Luxury Coach & Transportation

January 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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SALES & MARKETING How Genuine Relationships Help You Sell If all you're thinking about is "How can this person make me more money," you're doing it wrong. By Lexi Tucker, LCT associate editor N ASHVILLE, Tenn. — At Bill Faeth's Limo Uni- versity LAB Live event in April 2018, he hosted a chat with Kanye Harris, multi-national account manager for Delta Airlines, about what it takes to forge relationships with gatekeepers and why that's important. Forging Bonds Is #1 When looking to connect with a potential client, you should shoot for developing a partnership on a personal rather than corporate level. Over time, Faeth and Harris connected about matters they had in common or were interesting. Harris' love of soccer, being from Germany, and family life were topics that helped them get to know each other. is relationship ended up helping Faeth get a warm introduction to connections at Scripps Networks, Eastman Kodak, World Travel, and more. "e reason I took Bill with me [to meet representatives from these companies] is because we connected on a personal level. He shared with me his life pre- ground transportation, how he was a professional golfer, and the story of how he met his wife. It was more of a deep-rooted than a superficial relationship. You can always go, 'Hey buddy, how are you doing?' and call that a relationship, but that doesn't plant the seeds for future growth." In the end, it's about mutual benefit. Harris believes this is the core of creating a lasting partnership. "When Bill calls me years later and invites me to attend one of his events, I'm happy to do so because I consider him more of a friend than just a business partner. I believe it's important to establish those relationships and make sure they're rooted so it doesn't become a one- way street. It's a win-win-win for everyone — for me, for you, and the customer." Building Trust Harris manages Fortune 100 and 500 accounts international- ly. When asked how important it is for him to build relation- ships with the people he deals with in sales and then after closing, he said it depends on how much he trusts a person. "I don't just show up and say, 'Hey, I'm with Delta Airlines, give me your business.' It doesn't work that way. It's much different when you're in a global economy where the cultures are different. Whether I'm in Tokyo, Japan; Stavanger, Norway; or Aberdeen, Scotland, it's about selling yourself. It's not necessarily that people are buying Delta Airlines because of the brand. ey're buying Delta Airlines because of me as the representative and ambassador of the brand." is is essential to beating the competition in your own market. Many luxury transportation companies have the same equipment, cars, and software, just like flying on a plane feels the same. What people care about is the flight is safe, clean, on-time, and their bags don't go missing. "So, what differentiates me from an Etihad or Emirates that have jacuzzis, bars, and in-flight showers? Being able to build relationships with the people who matter. You have to find the people that can truly effect change." Where people drop the ball is when they get the account and then only think about themselves from that point on, 28 WWW.LCTMAG.COM LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION JANUARY 2019 (L to R) Bill Faeth and Kanye Harris discussed the importance of building real, solid relationships instead of just bugging people into spending on your service (Photo credit: Blake Russell).

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