Lucky Winners (Issue 1101)

In which we are reminded that, with a new client, a little extra generosity framed with careful positioning can go a long way toward generating significant good will.

Our hotel in Murren, Switzerland wasn’t ready for us when we arrived at 10:00 am. We looked a little deflated.

“Too early, not ‘till 2:00 pm,” the Desk Manager said. “Why don’t you leave your bags in the sitting room and go for a walk?”

We dragged our bags around the corner into the sitting room – beautiful view of the mountains on the far side of the valley, nice fireplace, books and games on shelves – and, after a few minutes’ conversation, decided to pull on our hiking shoes, refill our water bottles, load our day packs, and walk a long loop on the North Face Trail.

We took our time on the trail, stopping frequently to take in the scenery and once for lunch, arriving again at the hotel around 3:00 pm, tired, a bit overheated, and ready for a shower. We returned to the front desk, greeted by a different Desk Manager (who, we learned a few minutes later, owns the hotel).

“Miller?…. Yes… Two nights? Yes.” She turned to her left and pulled from a file our registration paperwork.

As we signed and gave her our credit card, she said, “You are the… how do you Americans say?…. You are the lucky….”

My travel buddy blurted out, “Winner?”

“Yes, you are the lucky winner today,” she smiled.

“What does that mean?”, I asked.

“Come with me, I’ll show you.”

She guided the two of us down a short hall way, through the hotel dining room, across a deck to another building, down two flights of stairs, and though a short passage way to our room.

When she opened the door and we stepped inside, we gasped. The outside wall of the room was glass with a door that opened to a small balcony with an expansive view of the mountains to the East and South. The big mountains to the East – Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau – were essentially right in front of us.

We looked at the Desk Manager, our mouths agape. She smiled, enjoying our reaction. “Yes, you are the lucky winners today. I’ve upgraded you to this room. It’s one of our deluxe rooms. Enjoy! If you’d like dinner with us tonight, we start at 5:30.”

And, with that, she handed the keys to us and left the room.

We don’t know why she offered us the upgrade. Maybe we were lucky winners. Best of all, with her “lucky winner” positioning and warm escort to the room, we FELT like lucky winners and, when we go back to Murren, we’ll stay with them again. Hotel Edelweiss, Murren, Switzerland, Sandra & Daniel Kuster-von Allmen.


Nick Miller is President of Clarity Advantage based in Concord, MA. He assists banks and credit unions to generate more and more profitable relationships, faster, with business clients, their owners, and their employees through better sales strategies and execution. Additional articles on Clarity’s web site.

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