Engaging your team and clients through shared experiences
I was advised recently that when I say 76% of our riders come back, it could create the impression that we loose 24% somewhere along the road in Thailand. Of course the message I meant to convey was that 76% of those who ride with us return and ride again, and again and again. We have such a high retention rate that it speaks to the value that the riders take from the experience.
The rides I speak of are the annual charity rides that we run at Hands Group each January and the increasing demand for corporate rides. Since January of this year we have had five rides already with a couple more scheduled before the end of the year and the numbers of riders on the road each year just continues to grow.
So what makes these rides so special? Why are groups returning and riders looking to run their own rides? Having led 28 rides in Thailand I am convinced of a couple of things that make them work.
1. They are an inclusive experience. Meaning you don’t need to be riding on an $8000 road bike each weekend at break neck speeds to come and ride with us. The model of the ride is such that it allows the riders in between water stops to ride at their own pace. So those looking to chat for the hour or so between lattes can do so. Those looking to test themselves riding at a speed that pretty much prohibits conversation, well that works as well as we all come together once again at each water stop.
2. The fundraising required to participate in the ride is a challenge but it is achievable and it, as much as the ride itself creates a deep sense of achievement. It builds communities before you even arrive in Thailand.
3. The strength of the shared experience creates engagement levels that are just very hard to replicate. For those new to riding, they quickly realise that it is very much a team sport where the best achievements are realised when the challenges are faced together.
4. And for those riding as part of a private ride or corporate ride, they come to appreciate that a lot of business can be done on the back of a bike, without the intent of doing business.
For first time riders I often hear that they are doing it “for the kids” and without question that is a massive part of it. But here’s an interesting observation that I have made many times now and again last week when I spent a couple of days with the team from Business Blueprint on their sixth ride and it was whilst riding I had many first time riders telling me they would be back in 2020, BEFORE the ride was finished, before they have even seen the kids or the home they were supporting.
What is the elixir, that magic potion that surely is in the water bottles we give them:
The ride provides an opportunity to commit to something that alone you might not have done;
It allows you to say “I’d doing something for me”;
It’s the line in the sand that you draw when you decide it’s time to get healthy;
It gives you an instant community of like minded people who you quickly find are there for you, on and off the bike; and
It’s food for your soul.
A question I often pose when speaking at conferences is “when was the last time you did something that was food for your soul, something truly for you, not for your husband, not for your wife, not for your partner, not for your kids, not for work, but for you?”
It’s hard to imagine for those who detest the thought of pulling on the lycra and riding 100kms a day how any of this could be appealing. But for those that decide the time is right, because inevitably if we wait for the time to be right it may never come, this ride, well it is food for your soul.
If January 2020, is your time to ride, to take time for you to feed your soul, then between now and August is the best time to sign up for the ride. It gives you the time you need to prepare adequately to ensure you will have an experience that leaves an indelible impression on your soul. Head to Ride to Provide to find out more.
I would love to share the roads of Thailand with you in January of 2020.