The Great Divide at FEMA
The Turning Economy – Bill Conerly

Selling Beyond Price - Empowerment

Those of you who follow my posts know I was not excited about being in Phoenix for five days.  It’s not the time away or the company I’m with, Cliffs FEMA is a great group of farm equipment manufacturers.  It was the cost.  The flight price was OK.  It was the daily charge at Pointe Hilton at Tapatio Cliffs Resort that got me.  (Any time you add an “e” to the word, point it’s going to cost you.) 

It comes to about $250 a night. 

That’s a hefty price tag for a bed…in any city.

The price, however, pays for what has been exceptional service.  Here is just one example:  On Wednesday at 7am we had a breakfast meeting for 40 executives.  One of the FEMA staff members, Tricia, had been busy setting up a registration center since before 7 and did not eat.  By the time our meeting was over at 9:00 she was looking for “just about anything”.  I walked back into the meeting room, that was in the process of being torn down by three maintenance workers, and asked if any of the pastries were left.  I told one of the guys what was up and he said, “Just a moment sir.”

Less than three minutes later a member of the kitchen staff returned with a hot breakfast and said, “Here you are sir, our complements.  Can I get you anything else?”

IMG_4759 Is it worth $250 a night?  Maybe not but that one event (out of a dozen other examples so far) made it easier to swallow and sold me on the idea that even in these times it’s NOT always about price.  

It’s about value.


Empowering your people to make sure the customer is satisfied, beyond their expectation, doesn’t cost…it pays.  And, in this case, how many people do you think just experienced a customer service “win”?   Plenty…was it worth the effort?


Michael P. Libbie – Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we didn’t pay $250 a night…thanks Travelocity.