“The look in your eye, the sound of your voice, and the energy that comes off of you affects everybody.”
I came across this quote while reviewing a few of my past articles on a Saturday morning. A recent experience came to mind, and I believe it carries a message worth repeating. Let me set the stage.
I am beginning to train for a 70.3 Ironman Triathlon which is scheduled to take place in the northern panhandle of Florida in May.
A significant training snag is preventing me from preparing properly for the bike portion of the race. My bike is in upstate New York, and I am writing this article in southern Florida. In the world of tri-athletics, this is referred to as a “conundrum.”
My original plan of having my sister and brother-in-law load my bike in the back of their car before driving down last month fell through. It was time for Plan “B.”
I blindly Googled a bike shops near Utica, NY and made a phone call to an outfit called Trek Bikes. Key point: Trek was in the business of selling bikes. I was not in the market for buying a bike. Here is where today’s lesson unfolds.
I called TREK to inquire if I dropped my bike off at his bike shop could they/would they safely prepare it for safe shipping to an address in Florida. Fully understanding he was not a UPS Store franchise, and not needing any cycling accouterments at the time, I did not know what to expect from my question.
“ABSOLUTELY,” was the next word I heard. Followed by “EASY. BRING IT IN.” I remember noticeably hearing a sigh of relief on my end. (Absolutely is such a beautiful word, don’t you agree?”
The “voice” on the other end of the line was upbeat, energetic, welcoming. and both calming and reassuring. This was just a “voice,” lacking any visible body movements or eye contact to interpret one way or the other. There were no physical signs to evaluate. There were no referrals to calm my justified beliefs that trust is a fleeting memory of past dealing. Just a voice. My initial impression was a favorable one – to say the least.
In a world where profits, multitasking, haste, and self-gratification seem to have taken center stage, it is refreshing to find an organization that still knows how a winning hand is played. In most cases, it all starts with your voice. (Doing it right does not require an advanced degree or equivalent.)
In my case, his tone, clarity, interest, responsiveness, pauses and questioning skills were both noticed and appreciated. This man’s voice immediately put my mind at ease, and I believed I had just stumbled upon a solution to my dilemma. (Communicating properly, whether in person, online, or over the phone should not be as difficult as many people make it.) When you experience it, you recognize it.
There is more to the story. Once the service is rendered as promised, I will “gladly” pay the bill (labor and shipping) with no hesitation. And all I had to go on was a “voice” over the phone… coupled to a delivered promise.
One other thing worth mentioning was the topic of insurance. In agreeing to box up and ship my bike, he mentioned he would be insuring the shipment at my expense. He shared this information in a “matter-of-fact” fashion without sounding apologetic. According to him, it was the smart thing to do. If I wanted to cast my bike’s fate to the shipping gods, I could have easily declined this fee. I did not. It was the smart thing to do. (Travel professionals, are you listening?)
My bike has not arrived yet but, based on my initial experience with Jason, I feel confident that I will soon be knocking off the miles down Route A1A from Delray Beach to the Boca Raton inlet in no time.
NOTE: Being in the sales profession for nearly 40 years, I have come to realize that many salespeople have learned to “talk a good game.” Once the sale is consummated, they dump you like a bad penny and move on to the their next “target.” I will be very surprised and disappointed if Jason eventually winds up in that category.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.