Luxury Coach & Transportation

November 2018

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 22 of 75

LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION NOVEMBER 2018 21 Until about 2010, roadshows relied on the flash and glitz of the stretch limou- sine. Once the Great Recession hit in September 2008, they fell out of vogue and are now considered taboo. e requirement today is you must have ei- ther a Sprinter or an SUV. e vehicles must have forward facing seats, no flashy lights, swiveling chairs, or any- thing else that implies "party vehicle," Saccoccio says. Many Asian banks will not accept a Ford van and will only ride in Mercedes-Benz vehicles, she adds. Vehicles must offer strong Wi-Fi, Jansen says. The Contracts Most investment banking firms of- fer three-year contracts, Saccoccio says. But she points out no one in the industry has an exclusive contract. Most firms use multiple providers. Delivering excellent service will determine how often a booker uses a particular company. Obviously the relationship with the booking agents at roadshow desks can help influence the decision. Operators must be able to deliver service in Asia, Germany, and Europe as well as the U.S. Pre- sentations are a competitive bidding process in addition to sharing infor- mation about your company, history, stability, and services offered. Jansen says, "Never badmouth a competitor during this process, as you will lose your own credibility." — using GPS is a must. To deliver flaw- less service, you must know all drop off and parking locations, and how to avoid getting stuck in traffic. "ere are hundreds of millions of dollars at stake and getting lost is not acceptable," Devlin says. A roadshow will often use several vehicles. You can expect to drive ana- lysts, bankers, accountants, the owners of the company going public, and, of course, representatives from the invest- ment bank. A typical job will involve picking up the team at night when they arrive by private plane, Devlin says. ey will have breakfast in the morn- ing, followed by anywhere from three to eight meetings before flying out to the next city. A roadshow usually lasts about two weeks and the most frequent U.S. destinations are Boston, Philadel- phia, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Types of Vehicles U.S. locations. Transportation managers who work for investment bankers place orders from the roadshow desk. ey prefer to work with companies that have their own roadshow desks as well. A dedicated department understands the importance of roadshow trips as well as the lingo and procedures, Saccoccio says. Direct relationships with investment bankers are declining as the bankers want to make one call no matter what city, state, or country they are traveling to, Devlin adds. He advises small- to mid-size operators to connect with large worldwide networks and perform work for them. "We value our relation- ship with aggregators such as Com- monwealth who farm their Dallas work to us," he says. Marketing Tips Although the chances of forming a direct relationship with investment bankers has diminished, that doesn't stop Dennis Jansen from marketing to companies like Merrill Lynch and aggregators such as Boston Coach and Commonwealth. Jansen, the managing director of Dutch Business Limousine in Amsterdam, recom- mends setting up a LinkedIn account and using IT to connect with the bookers. "LinkedIn is a very valuable tool in the search of corporate clients," Jansen says. Working Roadshows Whether you have landed your own roadshow job or you are providing service for a network aggregator like Commonwealth, the rules of engage- ment are the same. e most impor- tant part of service delivery is knowing the destinations, Devlin says. Being able to navigate to the location without THE DO'S Actively communicate with the person ordering. You must provide the chauffeur's name, vehicle type, and license plate/tag number, the chauffeur's phone number, and anything pertinent from your local area such as where to meet at the FBO. Will it be a tarmac or a terminal greeting? Let the booker know of any potential conflicts such as road closures, construction, or parking concerns. Once the plan is made, no changes are allowed. "The only way a change can occur is if someone dies or they are in the emergency room," Saccoccio says. Jansen adds it's important to check the latest traffic reports to the next destination and adjust routes as needed. THE DON'TS You can never upgrade or downgrade a vehicle, Saccoccio says. Don't even bother asking. Once you have provided the vehicle and chauffeur information and phone numbers, do not make any changes. This can get you kicked off the list of local providers. You should never attempt to steal the account you are working by handing out your business cards or using your brand name during the service. Make sure chauffeurs never talk about any client they are driving, the company they represent, or if the deal is about to become a public offering. Chauffeurs should never talk with clients except to confirm the next destination. Never leave the vehicle unattended. Don't overpromise what you can deliver. To deliver flawless service, you must know all drop off and parking locations, and how to avoid getting stuck in traffic, says Eric Devlin, CEO of Premier Transportation of Dallas and a 2017 and 2009 LCT Operator of the Year Award winner. Jansen, the managing director of Dutch Business Limousine in Amsterdam, recommends setting up a LinkedIn account and using IT to connect with the bookers.

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