Taxis: What Businesses Can Learn From Cab Drivers

Most consultants are like cab drivers. Cab drivers run the meter. They throw the baggage in the trunk (that’s a $1.00 bag cost). They may or may not be personable. You probably have additional passengers, that’s $1.50 each on prime of the mileage. No smoking. And the radio is tuned to their favourite station – not yours.

Most consultants charge by the hour or the day. The meter is running. When you need a special report or their attendance at an onsite meeting, there’s your bag charge. They may or will not be personable to anyone aside from the manager who employed them. For those who need additional work or facilitation or experience, there’s a fee “on high of the mileage.” And most times, you’re locked into their “radio station” – tuned to their methodologies, their licensed instruments, their processes – not yours.

What if you came across a dramatically completely different form of cab driver? Let’s call him Ike.

1. Ike has his own enterprise card with his personal mobile phone number, a rocket emblem and a humorous tagline, such as “Strap in. Hang on. Here we go!” One in all his cab’s notable options is the Sizzling Wheels steering wheel cover. Your preliminary impression is likely to be that he is direct and, most importantly, fast.

2. In addition, Ike is a good listener. This could be in distinction to some “actual character” cab drivers, who are great talkers.

3. Ike takes credit cards and proudly shows the Visa and American Specific decals inside his cab. A credit card transaction costs him between 2 and four% of each sale. (The cab firm does NOT subsidize this fee – it’s as much as every individual driver to determine whether or not to accept credit cards or not.) But it surely also makes him easy to do business with – and, coincidentally, will increase the chance of getting a pleasant tip.

4. Ike is proactive and gives suggestions. For instance, when a passenger asks Ike for a good restaurant advice, he has a couple of of his favourite locations in thoughts and a restaurant information obtainable proper in the front seat of the cab. Ike will provide to take his passenger to the restaurant, and in addition to return again at an appointed time to save the trouble of tracking down another cab. He is by no means late. Does Ike revenue from this? Sure. Does Ike’s passenger? Sure. Will some cab drivers refuse to come back at a set time for concern of shedding a juicier fare or an extended journey which will or may not come along? You bet.

5. When selecting up or dropping off from the airport, Ike at all times finds out just a little bit about his passenger. Is this his first time on the town? How lengthy is his go to? If Ike discovers that his passenger has come for enterprise and hasn’t any time to see the sights or experience the town, he presents to take the passenger on a 10-minute sightseeing tour of downtown. Mentioning the highlights, sharing just a little historical past, and telling a number of tales, Ike has his passenger again on his way with a real flavor of the town that he loves. Is this a gimmick to add 10 minutes to the meter? With some cabbies, it would be. However Ike’s passion and information and eagerness to share it along with his passengers cannot be faked. Would a buddy do the identical for you in your method out of town? Absolutely.

Let’s flip our focus to the teachings for consulting. Be at liberty to match these consulting suggestions with the corresponding lessons from the taxi business above.

1. Profitable consultants stand aside – both in form and in substance. Gross sales coach, guide, and author Jeffrey Gitomer makes use of a half-dollar sized coin together with his picture and contact information (and some intelligent slogans like “In Sales We Trust”) engraved on it as his business card. People not solely bear in mind it, they keep it they usually show it to their friends. Your preliminary impression is perhaps that he’s successful, humorous, creative, and totally different than every different “me-too” gross sales trainer sporting a pleasant swimsuit and carrying sharp white enterprise cards (yawn).

2. Successful consultants will not be good listeners. They’re DEEP listeners. “Good” listeners use floor tips and techniques like “lively listening” and “matching and mirroring.” Deep listeners listen with no agenda. Your listening focus should be on empathy – literally “feeling WITH” the consumer – and understanding the issues behind the issues. This isn’t a trick you be taught in “consulting school.” This comes out of your coronary heart and your genuine interest in helping the shopper improve their situation. Deep listening will show you how to perceive the actual value that the client seeks from you.

3. Profitable consultants are straightforward to do business with. One of many world’s most interesting consultants, Alan Weiss, says in his e-book Million Dollar Consulting, “you need to spend money to make money.” A part of that money needs to be spent on things that may make you straightforward to do business with. Some of these things are virtually trivial – with the ability to settle for bank cards, having an 800 quantity, etc. And a few of these things might be a serious investment of time, effort, thought, and energy. Like designing a useful resource-rich web presence or shifting to value-based payment-setting so individuals get you and your experience without concern over if you punch in and out on the time clock.

4. Profitable consultants are proactive and supply suggestions. Flexibility is a great source of strength. So is ahead movement. When consulting with giant organizations, it’s easy to fall into their trap of “analysis paralysis.” Especially with all of the hype around “getting close to the customer.” The hazard for consultants in getting too close to the shopper is that you just’ll get mired in the identical quicksand you’ve been introduced in to rescue them from! Maintain shifting, and at all times offer options. It may very well be as simple as “Plan A or B or C,” however giving decisions always enhances collaboration and supplies a sense of shared duty for outcomes. And it’s more durable to say “No” when requested “Chocolate or Vanilla or Strawberry?” Ideally, your purchasers will say “Wow, they ALL sound delicious.” Then you’re in a position to make a advice based mostly on your deep listening (See 2!)

5. Profitable consultants work from ardour, data, and eagerness to help. The irony of this is that the more easy and easy the work for the marketing consultant, the better the worth it has for the client. For the guide, the intersection of pleasure and enterprise is known as profit. Marketer, speaker, and creator Seth Godin believes that in any enterprise relationship, the earlier you ask for money, the much less you will get. This has fascinating implications for the consulting enterprise, the place knowledge and experience (and to a sure extent, even dialog) has monetary value.

I happen to consider within the concept of worth-first selling. In other words, you must give clients valuable information and level them to sources they need, even before you’re hired. You must work to make prospects think, “Wow, this guy is a goldmine. Think about what we’d get if we truly HIRED him.”

Now quite a lot of gross sales and consulting experts call this “spilling the sweet in the lobby” and so they advise strongly towards it. And I might advise against it too – when you’re solely carrying one bowl of candy. But without bragging, I can safely say that among great consultants (individuals who work at the intersection of passion and information and eagerness to help), we’re a veritable sweet store and should not prone to run out anytime quickly by sharing our presents with clients that are hungry for what now we have to offer.

Would you assist a pal together with your information and experience? Positive you would. Maybe shoppers are merely friends that pay you cash? Think about it.

Taxi in Mountain View

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