As most of you know, I was at BlogWorld in Las Vegas last week. I learned SO much – mostly because the “in the hall” networking was so amazing.
You know who I learned a lot from, though? A guy who is not on Twitter or Facebook, doesn’t have a blog, and for all I know doesn’t even have an email address. His name is Alex.
Alex is a private driver in Las Vegas and I was lucky enough to become one of his clients while I was there. I saw Alex A LOT over four days, so I got to observe how he does business in a remarkable way. Here are the top five lessons I took away:
1) Have the right friends in the right places referring clients to you. I found out about Alex from the woman who drove my hotel’s shuttle bus (another remarkable individual). She overheard my friends and me complaining about all the money we’d spent on taxi cabs the night before. She said, “Oh – cabs will rip you off. Let me give you the name and number for my friend Alex. He is a private driver, he drives for me and he will take care of you.” Later in the afternoon she actually introduced us to Alex personally – which upped our comfort level on calling him later.
2) Be extraordinarily polite. Alex was driving us to meet some friends and we were yapping so loud and so fast we
could hardly hear our own selves. Alex said, “Excuse me. I am so sorry to interrupt your conversation but we are approaching the MGM and I want to make sure I drop you off in the right place.” When we arrived he said “When you are ready to go home, call me right as you approach the doors. They won’t let me stand but I can whip around and pick you up immediately.” Which is exactly what he did. When is the last time a cab driver was that polite?!
3) Remember the small things. Whenever we arrive anywhere, Alex hopped out of the Escalade and opened both doors for us. We mentioned feeling dehydrated and needing water, he went and got us bottles of water and set them up in the console of the back seat. Low jazz or classic rock n’ roll music was always playing in the car. And he asked every so often, “Is the air temperature in here okay for you?” Oh – and he was always professionally dressed, even at 2 in the morning.
4) Be selective about your clients. Alex doesn’t drive for just anyone. You pretty much have to have a personal referral to even get his name and number. Any when your referral sources (see #1) are pre-screening for your ideal client, only the very best will actually call you. (And yes, I am now one of his referral sources. I am EXTREMELY protective of Alex, so unless I really know you well, I won’t send you his contact information.)
5) Charge reasonable rates. After all this raving about Alex, you might be thinking “That’s great but private drivers in Las Vegas are expensive.” Alex actually charged LESS than cab drivers. But you know what? I called him every time we needed to go anywhere for three days. In fact, it became quite the joke because I called him and said, ‘Hi Alex, this is Sarah. Can you come pick us up?” so many times. I also gave his name and number to two people who also used him exclusively during BlogWorld.
Bonus Lesson: Great service + reasonable rates = all the business he wanted.
So you see, lessons on being remarkable, on being so much more than mediocre, can come from anywhere if we are paying attention.
Curious to know who taught you this week.