Greetings. Ever imagine that a "free" service could be way more valuable than one you pay for? If so, you'll love Sandemans New Europe tours–guided walking tours of fourteen of Europe's most remarkable cities that are causing a stir and building quite a following on the international travel circuit. Because, this unique company charges nothing for its individual tours and lets its customers decide what they are worth in the form of a tip. That's right. Tour guides lead customers on three and a half hour tours designed to inform, inspire and entertain. Then, at the end, the customers decide how satisfied they are with the guide and the tour or how rich and generous they feel. And the resulting tips are the only compensation for a growing number of leading and independent (as in "independent contractor) "professional" tour guides who are working with Sandemans. Or should we say professional tour guides, storytellers, amateur historians and entertainers who are determined to connect with their audiences in a compelling way as they bring the magic of their city to life. And who definitely can't afford to be boring or the least bit disinterested in the things that interest their customers.
Now that's an interesting business model. Which might cause you and the geniuses you work with to imagine how your business would operate if you had to work for only tips. Or for the constant approval of your customers. Approval that must be earned by providing real value from start to finish…focused on the things that matter most to customers.
This company was brought to my attention by our older daughter Sara who has recently returned from three and a half months of backpacking in Europe. While visiting Prague she took a Sandemans tour with Filip, a journalism student at Charles University, and was immediately hooked on the city and this innovation in walking tours. And here's a picture of Filip and Prague below…
We win in business and in life when we let the customer decide how valuable our services are. And when we commit to being as awesome and enlightening as possible.