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Monday, April 26, 2010

Martha's Law

A few months ago a client called our office. She wanted to go to Jamaica. She had very strict provisions about her vacation. It HAD to be an all inclusive resort, it HAD to have a water slide for her 5 yr old daughter, the room HAS to be on the 2nd floor, (her mother can't do stairs or heights), the resort MUST be on the beach so she can have her cocktail and cigarette and keep an eye out on her daughter, and etc. The list goes on and on.

By the time we finished our research, there were only 3 or 4 resorts that met all of her criteria.

To make a long story short, my boss spent many hours researching destinations that met her laundry list. The client kept changing her mind or vetoing the smallest of details. One day I picked up the phone when she called the office. I suggested another resort that may be of interest to her. (Not knowing that my boss already suggested this specific place) She tells me: " I don't want to work with your boss. I'll work exclusively thru you."

Of course I share this info with my boss and she just hands me this client's folder. I basically repeat everything my boss has previously told her. Only because some of the resorts were having a spectacular spring sale, did the numbers I've provided to her sound different. She was thrilled and after a hundred million questions, she was ready to book the vacation. I got the names of all the travelers in her party as proceeded to hold her reservation.

To make an already long story short, (I've said that already, haven't I?), it turns out she had another reservation on hold for the same vacation with a different travel agency!

At this point, my boss was livid. We've been working with this client for 6 weeks and it wasn't easy dealing with her. My boss called the client and called her out on her dealings with the other local agency. The client 'pretended to be shocked', blamed her mother for the double booking, and abruptly ended the call.

Did I tell you how pissed off my boss was?

This is why travel agents charge $100-150 for something like this and apply the money to the reservation if the client goes thru with the reservation!!

Oh, really?? Then why don't we have such a policy in place?

Oh, I don't really need to do that, but you can charge your clients a consultation fee if you like.


Remember this blog post??

When I told E about this he said I should call my consultation fee "Martha's Law"

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