Don’t Ask And You Will Not Receive

Bill Faeth
Posted on December 20, 2017

Know how to ask for more business with confidence (Pixabay.com photo)
Know how to ask for more business with confidence (Pixabay.com photo)
Two days ago, I got a call from a small operator — we’ll call him Chris to protect his identity — in the Midwest. Chris had been personally driving the COO of a good-sized publicly traded company. When the client booked through the operator for his personal travel, the relationship between Chris and the client began.

The operator had serviced him and his family multiple times over a couple of months and built a strong relationship with the client as he was driving most of the trips, but not all of them. The question from Chris was: “My client is the COO. How do I get the CEO’s business too?”

Now, Chris has wanted to grow his company with an ultimate goal of building a multi-million dollar business. So, the problem with Chris’ question was that…

HE WAS THINKING SMALL.

Chris was only thinking about how to acquire the CEO’s travel and not getting the entire company, which he had already identified has multiple locations across the country and potentially more employees than just the CEO and COO that are traveling.

I asked Chris if he wanted all of the company’s business, but he was still focused on the CEO because he was thinking small. What we identified is Chris was a little scared to ask for ALL of the business because he wasn’t sure he would be able to find an affiliate that could deliver the same level of service in the primary city the company was traveling to.

After a 20-minute conversation with Chris laying down the framework on how he could source multiple affiliates in the primary and secondary markets and completing five minutes of research online using LinkedIn, the company's website, and Hoovers, I was able to show Chris the value of the company’s business travel would most likely equal or exceed his entire annual revenue ($165,000).

I finally convinced Chris he could source affiliates, taught him how to do it, and then prepared him to ask THE GOLDEN SALES QUESTION the next time he drove the COO (which was this morning).

I am extremely happy to let all of the small operators in the industry know Chris just acquired this company. Furthermore, he acquired a publicly-traded company that doubled his revenue by simply asking the client for the business on the way to the airport at 4:45 a.m. this morning.

I can't tell you how excited I was when I saw the text message from Chris this morning after he dropped off the client. I called him immediately to congratulate him, but he was still a little worried about delivering.

You see, Chris has never done affiliate work before, so naturally he now has to deliver. So, on my drive into the office, we walked through the preparation steps — from how to set up the affiliate relationships to knowing what to request (rates, procedures, policies, communication channels, fleet list, etc.) and how to prepare a contract/agreement for the client.

I had a follow up call with Chris two hours later and he already had both of the affiliates set-up in the primary market with rates, procedures, and policies. He is just waiting on the insurance company to send the additional insured certificate. He will have his contract for the client done by Friday when the client returns and will be able to deliver and start taking more trips from the client in multiple cities.

Chris accomplished this in a span of a few days — acquiring more than just the CEO’s travel, which was his original goal.

What can you learn from this? As small business owners, we tend to hold ourselves back. If you want to grow, you need to think big. You need to get out of your comfort zone, take risks, and simply ask for the business. Good things will come if you provide great service and build strong relationships with your clients.

If you don’t ASK for the business, you will never get it.

Bill Faeth is the founder of Limo University (www.LimoGrowth.com), Inbound Marketing Agents (www.inboundmarketingagents.com), 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 in educating and training operators on how to grow, manage, and sustain a more profitable business. You can reach Bill at [email protected] Bill Faeth LCT columns, articles, and blog posts here

Related Topics: Bill Faeth, building your clientele, business growth, client markets, customer contracts, finance, money, operations, revenue growth

Comments ( 1 )
  • Anthony

     | about 11 months ago

    Sounds good BUT, We see fortune 500 companies that use various corporate services. Each corporation has different departments and individual travel planners. Affiliates is like walking on thin ice. Time and time again i hear the stories about accounts being lost because some affiliate that did not deliver. We know in our areas the go to companies and the stay away from companies that pretend to run an corporate service. Dont loose an account by wanting to make a few dollars in % of the rate. Its not worth risking your stable income. We let their in house executive do the travel plans out of state. We acquired a new corporate account from another operator that pretends to be a corporate affiliate operator.... the ceo told his assistant, "i dont care what relationship she has with that owner, we are never using them again" Their driver was falling asleep on the way to lax with the ceo on board :( Another operator told me they farmed a job for a van nuys heli pad transfer, they farmed it to that operator and the driver could not find the heli pad or knew how to use a gps.

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