Andrew Harper...Stories and Trust

If you’re in the hotel business, especially as an independent, you probably know of Andrew Harper. If not, you should, and can learn more about him here.

A recent review of Keyah Grande reminded me of his influence in the travel industry and what we can learn from successful people like him.

Harper’s business is about stories and trust. He sells stories about his travel experiences to people who trust him. Here’s why he’s so successful at it:

1. People trust him because he doesn’t accept anything in return (cash or in kind) from the properties he writes about.

2. His true identity has remained almost completely anonymous for the past twenty-five years. In essence, he can be completely objective…and that’s worth a lot these days.

3. He’s honest, giving you the bad along with the good in his reviews.

In fact, his model works so well that he limits his newsletter subscription list to 25,000. That, of course, makes it exclusive and the information within even more valuable. Over the years, he has used his honesty and the trust of his client base to further develop his business along other lines. He’s a pretty smart cookie.

There are some lessons to be learned from Mr. Harper…

1. One of the most valuable assets you can own is your customers’ trust. Whatever you do, remain honest and never take advantage of your position.

2. Stories sell when you have the attention of the right audience. Use relationships to get attention and use great stories to keep people interested.

As a hotelier, if you can get a positive review for your property, it’s a huge credibility builder with your prospective guests as well as the media, travel agents and just about anyone else who will have anything to do with you. So, how do you get a review…start with a remarkable experience and get someone he trusts to give him a call.

Good luck.