Sunday, June 27, 2010

Relationship Is Just Like Marketing

I generally write about the relationship between man and woman. This post is about marketing. However, if you look closely, marketing is also about maintaining the relationship between service provider and the end user, manufacturer and consumer, and professional and client.
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While gathering, as if sweeping, papers from the table, I twisted my arm, Timex on my wrist was indicating 7:05pm. I hit a key on laptop and inserted the bunch of papers into attaché case, flipped closed my Dell, pulled my chair to Hotel Network System, punched couple of keys and learned that all of the guests have been checked in, as Hotel was “Sold Out”. Since last one and half year, six out of seven days, the Hotel was going packed and as a Manager it made me feel better and better.

Picking up my attaché case, clenching my Dell between my Palm and Fingers, I got up, headed to the door, opened it and was out without bothering to switch the lights off, as the Sensor will put it off after 10 minutes. The sound of closing the door was heard.

Within a few steps, I got to the Front Desk, where a gentleman was literally pleading to Front Desk Agent for a single room of any kind and the Agent was very apologetic as the Hotel was “Sold Out”.

As the gentleman saw me, he told me that as a Manager I must have couple of rooms as special quota and insisted me to get at least one. He was from Connecticut. He didn’t have a plan to fly today but it suddenly happened. He also had tried some other hotels but due to long week end, all the hotels around the area have been sold out. As he didn’t have his car, he was unable to cruise around from one hotel to another and find a room. I felt sorry for him, as he seemed very tired.
  
 “Let me try in some other hotel…”I said without any promise and started calling to the some of my Manager friends. Fortunately, one of them had a Bridal Suite available for the night. Covering my telephone speaker with my palm, I asked with broad smile: “Would you like to sleep in a Bridal Suite just by yourself?” 

He nodded with smile. Though the room was quite expensive, however he didn’t have any other option but to accept.

I told my Manager-Friend to hold the room at least for half an hour.

The gentleman took a sigh of relief, appreciated my efforts and thanked me.

“How will you go?” I asked him.

“I’ll call the cab.” He, lifting his suitcase, told me promptly.

I smiled and told him: - “Gentleman, the cab will take 20 minutes to come and another 20 to get to the hotel. By the time, he may sell your room to someone else. “

He dropped his suitcase back on the floor in despair, as if he lost what he got.

“Come on…” Heading to the parking lot, I waved him to follow me:”I will drop you.”

“Thank you so… much, “He, lifting his suitcase again, said delightedly and followed me.

On the way to the Hotel, we had interesting conversation. He, Geoff Sprouce, was a corporate executive, specialized in turning around the sinking companies. He had a contract with a company in the area and he was going to work there for long time. I dropped him at the Hotel. He checked in. I met my Manager-Friend, chatted for a while and then Left.

Next day, in the evening, when I was leaving for the day, I saw Geoff getting out of the Cab in the parking lot. I waited to talk to him. He paid to the cab and came to me, told me that he already had checked in my Hotel before going to office and he was so happy with the quality of the room that he wanted to extend for the whole of the month. We both came back in the hotel. I gave him a better deal and he extended his stay for a month.

After that day, we became friends. Almost every evening he looked for me and we chatted about pin to plane. He was a delight to talk with. 

He stayed for one and half year. After couple of months, I even advised him to rent an apartment, which could be cheaper than this room. He smiled:-“Yes I can, but you won’t be there…“ That was a great compliment. During his stay, he introduced six of his friends, who stayed couple of days every week for a long time. I received quite good business from his recommendations.

 When I met him first time, I had never expected anything. As time passed, what I got was beyond my expectation.  

No matter what you do, selling a product, rendering service or promoting yourself, marketing means to go beyond the expectations of your customer, client, guest or your employer. Period. 

Relationship is also just like marketing. You just have to give and keep on giving without any expectation. If you do so, sooner or later, you will also get “beyond” your expectation. Believe Me! ;)