We were thrilled to have Disney alumni and GKIC Marketer of the Year Vance Morris join us for this week’s episode.
Questions we asked Vance:
- How can we apply Disney principles to our own businesses?
- Systems are good, except when they’re not . . . how do you prevent the mistakes?
- How is it helpful to think of marketing and customer service as “onstage performance?”
- How do you hire staff that truly cares about people? And how important is that, really? What do you do with team members who don’t enjoy “performing” or have been “mis-cast?”
- How does Disney raise prices without resistance?
How to Market Like Disney with Vance Morris
Paula Williams: Hey, welcome to this week’s episode. This is one that I’ve been wanting to do for a really long time. Vance Morris is a guest that I wanted to have on our podcast forever because he has always been a really great mentor to us. He’s part of a Pete Performers Group with the GKIC Marketing Group.
A little bit about Vance. He’s a former birth control factory security guard, turned Disney leader, turned bankrupt out-of-work executive, turned carpet cleaner, turned successful entrepreneur. Now, that’s a short but funny bio, and it’s all true. His official bio. Vance Morris is a Disney World Resort Management Alumni. Having spent 10 years as a leader in the resorts. He runs the only Disney service and direct response marketing business here on the planet. He coaches companies to create Disney style service systems and then monetize them through direct response marketing.
He’s also the longest reigning marketer of the year. So, somebody that can put together Disney and carpet cleaning is somebody that can do just about any marketing challenge that you could come across. So, we’re really happy to have him on our podcast and to have some of our folks and guests on the show this week. So, let’s dive right In.
Vance Morris: It’s all good. Here we are.
Paula: Here we are. I’m so glad that you’re here.
Vance: I’m glad to be here.
Paula: Yeah. It has been week from peck [?] as far as technical stuff is concerned, but we won’t even go there. So, yeah, welcome.
Vance: Thank you.
Paula: I was just actually doing a really quick– I was gonna say, let’s go around the room and have everybody introduce themselves. Vance, you can go last so you can take it from there, if that’s all right. I know we were gonna have questions for you, but we’d love to hear more about Disney.
Paula: Systematic magic, other things like that, and how we can market our businesses more effectively.
Paula: So, I’m Paula Williams with ABCI. We help aviation companies sell more of their products and services. John, you can go next, and we’ll carry on from there.
John Williams: I’m John Williams. I work for her. It’s her company, and I do banking stuff, CFO, technical support, etcetera.
Debbie Murphy: I’m Debbie Murphy. I’m VP of marketing for JetBrokers. So we help our clients buy and sell jets.
Priscilla Yecora-Tirado: I’m Priscilla Yecora-Tirado from Sheltair Aviation. We are a fixed base operation and also airport construction.
Paula: Excellent. Vance, I’ll just do a real quick introduction and let you introduce yourself as well because I’m sure we’re gonna miss some things. But, I met Vance probably 10 years ago at a GKIC event. You were the marketer of the year that year and I understand it was like your tenth year of being marketer of the year with GKIC.
Vance: Only three years.
Paula: Only three years. Okay. Still, I don’t know if anybody else has ever done that more than once.
Paula: Yeah. So, one of very few marketers in the world that has that honor, and GKIC is Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle. Dan S. Kennedy is the guy that was running that and really, really fantastic group. We were in the peak performers, I think with Vance that year. Had a fantastic time and learned a whole heck of a lot from you and I thought, who better to bring into this group and to have speak to our folks. Even though it sounds kind of weird, Disney, aviation. There’s actually a lot of connections and a lot of things that we have in common that we do.
Vance: Well, you know, they just washed off Walt’s old plane and getting it ready to go from Orlando to California for the D23 conference. So, it’s an old GC-3.
Vance: They dusted it off. They’re gonna send it out.
Paula: Oh, that’s wonderful. DC-3s are so cool.
Debbie: Is it a DC-3? Or was it the Gulfstream one? It’s a DC-3.
I’m sorry. He might be right. I don’t know why I thought that.
Vance: Atado, tomato, potato.
Paula: Right. Private plane. Very cool. Disney…
Vance: Yeah. It’s own plane. That propellers on it.
Debbie: Yeah, it did.
John: That’s the DC-3 then.
Priscilla: Right. Gulfstreams don’t have propellers. It makes it.
Debbie: G1 did actually.
John: Yeah, they did. G1 did. Yeah.
Paula: Oh, the G1 did. Okay. Learned something new every day. I was thinking gulfstreams are all jets but who knew.
Debbie: Yeah. It’s a G1 that they’re moving.
Paula and Vance: Okay.
