What Raj Can Teach You About Business

from here

I have lots of friends who complain that there’s not enough business, that times are tough, that things just aren’t coming together for them. I think they’re right. Times are tough. Things aren’t so easy. But then, they’re not Raj.

Raj is my taxi driver. I say “my” as if he works for me, and in a way, he did. I called him yesterday for a ride from my hotel in San Jose, to the PayPal campus of eBay’s headquarters. Raj showed up and took me there, as drivers do, but along the way, he asked me what else I was doing in town, what other trips I had planned, whether he could pick me up today and when.

I honestly hadn’t thought about my return trip, so of course I took Raj’s card, his personal card with his name and cell phone number on it, and I called him when I was done visiting eBay’s HQ (a post for another time).
What Raj Can Teach You About Business

Ask for the Sale – Raj asked me not just for my business by showing up when I called him, but he inquired about all my business for the duration of my stay in San Jose. I admit that I answered “yeah” in that way that everyone knows translates into “I’m not really even thinking about this right now, but thanks for asking.” Raj didn’t let that slide past. Instead, he asked again.

Deliver Good Service Execution – Raj delivered excellent service, getting me to my destination without any trouble, plus he was polite and friendly and cordial along the way. He didn’t over-participate in my ride, but he also didn’t sit quietly or talk on his phone (cab drivers love to chat with their friends while driving).

Reinforce the Sale – Raj repeated his offer when he dropped me off, put his personal business card in my hand (he purchased these cards himself – they’re not standard cab company issue), and he suggested what time he’d be back to get me. He then asked me to call him, but said that he’d PLAN to be there by a certain time. This basically guaranteed Raj the sale.

Ask for More Business – When Raj drove me back from my destination to my hotel, he asked me what driving plans I had for the rest of the night and also for the morning. He was there, asking for ALL of my business. He didn’t want me to just have any driver. He wanted all the business. I thought that was amazing.

The End Value

I got value out of having a driver that I knew and trusted, that had delivered great service, that was prompt and even diligent in executing his duties to their fullest. Raj got about $100 in fares and another $25 in tips. A typical cab ride in most cities can be around $20, with a tip usually being around $3 or so. The return on Raj’s investment was clearly much better all the way around.

Be Like Raj

In my consulting and my speaking, I’m not at all like Raj. I do my job and I go home. But maybe that’s not useful to my buyers. Maybe I need to seek out other ways I can be helpful. You know why I haven’t in the past? Because I was afraid that I would seem pushy or that I would seem to be grubbing or something. But after dealing with Raj, my impressions of him were that he was a business professional, that he sought to serve my needs to their fullest, and that he was not shy to ask for the sale.

I plan to be like Raj. How about you?