Where The Rubber Meets The Road | TravelResearchOnline

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Where The Rubber Meets The Road

A few years back I had the pleasure of speaking to a room full of tractor distributors in Raleigh Durham, North Carolina. This was an audience of t-shirted, baseball-capped, suspender-equipped, gum-chewing ladies and gentlemen who like you had an intense interest in learning how to “eat regularly.”

Prior to my chance to wax eloquent, I sat in the rear of the room taking copious notes learning what was important to this particular group. Reason being, I wanted to hit a “home run” when it was my turn to speak.

I could not help but focus on a single question from one distributor who voiced his concern about “being competitively priced.” I guess a tractor is not a tractor is not a tractor after all… or something like that.

You guessed it. I thought of you and the plight of today’s travel agent. How many times do you hear that your customers and prospects say that they “can get it cheaper elsewhere?

Back to Johnny Deere. I needed a “hook” and I needed one fast. This group was getting feisty and the clock indicated that SHOW TIME was only minutes away. I opened my session by asking the audience to picture the following scenario:

A guy and a gal are riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle down a highway, living large and enjoying the ride. The sun is shining and they both appear to be endorsing the popular slogan, “Life Is Good.” They pull off the side of the road and slide off “the HOG.” They gently toss their safety helmets beside the bike and climb up onto a shiny new Tractor. They then commence to mow the spacious lawn outside their house, looking forward to Happy Hour. Just another day for two people who have a zest for life.

I then reminded them that Harleys were not for everybody, and that one could purchase a competitive brand for a lot less. I then inferred that any old tractor was not the answer.

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So why then do so many people spring for a Harley Davidson? What made a Harley worth so much more to so many people? Why pay so much more for a handbag made by Gucci? Or Coach? Or Dooney & Burke? Why pay for a Mercedes? A Porsche? Or any Luxury SUV? Why buy Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream? Why cruise on Regent when Carnival offers a less expensive experience floating across the same ocean to the same ports of call? Why?

The answer to price differential is an easy one if you stop long enough to compare apples to oranges to grapes to lemons. Harley Davidson riders buy more than just two wheels and a gas tank held together by some handlebars.

They buy much more. They buy into an image. Fraternity. Peace of mind. The right to wear a black leather vest over a dirty t-shirt. The immediate image of “toughness” compared to a Harvard graduate mounting a Vespa motor scooter. (I’m practicing poetic license here.)

And so it is with you. When people do business with you they buy much more than a room key and a ticket to fly. When they choose to do business with you, they also buy ______ and _______ and _______.

(Don’t look at me. It is up to you to fill in the blanks.)

Of course they can buy it cheaper elsewhere. But they won’t be riding with you. And riding with you is worth lots more than the difference in price. Right?


Mike Marchev

Mike Marchev is recognized for his down-to-earth, street-savvy and honest delivery of useful sales and marketing advice, suggestions, tactics and strategies. For a complimentary copy of his Special Report titled: 11 Sales Mistakes You Must Avoid send Mike an email with the word TRO-11 in the Subject Box. mike@mikemarchev.com

SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY: To be placed on the distribution list to receive Mike’s Marketing Memo filled with tips and proactive ideas send him an email by CLICKING HERE.

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