Going Above and Beyond for an Affluent Clientele

Hi Persuader,

I read a story about the Ritz Carlton Hotel recently that has me thinking about what it means to truly court and cater to an affluent clientele in a way that will keep them interested and involved with your product or service.

The Ritz Carlton Hotel has a policy that any employee (and I mean, any employee from the housekeeping staff to the desk clerks) can spend up to $2,000 a day (without prior authorization from management) to solve the problems or needs of any of their clients.

A business man was staying at the Atlanta Ritz Carlton and headed out to Hawaii for a very important meeting and presentation. He realized he had forgotten his laptop in Atlanta. Without his laptop, he had no presentation. He called the hotel and his call was routed to housekeeping who had informed him that they had found his computer.

The client asked them to send the computer by Federal Express. He explained that he had to have it the next day for his presentation.

Early the next morning, a woman from Atlanta Ritz Carlton’s housekeeping department showed up in Hawaii and handed him his computer. She said, ‘This was too important.’

Will this man ever stay anywhere else when he’s in Atlanta? Doubt it. Will he tell this story to all of his friends? You bet he will. And his friends will tell their friends who will tell their friends. And the publicity and good will that was created by this one interaction will further ingratiate an already well respected organization in the mind of the clientele they cater to: the affluent.

Going above and beyond doesn’t mean we have to spend $2,000 a day. Sometimes it means an effortless consideration. Sometimes it can be as simple as a note, a birthday card even.

One of my coaching students, a financial advisor, recently told me a story about sending a birthday card to one of her EX clients. This was an EX client only because she was prevented from courting her due to a non-compete clause which was about to expire. My student followed up the birthday card with a phone call a few weeks later and the ex client (soon to be reinstated client) said to her, ‘You know, my husband’s financial advisor sent out a birthday card as well. But instead of sending me the birthday card, he sent it to my husband, whose birthday isn’t for seven months.’

Mistakes happen. But this was totally avoidable and costly for that other financial advisor.

Attention to detail, going above and beyond, simple pleasantries, even a kind word. . . all of these things not only make other people feel compelled to do business with you, but they make the recipient feel good. Funny thing is, they also have the added bonus of making the person giving them feel good.

Until Next Time,

Kenrick E. Cleveland

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