Today on the More Cheese, Less Whiskers podcast we're talking with Chris Hill all the way from New Zealand.
Now, I first met Chris at a Breakthrough Blueprint event in London. He came to the very first event I did there, and he runs a company called Hands up Holidays. It’s a really interesting company because they combine luxury travel with voluntourism.
Chris has a really a great backstory to how all of this happened. His company has gone through different iterations and different ways it's evolved over time, and what we were talking about today is how do we, when you've got a global market as an opportunity and you've got a very defined type of person who you're trying to attract, how do you narrow that down to the best people to approach.
I always love when we spent a lot of time in our Profit Activator one, trying to zone in on the ideal target audience and how to get people to raise their hands.
You're really going to enjoy how we dial it in over this episode.
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Transcript - More Cheese Less Whiskers 144
Dean: Chris Hill.
Chris: Dean Jackson, how you doing?
Dean: I'm so good, how are you?
Chris: I'm very well, thank you.
Dean: Are you in New Zealand right now?
Chris: Yes, in Auckland.
Dean: Wow, wow. So, what time is it there?
Chris: 7:00 AM on Saturday morning.
Dean: Oh, perfect. You're living in the future.
Chris: Yeah, it's bright.
Dean: That's actually pretty reasonable then, isn't it? 7:00 AM in the-
Chris: Yeah, it is.
Dean: Yeah, that's not bad. Okay, nice to talk to you. I'm very excited to see what you're up to and I know it's something similar to what you've been doing but I think it would be cool to maybe set the stage here and then we can see where we can go.
Chris: Sounds good.
Dean: Awesome. I have the distinction that I've known you know for several years and most of the time when I'm doing these podcasts, I don't know anybody. So, people listening, it might be a good start for you to fill in the Chris Hill story so that we can pick up from here and get the most out of it.
Chris: Yeah, yeah, totally. Should I do that now?
Dean: Yeah, perfect. Yeah, we're recording right now. This is how we go, we're live and we've got the whole hour here to go.
Chris: All right. Okay, I'll crack into it.
Chris: I'm from New Zealand and I did a law degree and a business degree here in New Zealand before moving to London where I worked in investment banking for six years and learnt some good skills but it never sat entirely comfortably with me. On a trip I took to South Africa back in 2002 I did a culmination, really, of what later became Hands Up Holiday. So, it was this exploring the destination of South Africa, going on Safari and enjoying all the sights and sounds of Cape Town. Then, what made the trip really transformational and, for me, life-changing was that I also helped to build a house for a family in one of the townships.
As I say, it was transformational for me and I thought, "I've learnt these good business skills and why don't I put it into something that I'd find a bit more enriching and fulfilling and help other travelers to experience what I've had, which was actually getting to know the local people and here their stories and make an impact in their lives. It felt great to do that.
That was, as I say, back in 2002 and I spent a couple of years traveling the world before launching the business in 2006 up in the UK. Actually I got a couple of things wrong when we launched, fairly significant things. One, I thought that the UK was going to be my main market, and two, I thought that young professionals, people like myself at the time, cash-rich time-poor, were going to be a our main segment of clients. As I said, I got those wrong and really from the beginning it's been Americans and it's been families who have really dominated this business for us.
The Americans part I can understand to an extent, but it still surprised me. But much more so with the families because I didn't have kids of my own at the time and it just wasn't on my radar at all that they'd want to travel with us. When I asked them why they were booking, they were saying things like, "We just found it great from a family-bonding perspective," and they said, "This is fantastic for our kids who, you know we come from quick privileged background and for them to really see how most people live and really appreciate just how fortunate they are," yeah. That's really resonated and over the years I decided to, well, actually thanks to you, focus on one target market for that business, being families and targeting primarily affluent families in the US is our single target market there, so that was the very first business.
I think, having said that, when I had my first encounter personal encounter with you, Dean, we were focusing on the second business that I developed which was Hands Up Incentives which was looking at the corporate market. That really came about through a PA of mine who was at a charity dinner and she met a CEO of the software reseller in the UK who said, "Yeah, we do a lot of incentive trips but we're a bit sick of them just being big piss ups." She said, "Well, have I got the company for you." They ended up booking three trips with us around the world and that was, as I said, the genesis for us to think, oh, there's going to be a future in this. And started a separate division, again focusing on one target market, being corporate incentive travel. That's specialized in enhancing the CSR and engaging employees and team building and so on.
