emphasizes company strong points while tailoring their marketing pitches to specific client needs in their service regions.
Talia, for example, is diligent about client prospecting, handing out business cards at restaurants and hotels and explaining what his company offers. He says marketing and sales are intertwined, especially for a smaller operator. Once he receives inquiries from prospects, he makes sure to listen to their needs and then offer creative solutions.
At times, customers will call asking about a limo tour for eight passengers, Talia says. He’ll maybe only have a 14-passenger stretch limousine available for that day, and he’ll decide to discount the ride for eight passengers to keep the price reasonable and the vehicle moving that day. “It’s less money than it would be if it was a party of 14, but it’s about being accommodating and matching the right need,” he says.
Meanwhile, Paul Thompson of Accent New Mexico stationed in Santa Fe, gives an example of the kind of creativity needed to stay flexible with a budget-conscious client and ensure a sale. “I had a job for a non-profit with 62 people to go from a hotel to a theater that was about 1.8 miles away,” says Thompson, who like Talia, is owner and sole sales agent. “The client wanted to transport them all at once but could only afford one bus.”
Corporate Sales and Commission Structure
For larger operators, the sales department receives its own focus and has dedicated people working full time on acquiring new business. Javaid Chaudhury, CEO of NY Global in New York City, says he values both mature salespeople who have been in the industry, and new sales employees who can learn his style. “Most of my team are newbies,” he says. “I train them for six months and then lead them out.”
The training has to do with the specific markets involved with NY Global’s business, such as the consulate work, hotels,
Sami Elotmani of Destination MCO in Orlando, Fla., uses a structured and consistent evaluating process for sales employees. The SEARCH Method, which stands for Skills, Experience, Attitude, Results, Cognitive skills, and Habits, is used for assessing prospective applicants.
“This is a refined process that allows our team to judge candidates on objective criteria, and it promotes consistency,” he says. The checklist keeps managers from hiring based on gut feelings, or character assessments, which Elotmani says can be misleading when hiring.
“A bad sales hire can costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, not just on cost but also lost opportunity. MCO will often use headhunters as well, to locate quality salespeople.”
Sales Techniques And Relationship Building
Techniques for selling limo service can vary widely depending on the market the salesman is prospecting, Elotmani says. “For example, if we’re doing meetings and events work, then being able to speak the meeting planner language per se, allows you to establish credibility early on. On the flip side, for hotel work, you need to have a leisurely approach and remember it can take years to play out. You can’t call a luxury hotel and expect to be in discussions in the first couple months. It takes longer.”
The sales cycle of each market determines the approach, Elotmani says. But he notes that the best ROI comes from relationship-based sales with accounts that prioritize high-quality service and accountability. For these accounts, sales associates emphasize the quality of fleet vehicles, the thorough training of chauffeurs and background checks, insurance coverage, safety, and more. “For these types of accounts, it can take time to finally establish the sale,” he says. “You have to be patient and cultivate the relationship as you build the brand over time.”
Maintaining good relationships is the primary competitive advantage for a limo company, Elotmani says. “You can lose your advantage in technology, in fleet quality, and other areas, but relationships that you‘ve built can sustain you long term. We put a premium on the value of establishing new business relationships because they are the best investment.”
Here are some sights and scenes from one wicked cool tradeshow.
NOV. LCT: We fear our own prices when comparing ourselves to TNCs, but we don’t compete with them any more than Marriott does with a Motel 6. Learn how to justify your rates without guilt.
Fleet managers and business owners are benefiting from new functionality.
Among the highlights for next year is a focus on far-flung destinations along with international trips of two weeks or more.
A look into how cryptocurrency might change the service industry.
In a 90-7 vote, senators approved the nomination of Derek Kan to be undersecretary of transportation for policy at the government agency.
Nikko Ouzounis knows participating in local associations both within and outside of the industry matters.
NOV. LCT: You’ve got plenty of competitors, so don’t blow itwhen talking to prospective customers.
One of the most important ways for a company to distinguish itself and to retain and attract customers is by providing impeccable service.
NOV. LCT: In the battle to obtain new clients and retain loyal ones, only those who know the best ways to reach, connect with, and educate them will survive.
NOV. LCT: Forming relationships with your customers is a vital part of retaining them. But how do you ensure you and your employees never cross the line of professionalism?
NOV. LCT: Greene Worldwide Transportation draws on a strong tradition to navigate the disruptions roiling luxury chauffeured service.
NOV LCT: The luxury transportation industry separates itself from TNCs and taxis by providing impeccable personal service.
A tribunal upheld a decision that drivers had the right to be classed as workers rather than as self-employed.
GroundWidgets takes on development and support of the back office system while Deem focuses on integrated travel booking and management experience.
The world's No. 1 online marketplace and trader for professional chauffeured and chartered vehicles, including all types of motorcoaches, buses, vans, stretch limousines, sedans, SUVs, exotics, and classics. New and used vehicles are available from sellers across the nation.
The best online networker to find quality affiliates worldwide and market your company.
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.