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Behind the Scenes At Disney

Our Company does an event a couple of times per year and part of it is a “behind the scenes” look at Disney and an education on how they do the business magic they do so well.

One segment of the tour is a visit to the “underground” part of the Magic Kingdom - the tunnels below. On tour, the very knowledgeable guides explain in detail some of the “insider” points of what Disney does and the thought process that goes with it.

On this particular trip the guide told us about Disney’s Pin trading. For those of you who don’t know, Disney borrowed the idea of trading Pins from the Olympics when they observed people from different countries using it as an ice breaker to make conversation and connect with each other. Disney then created its own pins for guests in the park to trade with Disney employees or “cast members,” as they prefer the term. Obviously, in order to trade a pin you had to buy one and thus a new product line began to the tune of what is now a $100 million a year industry with its own events, including cruises.

The Pin trading venture is a whole study itself in the process of creating new verticals for your own business - but today’s lesson is perhaps more important. Our guide pointed out excitedly that it really wasn’t the pins that were important; it was in her words, “all about the opportunity to build a relationship with our guest.”
I doubt the guide thought of this on her own, and if she did Disney should certainly give her a raise and a bigger job, for the point is dead on. A sale, no matter what the product, is an opportunity to create or continue a relationship with your customer. The sale will not last. The relationship can. The true value of any sale is not today’s value but the lifetime value of that customer today and tomorrow.