Luxury Coach & Transportation

August 2018

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION AUGUST 2018 55 Your Buyers Aren't Rational, and That's Okay. Here's Why… AUGUST 2018 O ne of my friends is a female professional in her mid-20s. Recently, she traveled to Henderson, Nev. for a workshop. This was her first business trip traveling solo. She had the freedom to decide her modes of transportation. When she returned, I asked her to explain her travel choices during her four-day getaway. Her story represents perfectly the type of client limo opera- tors need to stop going after through sales and marketing efforts. Here's what she told me… "When I flew into the Las Vegas airport, I went to the taxicab pick-up area and just grabbed a cab. It was late. I was tired. So I just wanted to get to my hotel as soon as possible." Convenience drove her first buying decision of the trip. "My biggest complaint about taxi services though is the rate meter," she added. "I have to sit there in the passenger seat and watch the cost of my trip grow until I reach my destination." She's cost-conscious, despite using money her boss provided to her for the duration of her trip. "I learned my lesson after the taxi ride and used Uber whenever I needed to get somewhere I couldn't walk to in Henderson." Her primary reasons for using ride-hailing services were the cost and convenience of them. However, she doesn't enjoy either option. "I'm an introvert, so I'm extremely awkward when I meet new people. So any situation where I have to spend 10-15 minutes with a random person is an uncomfortable one for me." What can we learn from my Millennial friend's thought process? A lot. First things first; my friend isn't a rational buyer. She could easily overcome the inconveniences of taxi cabs and TNCs by booking airport transfers with luxury ground transportation companies. But she doesn't. If she were to stack up the facts of each option and evaluate them for 30 minutes, she'd realize that. But like her 20-something counterparts (and every other segment of the human race), she is not a rational buyer. You aren't either. And neither are your prospects. That being said, we can assume people like my friend will not be ready to use luxury services for at least five to 10 years. She still values saving money over living comfortably. Go after the affluent market. Pursue the individuals who have discretionary funds to spend and who will spend it to be comfortable. According to the most recent Survey of Affluence and Wealth by yougov.com, spending on luxury goods and ser- vices increased by 6.6% over the previous year. This is great news for the chauffeured transportation industry! Once you acknowledge there is (and likely always will be) a market for your luxury services, you can begin to under- stand how to market it across any platform. Your clients don't want to buy your service. They want to buy a feeling. Master advertiser David Ogilvy said, "People buy things that make them feel better about themselves." If you're like most of the operators I come across, you're selling vehicles, chauffeurs, and duty of care. You're saying and writing phrases like "exceptional service," "professional chauffeurs," and "reliable and safe transportation." What do the generic terms and descriptors mean for your clients? Instead of focusing on the "what," communicate the "why" throughout your website, pitches, and everywhere you are present online and offline. In a 2011 LCT article, Dr. Jim Tay- lor, an expert on marketing and branding, suggested empha- sizing control and quality of life with affluent consumers. Develop a deep, intimate understanding of your target buyer. If you don't know the emotional factors driving your ideal client's buying decisions, you'll never overcome revenue plateaus. You'll fail to connect with new prospects or current clients, you'll fail to scale your business, and you'll fail to at- tain financial freedom. As you consider the emotive aspects of selling your ser- vices, ask yourself the following questions: 1. What daily rou- tines and career tasks does my ideal prospect have? 2. How can I position my services in relation to my ideal prospect's daily life? 3. What are the top three motivators that guide my ideal prospect's buying decisions? This should give you a good start in shaping a new and improved marketing message and selling pitch. For examples on how to pitch affluent customers, see the online version of this column at lctmag.com Profit Motives BILL FAETH | bill@limogrowth.com Affluent buyers are more likely to want an experience and a feeling, along with safety and convenience. By Bill Faeth 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 into educating and training operators on how to grow, manage and sustain a more profitable business. You can reach Bill at bill@limogrowth.com.

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