Every smart business owner knows there is no business without competitors. Even if Boeing were the only company producing airplanes in the world, they would still be competing with auto, train, and ship manufacturers—because Boeing knows they are in the transportation business. At TRI we have yet to find an organization doing exactly what we do—but, we do compete with many folks who do parts of what we do. When you are in the make a difference business like us, there are a lot of people out there who are gifted at different aspects of the services we provide. One way we are different is that you can get these essential services all in one place—some of our clients call it “soup to nuts” service.
So, besides just giving you one phone number to call instead of many, what makes our business approach different? Our Business, Service, and Operating Models are key ways we distinguish ourselves and are the right choice for many groups. We hope after learning about our approach to business that you too find us to be a good fit and are excited to get started with us.
Making a difference means enhancing the capability of individuals, communities, or entire organizations to realize their mission. That is why our service expertise and business model is concentrated on the three ways that clients work to make a difference:
Here is an example of TRI’s Business Model blended and working together:
An organization hired TeamTRI to train its leaders and do the opening keynote address. We were ready to go with an unbelievable training team and keynote experience planned.
But, the participants who came to be trained had a very rough transportation and check-in process. So, by the time the people who needed training actually arrived (many showed up late or to the wrong meeting room) they were frustrated, annoyed, and not in the right frame of mind to fully engage in the awesome training we had planned.
Further, the organization’s marketing materials and website didn’t provide the best promotion for the event. This meant the group did not meet its break-even point for participation and were going to have attrition with the hotel (having to pay for sleeping rooms that no one slept in because of the over-optimistic contract they negotiated). Losing money on the event was going to impact the overall operating budget of the organization. This would mean cuts somewhere else or even laying off staff. Not to mention, the meeting process created negative word of mouth that spread about the organization and that ended up impacting their membership negatively. So, people did not receive the full value they could have, had a poor event experience, told everyone about it, and the association was about to suffer some serious operational strain.
After this experience, TRI sat down with the client to review what happened. We helped the client optimize their entire organization. Marketing and promotions were improved, event management better organized, contracts renegotiated, and budgets streamlined.
The results over the past few years have been phenomenal. The event is no longer a loss—it is a profit center for the group. They use part of the new profits each year to hold an annual volunteer retreat to strategize on how they can best use their new found revenue to improve their mission and services. Word of mouth about membership in the organization turned from negative to positive creating a surge in membership and conference attendance. And, the minds of participants entering the training program are happy ones ready to be inspired and learn practical ways to improve. And, as a bonus, the organization’s training and development costs have gone down because they are using TRI for a number of services which has further improved their budget.
TRI’s business model can work wonders for clients. And, even when a client doesn’t need the fully blended business model we bring, there is still tremendous benefit. If a client just wants training they know we want to customize the training to enhance their mission—we don’t just bring stock, off-the-shelf services because our training is tailored to their needs. If they just want us to run an event, they know we are going to manage it in a way that brings value to their guests, other speakers, and their overall organization.
TRI’s Service Model is very simple: love the work you do, love the team you serve with, love the client you work for.
In nearly 20 years in business, we have experienced growing pains just like most other companies and organizations do from time to time. As we studied those situations, we developed an understanding for how to turn that strain into gain. We call it “the environment to succeed.” Here is how it works.
First, our team members must love the work they do.
TeamTRI is composed of many talented folks so it can be easy to assign projects thinking they will excel at most any assignment. But, we have found when team members are not excited about their work, they do not deliver their best—and that is not acceptable to us or our clients. So, our first duty at TRI is ensuring that we have the right team members on assignments that bring their passion and enthusiasm to the work a client needs.
And, because our team loves their work they are more open to coaching and feedback, study on their own independently, receive training in a more meaningful and lasting ways, initiate tough conversations for improvement, and champion new ideas that make us all better.
Second, our team members have to genuinely enjoy, respect, and appreciate each other.
None of our work for clients is done in a vacuum. We work closely together in a team. You may be an expert and love what you do—but, if you can’t be a lovable contributor that others like to be around, you are not a fit at TRI. We simply will not sacrifice an awesome close knit team for one superstar performer. We spend too much time together to allow any pain-in-the necks to rock the boat.
Our service model also dictates how team members come to be part of TRI. We have no job applications, do not post career openings, and we have never reviewed a resume of any of our 75+ team members. If we have a team member who we love and loves us, chances are they are also connected to other differences makers who are like them—and chances are they will be a fit at TRI too. We encourage our current team to champion and bring in new star performers. This is how we grow our service team. Sure, it is a slower growth method. But, it is deliberate, intentional, and does not disrupt the important work of our existing team members.
Third, we must believe in the clients we serve—and they need to believe in us.
When you love working for your client and they enjoy working with your team—a supportive, collaborative, and mutually respectful relationship exists. We call this “the environment to succeed.” We have often faced tough environments to work in. That is natural and we are used to delivering in stressful and strenuous situations. But, what makes it all work is an encouraging client who believes in us. When we have this mutual support for each other—success is just a matter of time.
This is why building long-term relationships are so important to us. It takes time to develop trust and mutually beneficial and rewarding relationships. Our service model dictates why we do not conduct traditional marketing and sales campaigns. Our primary growth comes from referrals. This is because our current cherished clients tend to recommend us to other clients that are like them. You cannot put out a public relations fishing net and hope you will catch clients you like to work with. The most proven way to success for TRI is to deliver great results for great clients and then let our clients talk about it and recommend us to others.
Every business has a root philosophy for how they compete in the marketplace, operate their business, and serve their customers. Businesses who are truly distinguished in the marketplace have a well defined operating model based on a blend of quality, value, and service.
It makes sense that businesses that are superior at none of these root philosophies eventually fail. It may surprise you to find that businesses that strive to be superior in all three categories often fail too—they just cannot remain profitable while maintaining those high standards. Generally speaking, superiority at two of the three root philosophies is the best way to go.
Ritz-Carrolton, Nordstrom, and Starbucks compete well on quality and service. If you want to pay low prices for a room, shoe, or coffee—you need to look somewhere else.
McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, and Southwest Airlines compete well on value and service. They are fast and friendly, low priced, and you can usually count on the service experience you will get. But, if you were looking for the world’s best hamburger, luxurious first-class cabin accommodations, or the finest quality clothes—you need to look somewhere else.
So, what is TRI’s root operational philosophy?
TRI competes on high quality. If we cannot deliver great quality for the budget you have available, then we are very likely to help you find someone else. Our clients are high quality organizations so they expect top performance and results.
TRI prides itself in our service and affordability as well. But, this is where we allow clients to have a say in how they are served.
Example of High Quality and High Value Mix
Example of High Quality and High Service Mix
We realize in the marketplace that many folks do not even realize the various root philosophies and operational models at work around them. But, because we are a relationship company, we find our clients usually like to get to know us and how we work. And we think it is important for them to understand how we can customize our delivery based on a client’s unique needs. We realize that in the market it may look like our prices fluctuate up and down, that we seem to have more people onsite for an event, or that someone gets a response quicker than someone else. It’s true—it does happen and its intentional based on the quality, service, and value pricing formula each client selects.
So, if you hear that TRI is amazing and that we’re expensive or that the speaker was unbelievable and a bargain but it took a week to send you a proposal—that is all based on each client’s unique service blend.