Paula: Debbie went for the Googling skills of the day.
Paula: Very cool. All right. Well, Vance, I think one of the things that we’re interested in is, I know you worked with a lot of different businesses. Carpet cleaners and franchises, and a bunch of other things. So what are some of the key points that…
John: Before you go there.
John: Let Priscilla tell you about her.
Paula: Okay. Yeah. She did an introduction, but yeah, this is your first time in the group. So, is there anything else you’d like to tell us about what you do, or…?
Vance: Well, we could talk about my stint as a security guard at a birth control factory. I don’t know how many if your guests have ever done that.
Paula: Not me.
Vance: I’m gonna hazard a guess that you don’t know anybody who has had that job either.
John: I am. I am the security guard thing but not in a birth control factory.
Vance: Yeah. All the stories I could tell.
Vance: No. I think the big thing for any business to learn, and it’s not just for Disney or anybody else, but is looking outside of your industry for the inspiration and for the ideas you need to be better than everybody else in your industry. All you recognize this phrase is a lot of marketing and service ideas, and new things are very cloistered and they’re almost Amish [?]. You don’t talk to anybody outside of your family kind of thing.
Vance: So in order to break away, get better ideas, break the mold, pick your cliché, you got to look outside. My background happens to be Disney. I spent a decade working for the Walt Disney Company. My last job there was as a food and beverage director at the contemporary resort. It was there.
The great thing about looking at Disney is, one when they make a mistake. Why do they make a mistake? I mean, million-dollar mistakes.
Vance: You know I mean? It’s ugly. Or child gets eaten by an alligator. One of the other. When they screw up, they do it royally. However, their wins are enormous. I think it’s because they take those chances. You guys heard of Galaxy’s Edge, Star Wars Land, one of the team park.
Paula: Yeah, with the monster price tag and…
Vance: Oh, that’s the resort. That’s a Halcyon [?]. The Star Wars experience resort.
Paula: Yeah, okay.
Vance: Yeah, that’s coming. No. Galaxy’s Edge’s Star Wars land either in the studios in Orlando or California. But Rise of the Resistance was the ride of rides or attractions. From day one, that thing just broke down all the time. It had weights of up to six and seven hours and it broke down. Can you imagine waiting in line for five hours or something to be told you can’t get on it anyway? Just absolutely hideous.
They knew that this was going to be a winner. So they took a year of getting beat up of things breaking down, change this, look at this, but they knew that the overall experience, once they got it to where it needed to be was gonna be incredible. Which is almost where it is right now. It’s not breaking down nearly as frequently, and the lines are not seven hours long. They’re down to four.
So, if Disney didn’t take those chances, if Disney didn’t look to really know their mission and what that is, which is to create the finest entertainment, they would still have it’s a small world and that would be it.
Paula: Yeah. They’d be sticking with what had made them successful 20 years ago, and I think that’s what a lot of companies do, especially in aviation. It’s so funny because it’s such a– it should be a bleeding edge, adventurous sort of industry but it’s so risk averse and so regulated, and so everything else that I think we’re actually 20, probably 15 years behind the rest of the world as far as a lot of the marketing innovations and things go.
Vance: Right. The other thing, your innovation doesn’t always have to be the physical thing, the plane, the engine, what have you. I am not well-versed at all in airplanes. I know that they fly.
Paula: They do. It’s cool.
Vance: I got the gist of what a plane does.
Paula: That’s all you need to know, really.
Vance: But where the leaps and bounds come in is in the experiences that the individual companies provide. If you look broadly at the big guys, American United, Southwest, whatever they’re gonna call spirit and pioneer now that they are frontier. Frontier, right? They just merged today, or yesterday, or something.
Vance: They all have the same regulations. They all have the same laws of physics that apply to them, none of that changes. But the experiences that they provide their customers are vastly different. Southwest, love them or hate them, gives their flight attendants certain latitude in entertaining the plane. Whether it’s a little entertaining or whether you just walked into the comedy warehouse. It’s somewhere in there.
I mean, I’d say it. I tell the story all the time about the Southwest flight I was on. FAA mandates that you say, be careful opening up the overhead bins, items have a tendency to shift in flight. Every airline says that or some real close variation to it. Well, on this Southwest flight, we got the old, be careful opening up the overhead bins, items have a tendency to shift in flight. As you know shift happens. Come on, give me that boom, boom.
Paula: Exactly. We need to [crosstalk/inaudible].
Vance: Come on, that was good. Smile a little there.
Paula: It’s a chatroom Vance. No. I thought it was funny.
