When Does A Prospect Become A Client?

Bill Faeth
Posted on November 2, 2018

Hold on, she's not there yet. A booked passenger becomes a client after paying for the ride. (Photo: Blacklane)

Hold on, she's not there yet. A booked passenger becomes a client after paying for the ride. (Photo: Blacklane)

So, when does a prospect actually turn into a chauffeured or chartered client? Is that something we as the luxury transportation industry get to determine, or is it a psychological shift in the state of mind by your prospect?

I want to explain a few matters to you: Most of us as company owners believe we have acquired a new client when the person has booked the first reservation with us. But that does not match the psychological state of your customer.

Money Changes Make Clients

In the eyes of prospects, they don’t actually become clients until money changes hands after the trips are done. This means when a prospective client books with your company, you are really just starting the sales process and need to view them as a prospect and not a client. Prospects “book,” while clients “pay.”

You must complete what I call, “realized revenue,” before that prospect would actually convert to a client. This means you must treat all new reservations as prospects (leads) that have come into your business because they believe they are not clients. Unfortunately, we owners look at it differently. We typically don’t do anything to nurture that lead or new reservation into an actual paid trip between the time of booking and the time of service.

I want to reiterate: Your prospects do not believe they have become a client when they’ve booked. They do not become a client when they get into the car. They truly become a client after a monetary transaction. For 90% of you, that occurs after the trip has been serviced.

Here’s what I recommend: Really treat these new reservations as a prospect and reach out to them; nurture them. Create more value for them between the time of booking and the time you send them their final charges. This is what I call the “pre-trip process.”

You should navigate three stages when serving a client: Pre-trip, actual trip, and post-trip. During the past 12 years, I have seen most companies focus 99% of their attention on the in-car experience (the actual trip) and not emphasize the pre-trip phase. The owners who try to find ways to give additional value to their prospective clients before the trip and try to retain them through personal communication and creating value are the ones who see more customer conversions.

When you take those extra steps and add value for that prospect, you will see about a 21% increase in the number of customers.

First Time Booking Follow Up Process

1. The owner should follow up with each of your new bookings via a personal phone call within 24 hours. (Not a CSR or manager, the owner)

2. If the booking date is more than a week out, then the CSR or account manager should contact the prospect 24-48 hours before the trip to ask if there are any special requests or customizations they prefer to enhance their experience. This should be done via email or phone.

Remember, don’t just rely on the email confirmations and pre-trip text alerts. These phone calls or emails only take one to two minutes to complete, and they drive a lot of value for your newly acquired prospective client.

So, what are you going to do to increase your conversions to prospects? Not sure? Drop me a private message on Facebook and I will help you.

Bill Faeth is the founder of Limo University (, Inbound Marketing Agents (, and 23 additional startups, including Silver Oak Transportation of Nashville, Tenn. As a successful former operator and active advocate for the industry, Bill continues to invest into educating and training operators on how to grow, manage and sustain a more profitable business. You can reach Bill at [email protected] For more columns and blog posts by Bill Faeth, click here.

Related Topics: Bill Faeth, building your clientele, client markets, customer service, Profit Motives, profits

Comments ( 1 )
  • Michael Fitzek

     | about 2 years ago

    For me it' simple, Wen the client calls again after a satisfactory first ride!

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