Last Saturday night during the pre-Mother’s Day Dinner held at Divi Southwinds, I had the pleasure of running into someone I first met in 1991 when I was Catering Manager at Sam Lord’s Castle. I did not get permission to use the person’s name so I will not, but during our conversation she reminded me of the impression I made on her while trying to conduct business with her back in 1991.
We in tourism often speak of creating good impressions and developing relationships; I was reminded in a very subtle way last weekend of the value of creating a good impression. For the last 22 years, this person has kept all of the documentation from that interaction. Even though I did not get the business at that time, the fact that the information communicated was kept for this length of time was impressive.
I was once told that people tend to do business with people that they trust and like. I believe that no matter how challenging business becomes, we must never forget the power of creating positive impressions and living those impressions. What I have found in recent times is that sales people seem to be more into instant reward and less about the relationship building.
Things have changed significantly since the 1990s and the demand to generate more sales has intensified tremendously, but we can’t lose the balance between generating sales and developing relationships. I believe that relationship building is even more important now than ever before.
In our line of business, we still deal with people and how we relate to them and make them feel will dictate how they will respond to our business in the future. People still make decisions on where to stay and dine based on other persons experiences and recommendations.
Just examine the number of people who visit TripAdvisor prior to making a decision to book a vacation. Location and prices are still very important parts of the decision-making process, but potential visitors are seeking the opinions of others before committing themselves.
From time to time, there are going to be customers who have less than the desired experience and they will share their experiences with others. How guests share their experience and what they share will also be largely dependent on how issues are dealt with.
To the person who shared their experience with me last weekend, I want to say thanks for remembering me all of these years, and secondly, thanks for visiting my hotel last weekend.
* Tourism is our business, let us play our part.