Vance: There is no rule, or law, or regulation that says they can’t do that. So they are allowed to. Now, what does that do? It takes it from being a commodity, which is air flight or airlines, or being on a plane, and elevates it. I don’t know if it elevates it quite to experience. It’s pretty darn close because experiences are memorable. That happened to me years ago. I still talked about it.
Paula: We’re still talking about it. Right?
Vance: Now, there are 180 people on that plane, they got off the plane, smiling and happy. When was the last time you got off a commercial flight and you were chuckling. Probably almost never.
Vance: So, I don’t like to use the crutch right now ‘cause every industry has got a regulation, a law, or something that prevents it. Financial planners are notorious for not being able to say things. But it’s all in how you work within those parameters to provide the experience.
Paula: Right. Even on some of the bigger, I’m gonna say, I’m not gonna mention any names but the bigger charter companies. It has almost become a commodity because people go on to the internet nowadays and they book a charter flight, and they get treated like cattle. You know I mean? These are private jets. We’ve heard from a lot of folks that say, it’s just not the same as it was ten years ago because we’re being basically just put through and I love the systematic magic. There’s a good way and a bad way to do a system. What they’re doing is a bad system that makes people feel like house [?] with…
Debbie: Probably [crosstalk/inaudible] right now.
Vance: [inaudible] design to be evolved. I mean that’s, again, with Disney. I mean, Walt knew that his parks were not gonna be what they look like in 1955, 50 years later. Because if they didn’t evolved, nobody would go to the darn things. Because who wants to go on it’s a small world or the carousel of progress from 50 years ago. Nobody. You did it once, you don’t need to go back.
Vance: So you’re absolutely correct with those systems. I read a Wall Street Journal article, it’s a couple of weeks ago. About an airline, a private airline that is now doing strictly pet flights.
Paula: Yeah. I read about that too.
Vance: Did you see that?
Paula: I did…
Vance: Talk about a niche. I mean, you’re not putting your dog or your ferret in the cargo hold there. They’re ferret and chow-chow and having champagne poured for.
Paula: Right. Like the horses they transported to the summer Olympics last year. It was posh. It was really nice.
Vance: It is. So you know, I think in order to break from the commodity, you have to be targeting your marketing at the right market. The one that you want. This commodity folks that you’re talking about, certainly they are targeting the commodity private flight crowd. Not quite rich enough to buy their own plane, and maybe not even rich enough to only own half a plane, but they got to do the fractional ownership or whatever they call it.
Paula: Yeah. Disney.
Vance: Yeah, sure. Do they deserve cattle-ish? Maybe. But if your market is decidedly higher, you don’t wanna market to those people. One, they’re not gonna be able to afford your service. Two, they won’t appreciate it. But there was a study done a while ago that there are 10%– I’d do a whole presentation on this, but the tippy-top of the pyramid. There are 10% of the population that are willing to spend 30% or more for the same commodity but just a better experience.
Vance: Thirty percent. Three out of every ten. So that’s where you fine tune your marketing is, okay, how do we market to just that 10% that are willing to pay for the experience? As opposed to just paying for the commodity, which is the flight.
Paula: Yeah. I think, our research as well shows that a lot of the people in the aviation industry. The reason they purchase private aviation services and things like that is for convenience. That’s their number one. The number one thing that they’re looking for. So I think that fits pretty precisely with the study you read.
Vance: Yeah, definitely.
Vance: ‘Cause you’re trading. You’re paying for that convenience.
Paula: Right. [crosstalk]
Vance: It’s just like anything else, I mean, there’s a progression between commodity and experience. It’s, what are you willing to pay? A step above commodities are goods, and goods are commodities bundled together to create something. So if you remember mama making your birthday cake back in the day, she literally touched the commodities. Flour, sugar, cocoa, and of course, you like a dollar to make a cake. Well now, they have Duncan Hines in a box. So now you’ve paid for that convenience of having all the ingredients, quality aside, all the ingredients in a box. Then there’s varying degrees of those goods. You got your Walmart brand cake mix or you got your Ghirardelli brand cake mix, and there’s price elasticity there.
The step above goods is services.
Vance: So now, services are fairly intangible. But, if we’re going with our cake analogy, we’ll go with commodities, flour, sugar, cocoa. We’ll go to boxed cake. Next we’ll go to a service, which is your grocery store or a baker making the cake for you.
Vance: Now at each step, the price goes up. You’re buying convenience, you’re buying time. Then there’s the be-all, end-all, be-all, which is the experience where you literally just subcontract out the whole birthday party. Think of American girl doll store, Dave and Buster’s. You go in, you have an experience, they do everything and then you leave.
