Mean what you say & say what you mean

Meaning what you say and saying what you mean is really a simple business philosophy. We have built Hotel AG on several main principles of which this is one.

Basically, we tell the client what we can achieve and then simply go do it. There are deals that we lose because of this practice; a client will hear a bigger number from one of our competitors and decide to believe them instead of us. That’s ok and that is to be expected.

One of the biggest and most valuable lessons I ever learned was also one of the most expensive. Some years ago, a large global public company hired me to sell a portfolio of hotels. I knew the level the deals would sell at, but I let myself price it higher than achievable to get the engagement. Within three months the client was very unhappy because the offers were coming in at the range I had previously valued the deal. I didn’t sell the portfolio, and I lost the client due to this mistake and most importantly I lost the client’s trust. The money was not as important as the trust.

After that day, I have told our clients what we could and could not do; I also told them I was ok if they chose someone else. I have had some situations where the client called me later and told me the deal sold for exactly where we said it would. The clients hired the other firm, and when the pricing got down to the level we told him it would sell for, they decided to sell. We didn’t make any money on those deals, but I had the client’s trust for the next deal.

Today, we have three pricing segments: conservative, likely and aggressive. The likely is the real value we believe we can transact at, and we do not have any issues with advertising the deal at the aggressive pricing as long as the client really knows what to expect.

Also, we are not cheapest broker. I have had many calls where the client says that so and so can list the deal for a lower fee. I usually tell them to hire the other broker. I also tell them that if you are having heart surgery, you don’t look for the cheapest surgeon. That usually gets a laugh, but it also usually gets us the engagement.

I believe people at all economic levels want and respect honesty. I have also found that when you do what you say you will do, you also usually have the client as a friend. It doesn’t matter what business you are in, meaning what you say and saying what you mean is a good business approach. KT

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