Whether traveling by train, plane, or cruise ship, you usually have a choice: Pay the fare for a coach ticket and receive the coach experience or spring for the first class ticket. There’s most likely an enhanced experience that comes with paying the premium price for a first class ticket. What is it worth to the purchaser of the ticket, and what does it really cost the carrier?
The Difference Between First Class and Coach
There are some nice perks offered to first class ticket holders, like a larger seat on an airplane. First class travelers may have access to a few more amenities too, like how after the flight attendant fills your six ounce glass full of ice, they let you keep the whole can of diet soda. The glass is real glass and they bring you an assortment of snacks to choose from. In addition to better seating and refreshments, there’s a huge psychological difference between first class and coach.
Psychological Effects on Your Prospects and Clients
However, most of the difference in the experience between coach and first class is psychological. It’s in the mind of the ticket holder. The tangible benefits hardly justify the difference in ticket fare. Nevertheless, you often shell out twice as much for the first class ticket. So why do travelers do it?
The first class ticket holders purchase the more expensive ticket for themselves and pay extra because of how they view themselves in the world and how they want others to see them. They don’t do it for the extra six inches of seat cushion width. They don’t do it for the meal of mushroom soup and dry chicken breast. They don’t even do it for the free drinks. Why would you shell out an extra several hundred dollars for something that costs less than $40 on the ground?
They do it because of how it makes them feel. They feel special and privileged. It feels good to be first class. There’s a sensation you get when you board first, receive immediate service, and relax while everyone else ushers past with glances of envy.
Does Your Current Office Meet First Class Standards?
What are do you currently offering your prospects? Are you proud of what you offer and how you make thme feel when they walk in your office? Do you give them a coach experience or a first class experience? If you serve them drip coffee ort tap water in a plastic cup, they will feel like everyone else's client and there will be nothing special about their experience with you.
How to Improve Your Office
If you want your prospects and clients to feel special, you may need to step it up a notch! First, lets start with the menu. Yes! I said MENU. What are you going to serve your guests when they arrive? Keep in mind who your guests are. They are people whom you are going to potentially be asking to hand over their life savings. You are going to ask them to trust you with hundreds or thousands of their hard-earned dollars. You want them to feel "first class"!
Lets start with beverages. Offer coffee, tea, soda, and water. Not just any coffee, tea, soda, or water. Be descriptive: Starbucks Verna Dark Roast and Pete’s Medium Breakfast Blend. Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite. Filtered Bottled Water or San Pellegrino Sparkling Water. Hopefully you are starting to get the picture. You can get these brands in bulk at a discount price at club warehouses like Sam’s Club or Costco. You could purchase a single serve machine for around $150 for coffee and tea, and boxes of single serve cups for under $20. A small refrigerator for your bottled water and soda costs under $100.
How about some snacks? You can get those at the big warehouse stores too. Buy an assortment or single serve trail mix, nuts, and chips. Chocolates are great too. Purchase a nice wicker basket or artisan wooden bowl to display them. If you really want to be first class, get a small counter top oven for under $100. You can bake fresh cinnamon rolls for your morning appointments, and chocolate chip cookies for your afternoon appointment. Your office will smell extraordinary when your guests arrive.
You don’t have to break the bank to create a first class experience for your prospects. You just have to pay attention to the little things that make the experience memorable. Creating a feeling of first class is 90% mental, 10% physical. Put in the extra effort to make your guests feel like they just got bumped up to first class.
A warm welcome can help your interactions, but you'll benefit even more by implementing a consistent process. Check out the strategies and tools available in our Consistent Advisor program.