Vance: There’s people all along that spectrum of willing to pay for various levels of those services.
Paula: Right. Just to kind of bring this to relevance the people in the room. Mark, I’m glad you’re here. Thank you for joining us. I’m gonna use you as an example if you don’t mind. Great. Mark does aircraft evaluations, which is a fairly standard service. There’s a few people who do it with, but what Mark does differently than everybody else is that he’s a specialist in warbirds. He knows a ton about history. He brings a lot to the table and can make that more complete exercise than just about anybody else that I know that’s doing aircraft appraisals. So, in that situation, and I know Vance, you worked with carpet cleaners, so I mean that’s like a fairly business to… I mean, it’s a…
Vance: Highly commoditized
Paula: Right. Highly commoditized. Thank you. Not the world’s most exciting thing, but you’re able to make that interesting for people and make that better. Creative competitive advantage over the other carpet cleaners.
Vance: Right. You’re absolutely right. I mean, on the higher, on the totem pole of home service companies, carpet cleaners are not up there with electricians and plumbers. I mean, they’re down at the bottom. We’re below pest control. 2020 has done an exposé on carpet cleaners. How we drink the milk out of your containers in the refrigerator, and then put it back, we steal the coins from your sofa, all that. 2021 on me that was like years ago before me.
Paula: Yeah, on the whole industry. Right.
Vance: On the whole industry. Yeah. So I don’t want you to think that Barbara Walters was coming after me or anything. But you do have to– in any business, I think you got to let your personality or the personality of the owner shine through. All of you’ve known me for a while my sense of humors fairly worked. But, I use that to create emotional connections with my clients in very various ways. But when you create an emotional connection with your clients, you got to do something really egregious for them to ever leave you.
So I shamelessly use my children in my marketing, and my clients have all watched my children grow up. From age 2 to age 15, 17. I have people come up to me in the grocery store and asked me, “Hey, how was Emma’s ballet recital?” I’m like, “Who are you? Why are you asking me about my daughter?” I’m ready to run. “Come on, Emma we’re leaving now.” But then I think, oh, she must be a client, she gets the newsletter. That person is never leaving. Unless, I blow up the house.
They’re not going anywhere. I think that’s the number one reason people go back to Disney, is for the emotional connection they create with the cast members there.
Vance: It’s the number you at, there’s nothing. No right attraction or hotel is in the top three reasons people go to Disney.
Vance: Number one is they go for the employees at the park.
Vance: I mean, I created Chef Mickey’s which is a character dining destination at the contemporary. When we were there, we had absorbed another restaurant. So, some of the other waiters, and waitresses, servers came in with us. We had people that would show up and say, “I only wanna sit in Debbie’s section.” “Well, ma’am, it’s gonna be like three hours before Debbie has a table open. I can you with Zeus [?]. No, no, no. No. Debbie has waited on me for 15 years. I’m not sitting anywhere, but with Debbie.” People did. That’s what people do. It’s personal, emotional connections that people have.
So if a company like Disney, it’s got 85,000 employees just in one park, can do it. Us with our 10, 12, 15 person businesses certainly can do it.
Paula: Yeah. It’s interesting because you compare Southwest where every employee is a rockstar to things like virgin, where Richard Branson is the rockstar. Disney is kind of on the Southwest end to things, where they train their employees to become rockstars and I know Debbie, our Debbie has sales people that she has to make into rockstars. She does that with social media. She does that with a lot of different things.
But we’re all in the same boat. Priscilla, you may be in the same kind of a situation where you have a staff that you need to make your team members into rockstars. How do you go about making that happen?
Vance: Are you asking Priscilla or me?
Paula: Either. Anybody with a fantastic idea.
Priscilla: Absolutely, yeah. That’s something that we are across all of our networks at Sheltair. Family-owned and we treat your family and that’s something it could be the same thread with Disney. All that family connection and also finding something where it’s emotional like you cried. So it’s gonna get people to come back. It’s going to get us recognized because you’re not just a name on an invoice, you’re somebody that we know and we know your family, and so on so forth. So it just makes a deeper connection to serve our customers and also our guess. At the end of the day, it’s what brings everybody back. You wanna go like Tuesday where everybody knows your name. So that just gives you that whole warm touchy feeling type of situation. Especially nowadays where everything is very distant and cold. We have to keep the [inaudible]. We can’t be as close as we once were. How do we make that emotional connection from such a distance?
