Taxi What Consultants Can Learn From Cab Drivers

Taxi! What Consultants Can Learn From Cab Drivers
Most consultants are like cab drivers .​
Cab drivers run the​ meter .​
They throw the​ luggage in​ the​ trunk (that’s a​ $1.00 bag charge) .​
They may or​ may not be personable .​
If you​ have extra passengers,​ that’s $1.50 each on​ top of​ the​ mileage .​
No smoking .​
And the​ radio is​ tuned to​ their favorite 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​ may not be personable to​ anyone other than the​ executive who hired them .​
If you​ need additional work or​ facilitation or​ expertise,​ there’s a​ fee on​ top of​ the​ mileage .​
And most times,​ you’re locked into their radio station – tuned to​ their methodologies,​ their licensed tools,​ their processes – not yours.
What if​ you​ came across a​ dramatically different kind of​ cab driver? Let’s call him Ike.
1 .​
Ike has his own business card with his personal cell phone number,​ a​ rocket logo and a​ humorous tagline,​ such as​ Strap in​ .​
Hang on​ .​
Here we go! One of​ his cab’s notable features is​ the​ Hot Wheels steering wheel cover .​
Your initial impression might be that he is​ direct and,​ most importantly,​ fast.
2 .​
In addition,​ Ike is​ a​ great listener .​
This would be in​ contrast to​ some real character cab drivers,​ who are great talkers.
3 .​
Ike takes credit cards and proudly displays the​ Visa and American Express decals inside his cab .​
a​ credit card transaction costs him between 2 and 4% of​ every sale .​
(The cab company does NOT subsidize this fee – it’s up to​ each individual driver to​ decide whether to​ accept credit cards or​ not.) But it​ also makes him easy to​ do business with – and,​ coincidentally,​ increases the​ likelihood of​ getting a​ nice tip.
4 .​
Ike is​ proactive and offers suggestions .​
For example,​ when a​ passenger asks Ike for a​ good restaurant recommendation,​ he has a​ few of​ his favorite places in​ mind and a​ restaurant guide available right in​ the​ front seat of​ the​ cab .​
Ike will offer to​ take his passenger to​ the​ restaurant,​ and also to​ come back at​ an​ appointed time to​ save the​ hassle of​ tracking down another cab .​
He is​ never late .​
Does Ike profit from this? Sure .​
Does Ike’s passenger? Sure .​
Will some cab drivers refuse to​ come back at​ a​ set time for fear of​ losing a​ juicier fare or​ a​ longer ride that may or​ may not come along? you​ bet.
5 .​
When picking up or​ dropping off from the​ airport,​ Ike always finds out a​ little bit about his passenger .​
is​ this his first time in​ town? How long is​ his visit? If Ike discovers that his passenger has come for business and hasn’t any time to​ see the​ sights or​ experience the​ city,​ he offers to​ take the​ passenger on​ a​ 10-minute sightseeing tour of​ downtown .​
Pointing out the​ highlights,​ sharing a​ little history,​ and telling a​ few stories,​ Ike has his passenger back on​ his way with a​ real flavor of​ the​ city that he loves .​
is​ this a​ gimmick to​ add 10 minutes to​ the​ meter? With some cabbies,​ it​ might be .​
But Ike’s passion and knowledge and eagerness to​ share it​ with his passengers cannot be faked .​
Would a​ friend do the​ same for you​ on​ your way out of​ town? Absolutely .​
Let’s turn our focus to​ the​ lessons for consulting .​
Feel free to​ compare these consulting tips with the​ corresponding lessons from the​ taxi business above.
1 .​
Successful consultants stand apart – both in​ form and in​ substance .​
Sales trainer,​ consultant,​ and author Jeffrey Gitomer uses a​ half-dollar sized coin with his image and contact information (and some clever slogans like in​ Sales We Trust) engraved on​ it​ as​ his business card .​
People not only remember it,​ they keep it​ and they show it​ to​ their friends .​
Your initial impression might be that he is​ successful,​ funny,​ creative,​ and different than every other me-too sales trainer wearing a​ nice suit and carrying sharp white business cards (yawn).
2 .​
Successful consultants are not good listeners .​
They’re DEEP listeners .​
Good listeners use surface tricks and techniques like active listening and matching and mirroring .​
Deep listeners listen with no agenda .​
Your listening focus should be on​ empathy – literally feeling WITH the​ client – and understanding the​ issues behind the​ issues .​
This isn’t a​ trick you​ learn in​ consulting school .​
This comes from your heart and your genuine interest in​ helping the​ client improve their situation .​
Deep listening will help you​ understand the​ real value that the​ client seeks from you​ .​
3 .​
Successful consultants are easy to​ do business with .​
One of​ the​ world’s finest consultants,​ Alan Weiss,​ says in​ his book Million Dollar Consulting,​ you​ have to​ spend money to​ make money .​
Part of​ that money should be spent on​ things that will make you​ easy to​ do business with .​
Some of​ these things are almost trivial – being able to​ accept credit cards,​ having an​ 800 number,​ etc .​
And some of​ these things will be a​ major investment of​ time,​ effort,​ thought,​ and energy .​
Like designing a​ resource-rich web presence or​ moving to​ value-based fee-setting so people get you​ and your expertise without concern over when you​ punch in​ and out on​ the​ time clock.

