Have you ever noticed how many people seem to come up with their best business ideas while on vacation? It seems like a paradox, but it happens all the time. After a few days of lounging in the sun, we start to miss the thrill of the chase, and before long, the brainstorming begins. Lightning synapses fire, and we come up with brilliant new innovations. That’s what happened to me, though my epiphany wasn’t new; I went on vacation, and relearned the value of social engineering in sales. I arrived home in Canada with a fresh spin on a classic business technique.
Between the grueling final edits of The Entrepreneurial Evolution, an emergency change of web hosting providers for my online business academy, and the everyday obligations I have to my businesses, the last month had really started to take its toll on me. Luckily, I had planned a family vacation just in time.
While the Snowmageddon storm buried much of the East coast, I was sipping syrupy mixed drinks on the beaches of Mexico. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it. This place was a true 5-star luxury resort with every amenity you could imagine. The food was decadent, the service was impeccable, and the water was crystal clear. It was almost enough to quiet my business mind entirely. Almost.
Smuggling Business Secrets Across the Border
Even on vacation, travelling abroad will always provide opportunities to evolve your entrepreneurial mind. The way people do business varies from culture to culture and place to place, and the more methodologies you can expose yourself to, the better. Granted, it’s happening less since the advent of the internet and the rise of “global connectivity,” but a lot of “industry innovators” from the past were really just worldly people who made a habit of identifying and importing best practices from other places.
I smuggled some excellent business insights across the border, and I’d like to share them with you now.
The Diamond Club Technique: Selling Status
Almost as soon as we arrived at the resort, a concierge approached us offering a chance to join the “Diamond Club.” He explained that the package included a personal butler who would make all of our reservations and fetch us anything we needed, and that we’d each be given a special bracelet to signify our “membership” in the Diamond Club.
I thanked him for the offer, but kindly refused. I saw no value in this upgrade; we were already at an all-inclusive 5-star resort. I could muster the energy to make my own phone calls and walk to the hotel ice dispenser. Paying someone to do it for me seemed excessive, even for this place.
Was anybody really buying into this upgrade? If they were, I wanted to know why. I’m not against the idea of the Diamond Club – I’m 100% neutral on this one. But I do find it interesting to see who will buy bottled water when they’re sitting in a spring.
After my family and I had finished raiding the buffet, I decided to scout out the Diamond Club. I sat outside for awhile watching the interactions between vacationers and staff, trying to spot any consistent “pain points” that arose. I noticed that every time the Diamond Club bracelet was brought up, vacationers’ heads started to bob in the affirmative. Aside from some older couples who needed the extra help, nobody seemed particularly interested in the idea of having a personal butler in a place that already waited on your every need, but the bracelet was a big hit. With that, I had seen all I needed to see.
It all made perfect sense; they were using a closing technique I describe in a chapter called “Troubleshooting Sales.” The Diamond Club salespeople understood the value of targeting a prospect’s ego. They understood that the true value of the Diamond upgrade was the status associated with it, and had purposefully designed an overbright bracelet so that vacationers could show everyone within eyeshot that they were part of an “exclusive” club. They were selling low-value packages for a premium. I have to applaud the sales staff at this resort – your understanding and application of social engineering deserves 5-stars!
Applying the Diamond Club Technique to Your Business
Targeting the egos of your sales audience is a high-octane sales strategy that can be applied to any business model. Many people are looking for a way to appear more distinguished, more upscale, more “haute couture,” and there’s money to be made if you can give them the means to do it. If you want to open up new revenue streams and attract this kind of clientele, you just have to offer some kind of premium-level distinction. It’s not always about offering a better product or a more comprehensive service; in this case, it’s about delivering the ego boost your client is looking for. Remember, your end-game goal is to sell the prospect something they’re interested in. Why waste time tinkering with an improved product if all they want is a way to puff their chest out?
Let’s imagine that you manufacture and sell Levis t-shirts, and you want to boost your sales by attracting the wanna-be “haute couture” crowd. All you need to do is establish a line of “Levis Premium,” slap a regal-looking logo on the front, and you’re laughing. This costs very little outside of your existing manufacturing and logo-printing fees, and opens up an entirely new revenue stream. You just have to target the ego, then pull the trigger – that’s exactly what the hotel resort staff pulled off here, and it was brilliant to watch.
Businessman holding wooden alphabet blocks reading – Ego – balanced in the palm of his hand in a conceptual image.