Vance: That’s great. I use cheers often when I do speaking. When you can recognize people, I strongly suggest, I have people. We used to do with three-by-five cards. I’m sure they use some kind of CRM these days. But, no, I do, I got them all over my desk. I got three-by-five cards everywhere. I love the things. The hell was I talking about. I just want completely…
Paula: You’re talking about the personal touch. The way, how do you make that. Yeah.
Vance: For, I think, a company that has repeat customers. So, if your airline or company continually sees the same people, you should really have a file on them. Do you have a three-by-five card that says, they always show up late but they’re usually in a good mood. They like this particular flight attendant. They enjoy this beverage. They don’t like the plane too hot, whatever. But have some, so that when somebody greets them for the flight, they say, “Hey, Mr. Smith. We know you don’t like the plane really cold. So we got it all warmed up for you. We know that you’re a big 7 up guy, not a ginger-ale guy. So we’ve got plenty of 7 up in there.” Again, it’s that personal connection and where everybody knows your name.
Why you might not know his name, but you still got the three-by-five card and you can personalize the trips that way. I think in your industry, in private flight. Yeah, you could personalize just about every trip with Naria [?] lifting a finger. You had asked something earlier and I wanna make sure I get back to it. It was the original question that you posed to both Priscilla and I. I think that having the giving teaching people to be nice or teaching people to have that sense of customer service is very difficult. It’s almost like you’ve got higher for that trait. I could teach you to do anything. I can teach you to carry a tray. I could teach you clean the carpet. I can teach you to type. I can’t really teach you to be nice. I can’t teach that desire to do a good job. I can reward it and make it stronger, but I don’t know that I can teach it. So, what Disney does, what Southwest does, it all evolves around their mission. Disney’s mission is very easy for line level employees to wrap their heads around. Their mission is to make people happy. Everybody gets that. That’s it.
Paula: I love that. Yeah.
Vance: That’s all it is. If you sweep the streets, if you make the movies, if you run the rides, your mission is the same. Make people happy. Right? That’s what their movies do. To make people happy. The guy serving you a beer at Epcot. He’s gonna make you happy. Now, each of their individual jobs is different, but they all have the same mission. I mean, I haven’t flown Southwest in a while, but I know their– what’s their taglines like we’re a people company that just happens to fly airplanes? Something along those lines.
Paula: Yeah. We’ll publish it in the show notes. We’ll look at…
Vance: There you go.
Paula: That’s a good one idea.
Vance: Debbie, quick, quick Debbie, get on that Google thing. That’s a good with the airstream.
Debbie: I just happen to know that other fact to somebody.
Paula: Oh, okay.
Debbie: Because I do, I publish, I post things that have interest to people, and for some reason I knew that one.
Paula: Yup. You’re an encyclopedia of aviation knowledge.
Debbie: We’ve been in this business a long time. Our business is all about personal relationships. So that’s what our guys have to build personal relationships.
Paula: You guys only buy or sell an airplane made for a customer maybe once every ten years, but that’s their guy and they’re not going to anybody else, once they have one of your brokers.
Debbie: Well, sometimes they sell. Like nowadays, these things are selling much quicker like turning over, ‘cause the markets crazy.
Paula: Yeah. So their buying [crosstalk/inaudible].
Vance: They pick up with the Joneses has a whole new meaning.
Debbie: I mean, there’s only less than 3% of the aircraft in the world are for sale, and usually it’s 9 or 10% per private aircraft.
Vance: John, you were gonna say something?
John: Yeah. Sometimes all you have to do is be observant. I can give you a Disney experience. I was there with my daughter when she was, I don’t know, four, five or six, and we were walking through Epcot.
Paula: Perfect Disney age.
John: Right. This robot, about 20 feet away from us turn around and said, “Hi, Michelle!” It scared her to death. “Daddy, how did she know my name?” I said, “Well, it probably heard me call you Michelle, and just wants to be friends. Dear, that’s probably okay.”
Vance: How many other companies would do that though?
Vance: That kind of stuff and it is being observant. Disney’s actually taken this now to another level where they actually get the guests to advertise what’s happening in their life. So the Disney employees can then recognize it. I don’t know if you’ve been there lately, but everybody now wears a button. On the button it says, “My first visit. Just married. Happy anniversary.” So now, all the customer or all the cast members, it’s a point of conversation starter for the catchment. “Oh, hey, congratulations on getting married, or congratulations on your barneys [?] bar, whatever it is you’re selling.
Paula: Happy birthday. Right. That’s great.
Vance: These people wear it with pride. I mean everybody in the parks. Just about everybody celebrating something.