4 .​
Successful consultants are proactive and offer suggestions .​
Flexibility is​ a​ great source of​ strength .​
So is​ forward movement .​
When consulting with large organizations,​ it​ is​ easy to​ fall into their trap of​ analysis paralysis .​
Especially with all the​ hype around getting close to​ the​ customer .​
The danger for consultants in​ getting too close to​ the​ customer is​ that you’ll get mired in​ the​ same quicksand you’ve been brought in​ to​ rescue them from! Keep moving,​ and always offer options .​
It could be as​ simple as​ Plan a​ or​ B or​ C,​ but giving choices always enhances collaboration and provides a​ sense of​ shared responsibility for outcomes .​
And it’s harder to​ say No when asked Chocolate or​ Vanilla or​ Strawberry? Ideally,​ your clients will say Wow,​ they ALL sound delicious .​
Then you​ are in​ a​ position to​ make a​ recommendation based on​ your deep listening (See #2!)
5 .​
Successful consultants work from passion,​ knowledge,​ and eagerness to​ help .​
The irony of​ this is​ that the​ more easy and effortless the​ work for the​ consultant,​ the​ greater the​ value it​ has for the​ client .​
For the​ consultant,​ the​ intersection of​ joy and business is​ called profit .​
Marketer,​ speaker,​ and author Seth Godin believes that in​ any business relationship,​ the​ sooner you​ ask for money,​ the​ less you​ will get .​
This has interesting implications for the​ consulting business,​ where knowledge and expertise (and to​ a​ certain extent,​ even conversation) has monetary value .​
I happen to​ believe in​ the​ concept of​ value-first selling .​
In other words,​ you​ should give clients valuable information and point them to​ resources they need,​ even before you’re hired .​
You should work to​ make prospects think,​ Wow,​ this guy is​ a​ goldmine .​
Imagine what we’d get if​ we actually HIRED him .​
Now a​ lot of​ sales and consulting experts call this spilling the​ candy in​ the​ lobby and they advise strongly against it .​
And I​ would advise against it​ too – if​ you’re only carrying one bowl of​ candy .​
But without bragging,​ I​ can safely say that among great consultants (people who work at​ the​ intersection of​ passion and knowledge and eagerness to​ help),​ we’re a​ veritable candy store and are not likely to​ run out anytime soon by sharing our gifts with clients that are hungry for what we have to​ offer .​
Would you​ help a​ friend with your knowledge and expertise? Sure you​ would .​
Perhaps clients are simply friends that pay you​ money? Think about it .​

Beep,​ beep .​
Hop in!
Taxi What Consultants Can Learn From Cab Drivers Taxi What Consultants Can Learn From Cab Drivers Reviewed by Henda Yesti on July 03, 2018 Rating: 5

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