It was a fairly similar journey actually for the third business, which was Hands Up School Trips. We got one inquiry out of the blue from a school, an American international school in Lebanon of all places, who asked us if we could arrange a trip for them. I should mention that of course for the corporates and for these ones they all include this give back component to it and that's really our USP. So we did and that developed into now six trips that the school has booked with us, and again, thinking there's got to be market in the schools so we set up a third business focusing on school trips so handsupschooltrips.com. Again, all of those three are essentially very similar underlying concept of combining sightseeing with cultural immersion with a hands-on give back component to them. There's three separate websites, three very distinct target markets that we're focusing on there.
That takes us to the new business that's really, very, very fresh and literally just launched. With that one it's, as you've identified, it's quite similar to Hands Up Holidays but it deals with impact destinations and there are two really significant differences. The first being in terms of its target market, with that one we haven't focused on families and if anything it's more focused on the baby boomer generation or early retiring. But I think even more significantly the difference, and it's subtle but it's at least to my mind very significant, is in contrast to having the hands-on physical give back component such as building a house as Hands Up Holidays does have the idea behind Impact Destinations is that the traveler's philanthropic donation is what makes main difference and it's that donation which unlocks a unique experience for the traveler.
Probably the best example is on say on a trip to South Africa on one of the Safari days you fund and then get to witness a rhino relocation from a heavily poached reserve in South Africa to a safer one in Botswana. You're actually sitting in the helicopter with the vet when he darts the rhino, then you land and spend a bit of time with the sedated rhino, and then see it airlifted off to Botswana. It's about actually saving the life of a rhino through your donation and getting to witness that happening and leaving a legacy and having amazing stories to tell as result.
Dean: That's fascinating, how do you find these experiences? How do you find that impact? Is it a chicken and the egg thing, you find impact first and then find somebody to take the trip? Or does somebody want to take a trip and you find an impact experience to add on to it?
Chris: Certainly we can do both but certainly in terms of launching a business we've got to have some experiences offer in advance. I mean what we ideally want is where these experiences are unique to us, proprietary to us. For that we've really relied a lot on, over the years, whatever it is now, 15 years of developing relationships with the local partners for this business relying on them a lot. For instance with our Indonesia partner the proprietary experience we help there, it's similar to the rhino thing, they got good connections with an orangutan relocation program taking orangutans from areas that face habitat loss due to palm oil tree production and relocating them to islands where they're in protected reserves. And that is proprietary, its unique relationships through our local partner. Or it's my own contacts, similarly but not in the travel industry, so for instance here in New Zealand I've got a friend of mine who is one of the America's Cup sailors and his passion in addition to sampling is mental health. The idea is that you can make a donation to the mental health charity that he supports in return for going sailing with him.
Dean: I always look for, the way my mind works and thinks is I've got the eight profit activators running in background, that's the overlay of all of this. But then I'm also looking for analogs, I'm looking for things that would be like in a similar vein of what you're doing here, right? Which is some philanthropy and adventure travel in that kind of world there. What you just describe there, kind of three things that come to mind. And I don't know where we're going to go with all of this but that's the whole thing is we have the discussion and something will come out of it, right? Just together thinking it through. Because you're familiar, you've been through Breakthrough Blueprints and you've got the whole mindset of it. I think about something like what you just described with your America's Cup friend this charitybuzz.com, do you know that Charity Buzz?
Chris: Yes, yeah, it is quite similar.
Dean: Yeah, that's kind of a model where you can generate or procure special experiences with somebody to benefit what their charity is. That's a really interesting thing, let's put that to the side and just recognize that that's on the palate here that we'll kind of look out and explore.
Chris: Yeah, and they seem to be doing amazingly well.
Dean: Yes, so that's one avenue. Then another one that came to mind when you were talking about the relocating orangutans or rhinoceros or somewhere into a protected area is Charity Water, do you know about-
Dean: The idea behind that, that's really with done in that it's a discrete distinct thing that for $5000 you can build the well with its geographic. What are the right words? Coordinates, so that you know exactly that well is the one that you did. I did something like when Evan Pagan was the one who introduced me to that with his birthday several years ago. But when you look at what happens is that that $5000 well provides water for 200 people for some crazy number of years, right? That's in a place where people otherwise are having to travel two hours a day to get water, so high impact, right?