Paula: Mm-hmm. That’s true. We once actually and I think what fosters the observance– I mean, you can teach techniques, you can teach tactics. But that motivation, we want to fire a customer for our marketing services because they didn’t like their clients. They didn’t wanna have anything to do with them. They just wanted them to buy services. But, they didn’t want to interact with them. They didn’t wanna be the rock star of their marketing. They didn’t want their face on anything. They didn’t want their personal phone number on anything. They just didn’t wanna have anything to do with their customers. I remember asking, do you like the people that you do business with? The guy said, “Not really, I really would much rather just collect the checks and automate everything.” I’m like, “You’re in the wrong industry and I can’t help you.”
Vance: If you go run a McDonald’s.
Vance: I mean, think about it. I mean, McDonald’s now you don’t have to talk to anybody. There’s a kiosk, you walk in. You’re doing toink, toink, toink, and two minutes later, your Happy Meal comes out.
Paula: Right. In the business of vending machines or something because this is exactly where you should be. But you can’t teach that. If somebody really doesn’t care then you can teach them every tactic in the world and they are not gonna be observant about their customers. They’re not gonna go the extra mile to make sure they have everything they need. [inaudible] as moot.
Vance: It doesn’t necessarily make them a bad person.
Paula: Right. Yeah.
Vance: Disney calls it being miscast. You are not cast in the right role.
Paula: I like that.
Vance: Yeah. Well, I mean Disney. I mean, that’s their whole thing is, we’re putting on a show, we have cast members, or offstage areas, or where we take breaks, and the trash is taken on stage where all the activity happens. But, what was I talking about? I did this again. Good questions.
Paula: No, it’s okay. You’re talking about motivation and miss casting.
Vance: Oh, the cast members. Oh, good lord. You think I had Alzheimer’s or something. I think, I really. It’s early onset dementia. Cast members, help me out Paula. What was I just saying?
Paula: I think you were going to say that sometimes you get a person who is not a caring individual.
Vance: Oh, miscast.
Vance: There we go. But Disney believes though that there probably is a role somewhere in the organization for them. Maybe it’s third shift custodial. I’ll have to talk to any guests there. You just go and clean stuff, talk to anybody, and go home.
Paula: Right. Some people are happier that way and that’s great. But they shouldn’t be marketing very personalized products and services, which is what we’re all doing in this industry.
Paula: Yeah. Fantastic. Let me just open it up for questions from anybody and then I would like to talk about the event that we’re planning in October. A little bit of that is of interest. But does anybody have any questions for that Vance? This is your opportunity to ask a Disney guy, anything you want to ask. Well, almost anything. I mean, I guess they can ask anything but you don’t have to answer.
Vance: I’m good. Whatever you wanna do.
Priscilla: I think my question would be how would Disney handle any sort of customer irregularity? If the service wasn’t exactly what the customer has expected, how do you bounce back from that from a Disney standpoint?
Vance: Sure. Great question. As I mentioned, Disney makes mistakes. Sometimes they’re not all tragedies. Sometimes it’s just a burnt steak, or the toilet, restroom wasn’t clean. It might have even been something that wasn’t Disney’s fault like, their flight wa– I shouldn’t use flight delayed with this group. Should I?
Paula: Whatever you can.
Vance: Well, let’s just use it. I’m already there. So, maybe their flight was delayed and it took them eight hours to get there because of weather. But it wasn’t a problem that Disney created, wouldn’t Disney’s fault. What they do is they empower their– and I really don’t like that word empower because it’s got some weird connotations to it, but they literally allow the cast members to do what needs to be done, to take care of the problem right then in there. So they are authorized to spend X dollars to make a guess happy. Because if you think about a problem, it’s like getting a cut or a wound. The longer you don’t take care of it, the worse it gets. Right? So Disney wants its, whatever cast member whether it’s a manager or a line level cast member. They want them to take care of the problem right away.
Vance: Take care of it. Does that mean giving them a couple of fast passes? Maybe? This is it just as something as simple as, yeah, man, I’m really sorry that we burnt your steak will get one out right away, here’s some oysters to hold you over. So they have that latitude. I mean Ritz-Carlton. I don’t advocate this but Ritz-Carlton actually gives every employee $5,000 in discretionary spending the [inaudible] have.
Vance: Five grand. Now, some, I don’t know that they use it all the time but the management won’t question the employee or discipline the employee for spending a lot of money. Sometimes it might just be running down the street and buying a favorite burger from a famous burger joint and bring it back to the hotel for him. It was 10 bucks. Maybe somebody wrinkled their fur coat so they got to go buy him a new fur coat. But you set parameters on what you want your front line, like receptionist. I work a lot with offices that have a receptionist and either for financial planners, physicians, etcetera. Dentists and orthodontists and those guys notoriously run behind.
