On my first foray in international travel, I had a certifiably disastrous concert tour experience with a tour company that promised Nirvana, but delivered a week in hell! My reputation as an orchestra director suffered, some members dropped-out, and my legacy was in danger of being written in invisible ink.
A wonderful gentleman named Nick Atkinson was representing Encore Tours in those early days. He heard about my plight and came to my house to try to persuade me to consider a concert tour again, this time with an expert. He promised such opportunities as a beautiful boat on the Seine for my orchestra’s rehearsal room, and a ballroom in Paris for a private concert for a Mayor of Paris. I was skeptical, but alas, I agreed to try again.
Not only did he deliver on his promises entirely, but by doing so, he taught me a valuable lesson about the enormous difference between lowest price and value. I remind myself, to this day, about the lesson of the two sides to the coin that Nick taught me:
Price Vs. Value
- One side of the coin, tails, involves a conversation centered on lowest price.
- The other side, heads, involves an awareness of value.
Lowest Price is costly. You pay dearly. On my first concert tour, I paid a high price for low cost. And the only change that occurred was pocket change.
Value, on the other hand, comes gift-wrapped in investment. Investment doesn’t cost. It pays. It pays in the value of a lasting legacy built on the foundation of rich experiences. Value gives back change, the kind that comes from transformation.
Tourist Vs. Traveler
Furthermore, I learned the difference between companies that serve the tourist versus the traveler.
Tour companies that feature a low cost product exist solely to serve the tourist. The tourist takes. They take a trip. They take pictures. They take souvenirs home. Tourists share very little of deep value with their international hosts.
But Encore Tours serves the traveler. The distinction is as different as a one-night-stand versus a lasting relationship. The traveler has a rich and enduring relationship as an explorer on an adventure. They become totally immersed in the richness of a culture. And with an Encore Tour, the traveler gives, rather than takes, when they perform a benefit concert for their international hosts.
- The tourist pays, and is taken- down a one-way street.
- The traveler explores, is adventurous, and invests in the benefits of giving. The traveler in turn, receives: their lives are transformed and an enduring legacy is bestowed. A rich exchange of currency results from the circle of giving and receiving.
“Tales, You Win”
Today, when I find myself at the crossroads of low cost vs value, I remember my first experience with Encore and Nick. The lesson in value resulted in 9 international concert tours and 1200 travelers who were transformed. My orchestra of 12 grew to 450 students.
So now, I remind myself to use my head. Invest and receive the currency of value as a traveler, instead of paying a price as a tourist looking for low cost.
The moral is: if I use my head, tales will be transformed.
And for the Encore traveler: “tails you win.”
About the AuthorMore Content by Ward Dilmore