Thriving in a Difficult Economy?
In case you missed it, the last 3 years have been tough. The stock market crash in ’08 and the weak economy since then have made staying in business a challenge. So how then does a business actually thrive in such times? Is there a secret?
Reston Limousine Figured It Out
In 2008 Reston Limo and Travel, a Virginia limo company, was seeking a way to remain viable and (hopefully) profitable. Like many firms, Reston Limo and Travel needed more sales. That’s when Kristina Bouweiri, the CEO decided to implement a novel idea. She started taking her best customers to lunch.
Client Appreciation Event — “Let’s Do Lunch!”
Kristina selected 250 clients whose past business suggested significant and profitable future opportunities. These clients were then invited to a client appreciation luncheon to thank them for their past business. To create urgency, only 50 people would be accommodated. All seats were taken quickly.
Alliances Were Key
Once the luncheon was set, Kristina solicited other firms to help share the cost — in exchange for being a sponsor and gaining prestigious access to these top decision-makers. Eventually, these sponsors promoted one another to their respective clientele — thus leveraging the relationship capital inherent in the sponsors clientele.
One discovery was that ‘price’ was not a significant factor in determining which company would be hired. However, ‘reliability‘, was.
Kristina also learned that different people in the same company hired a limo company independently of one another. That prompted Kristina to find and support a ‘champion’ in each client company who would help raise awareness of and preference for her company within that client firm.
Valuable bonding with clients, marketing insights and aligned actions resulted from these luncheons. So much so that they’ve become a monthly event for the last 2 years. Why? It’s WORKING!! . . . to build relationships, revenues and profits for Reston Limousine and Travel.
A challenging economy demands a creative response . . . the more you involve your clients AND strategic alliances in your marketing, the better off you’ll be