Vance: Usually, we just have to suck it up. All right, you’ll get to you when he gets to you. Wouldn’t it be great if you walked into the dentist’s office and Mary at the front desk said, “Hey, Mr. Morris, doc is running about 10 minutes behind now. I’m really sorry about that. Here’s a $5 Starbucks gift card for you to use. Afterwards is our way of showing that we’re really sorry this happened.”
Vance: Wouldn’t that be awesome? So why can’t you give your employees, your version of a $5 Starbucks gift card.
Paula: Mm-hmm. You know, I found that the people that get off to a rocky start with sometimes, new clients who we maybe had mismatched expectations or whatever the situation is, they end up being our best advocate to that end up referring us all the time. It’s the way that you handle a wrinkle, is kind of the difference between a commodity and a becoming my guy for this. We wanna be there guy for marketing, or their girlfriend marketing. A lot of times, it’s just being able to sit down and step back and not become defensive and go, “Okay. This is not where we wanna be. I’m not gonna spend any time on how we got here. Let’s just figure out where we need to get and how to get there in the fastest way possible.”
Vance: I mean, there is so much a bad situation turned around.
Vance: Then have so much more of a positive impact than if the problem never happened to begin with.
Vance: So, I mean, if there was a screw up and you gave a five-star return around on that and now you’ve got that guests or customer as an evangelist going out, referring the daylights out of you. Well, if they had just had an average experience with you, would they have turned into an evangelist?
Paula: Yeah, that’s exactly right. That is absolutely true. So, yeah. Let’s talk about Orlando in October. It’s the biggest aviation industry event. Our aviation, NBA, National Business Aviation Association has a three-day thing that is absolutely exhausting. So what we’re gonna do is make it even more exhausting and have a good time at the front end of it. So the Monday before the NBA convention starts, we are going to get together with Vance and eight or ten of our closest friends. Do a walking tour. Basically, what we were thinking is dinner at one of the nicer places at Epcot. Is that right?
Paula: Then a walking tour, three or four hours, with some education and some fun about marketing and customer service and all of that. Then ending the evening with fireworks and dessert with friends, family, kids, and everybody else that is in the park. Just having a good time while we’re kind of working. Get together with them at the end of the day. So, yeah.
Vance: Walking is definitely in that term. Yeah, walk. I call it a walking classroom, but we are going to have– we have fun, you’ll see things that you never saw before. Even if you’ve been to Disney 10,000 times. There are a lot of parallels that as I point them out, you can immediately– when I do this with groups, you can literally see the gears spinning or the smoke, one of the other. It’s really cool. So, at the end of the day, it’s yes, you’re gonna have fun. Yes, you’re gonna learn something. But really the mission of that day is for you to have a handful of strategies that you can go back on Monday morning. Start implementing that they’re gonna have an impact on your business.
Paula: Right. Exactly. You’re gonna be in Orlando anyway and so this is just gonna really set things up in a nice way. We always like to kick it off with a networking event and we usually have a breakfast, which is great. But breakfast is boring. You can go to Epcot and spend four hours, having fun.
Vance: You can get eggs anywhere.
Paula: Yeah, exactly. We can only do so many things with breakfast. But yeah, I’m really looking forward to that. I think that’s gonna be a lot of fun.
Vance: That’s gonna be cool.
Paula: Yeah. Cool. All right. Well, is there anything else anybody wants to add? I know we’ve got group office hours coming in about 15 minutes. So, if we need to take a break or whatever, that’s fantastic. But yeah, let’s go ahead and do our exit. Usually what we do is a 15 second pitch. Everybody pitches their product service or whatever. We’ll go around the room and do that one more time. If that’s all right. Unless, there are any other questions squeaking another one.
Paula: Mark, do you had a question?
Mark: I have a quick story I wanted to relate.
Mark: [inaudible] to how a, from a technical standpoint. Keep that place so clean, so neat, and all light bulbs ever out. It’s just mind-boggling. But anyway, my quick story is my dad was a schoolteacher. During the New York’s World’s Fair, I was very young. Maybe ‘67 they went through their New York World’s Fair. Anyway, we went on this. I was like the mascot all these seniors that he brought. There was this ride where you actually got into a real car. Convertible, brand-new convertible Chrysler’s I think. I wanted to sit at the steering wheel.
Well, we went to this whole ride and went through all the dinosaurs, all stuff. Anyway, fast forward, I had been back a few times in the 70s, but I went back with my children and I got on this ride. They didn’t have the cars, would had been for my how many years for my childhood all the way forward to. I’m on this ride and I got off, I had just feeling of deja vu. I’m so, I’ve been on this ride somewhere. What the heck? It just dog to me like for quite a while. Then outside the building it had a plaque and it said, “This ride was featured in the New York World’s Fair.”
Paula: Oh, wow.
Mark: Whatever. That’s the imprint that Disney has on your– on people’s minds, a marketing perspective. Boy, it’s amazing.
Vance: Well, I mean, people don’t go to Disney for a vacation. I mean, you really. I mean, you need a vacation from the vacation.
Paula: Right. You need a day after Disney to [crosstalk/inaudible].
Vance: But, Disney is and Mark hit on it and I hit on a little earlier is that, you go to Disney to create memories. Right? I mean, grandma’s gonna die in six months. Let’s take her to Disney so we can get pictures. No. All the make-a-wish kids, I wanna go to Disney. I mean, people go there. I mean, think about it. I mean, it’s a small world. That’s kind of a boring ride, but yet it’s got a three hour long line. Why? ‘Cause it’s a Disney and it’s an experience and the family or whoever are creating memories while they’re there.
Paula: Mm-hmm. Even in the lines, I mean, we went spent– the longest I’ve ever spent in any line anywhere was for the Banshee ride at the right after the movie came out Pandora.
Vance: Yep, Pandora.
Paula: You get to stand in a line for three hours and ride a Banshee. We had such a good time in that line. They had people coming up and entertaining us, and we got to know the people in front of us and behind us. They were from here and people from other countries, and we had a fantastic time in that line.
Vance: In addition to extracting money from your wallet and making me feel good about it. Disney has mastered making the time you’re waiting not feel like long at all.
Vance: They call it liner tainment, so you were entertained while you in line. Sometimes it’s done with cast members. Sometimes it’s done with technology. Sometimes it’s done with games or prompts or anything like that. But you take that and how do you translate it into your industry. You know, think about things that will have to wait for, in your industry. What are you doing to make it feel like that wait isn’t so bad?
Vance: Is it just daily or weekly communication? Is it something entertainment? Do you send him a box of cookies? Do you know what? Whatever it is to make it feel like that wait is not an eternity.
Paula: Right. Oh, yeah. I mean, even title companies we’ll send you a cookies while you– I mean, there’s always a thing that you can do. That’s fantastic. All right. Well, let’s go ahead and puts out because time is not our friend today, as it ever is. Let’s try and make our exits as entertaining as possible.
Not sure how to do this, but I’m putting myself on the spot as well. I’m Paula Williams from ABCI. We help aviation companies sell more of their products and services by adding entertainment to whatever it is that they do. If I were wearing a big red nose, maybe that would help. I don’t know. I’m gonna work on that though. Making a 15 second elevator pitch a little bit more entertaining, a little bit more engaging. John, you’re on.
John: No. I work with rockstar. I do special launch. I take care of finances and tech support.
Debbie: I’m Debbie Murphy. I’m VP of marketing for JetBrokers. I help our aircraft sales team buy and sell jets.
Paula: Fantastic. Priscilla, you wanna go next?
Priscilla: Yeah. I’m Priscilla Yecora-Tirado. I am the sales and marketing analyst at Sheltair Aviation. I help market for SEO services and real estate on our airport properties.
Paula: Fantastic. Mark?
Mark: Yeah. I think John should add that he makes really good coffee evidently.
Paula: Oh, he makes fantastic coffee.
Mark: You’re now [inaudible].
Paula: You see my hand. Do you see me reaching off screen? That’s John handing me coffee.
Mark: Anyway, it’s Mark Perry. We pull aircraft group. Certified aircraft appraisals on all types of aircraft, general aviation, all the way through business jets, helicopters, antique aircraft, pretty much anything flies.
Mark: Well, I do a Columbia. I got the call.
Paula: There you go. Fantastic. Aerial [?] 51 craft?
Mark: Yeah. Oh, yeah. That’s one of my list.
Mark: [inaudible] and reliance [?] inspections and maintenance oversight on business jets.
Paula: I think cool. Vance, do you wanna take us out with any famous last word or anything else?
Vance: Oh, sure. So I show businesses how to dignified [?] themselves. If we them from commodities all the way to experiences and profiting just like Disney guys.
Paula: Fantastic. Well, thank you all very much for coming. This was a really great conversation. I learned a lot and I really appreciate you all being here. You make it worth the technical craziness.
Vance: I appreciate you inviting me. Thank you, Paula.