Dean: And you feel really good about it. Then the other thing that comes to mind in terms of the best sort of donor experience that I've ever had is with an organization called donorschoose.com. Tim Ferris introduced me to that years ago, he was doing some work with them so he was calling all his friends to get them to donate money. And so I jumped in, I donated $5000 to Donors Choose and the way that that's set up is that it's all individual teachers who are posting up individual projects that they would like to do with their class, right? Are you familiar with Donors Choose or do you know about that one?
Dean: Okay, so it's an educational charity. Teachers, here in the United States, teachers are sort of underpaid for what they do actually, notoriously.
Dean: Yeah, it probably is that way all over the world but it's notorious here in the states. They often are underfunded for doing things above and beyond the standard curriculum kind of thing. So they may want to provide experiences or do some project or learning experience or takes some trip, a field trip, a day trip with their students. And it's kind of like a Go Fund Me kind of thing where they put up the project that they'd like to do and you can choose which projects you would like to fund or which ones would like to contribute to. So you get to kind of allocate you're five thousand dollars or a thousand dollars or a hundred dollars or whatever it is they want to give to, you pick specifically, the project that you want to do.
What was the most amazing part of it is that I did that and most of these projects are not very expensive projects, I mean they're are a few hundred dollars or a couple hundred dollars some of them. So you get to spread that over several different projects. But over the next several months what would happen is I would get these packages in the mail of these envelopes with pictures and all these handwritten thank you notes from the students who got to go on this outdoor experience trip for the day and so you get pictures of the class having fun at the experience and then writing thank you notes about the best thing that they learned and they put it all in an envelope and mail it to the donor made that possible. So from a reward sense of the feeling of that what you did really made a difference that was the best sort of experience that I've had in terms of the feeling like my gift made a difference, right?
Chris: No doubt.
Dean: Steve Carell. Not Steve Carell, he's the late-night guy that took over for David Letterman. Stephen Colbert, Stephen Colbert.
Chris: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Dean: You know Stephen? Yeah, yeah. So he lives in South Carolina and a couple of years ago he funded all of the projects in South Carolina at the end of the year. So it was like $800,000 worth of projects that were listed in South Carolina and he made a donation and funded all of them.
Chris: That's fantastic.
Dean: Right, and because he grew up in South Carolina, he lives in South Carolina, his mother I think was a teacher and so there's a lot of things where you feel like, wow, what you're doing is really making a difference. So I look at these and I think that there's something to kind of take along with that to what you're talking about there, you know? To take the best of those things and maybe see how would those apply to what you're talking about here, you know? If you've got that one element where you have access to celebrities or notable people that that would be one element that you could hitch your wagon to, kind of thing. You know, as a model of what's going to drive, so that somebody would want to sail with your friend or whatever. If you start thinking about New Zealand on its own there's probably how many of those types of experiences would be possible if you were curating and packaging those. The good thing about it is that those would often come with some. You've got a built an awareness around it too, with the person.
Chris: Yeah, true.
Dean: Depending on how famous they are, you know?
Chris: Yeah, yeah, exactly. A similar example, moving slightly out of New Zealand, would be say an air trip to Italy where we've got a relationship with a Michelin star chef and you make a donation to the homeless charity that he supports in return for a cooking class with him.
Dean: Does that feel like that's what resonates with you? Of those things we were just talking about what kind of feels like a fit or not a fit, you know?
Chris: Well, I mean for sure I think what we are offering in the sense is Charity Buzz on a trip, traveling wise. So it's packaged in with the rest of an amazing very high end VIP trip. Yeah, there's definitely a lot of similarities with Charity Buzz. With the Donors Choose its interesting, one thing, obviously what you said made a big impact for you was receiving the letters from the kids. And something that we are going to be doing is kind of similar in that for the non, how do I put it? For the activity experience. Let's keep it at South Africa, and so one of those days might be the rhino relocation but another day on safari the idea is we can bring the kids from a neighboring village who have actually never been on Safari even though they live right next to it and they go with you on in the Jeep and get to see the wildlife. It's a bit similar to what you're talking about in terms of you actually see firsthand the looks on the kid's faces when they see lions and elephants a close for the first time, which is going to be pretty huge.
Charity Water, I've been a fan of for, well, since its inception actually. I've known Scott Harrison really since he kicked it off and I've done a trip with him down to Ethiopia and seen in the wells that he's created. The people that he gets to go on these trips are phenomenal, from TV actors to hedge fund managers, such an amazing model that I'm in awe of what he's done and doing.
Dean: That kind of thing where, it's a very simple thing, you know that they've got a very focused message and I believe that the way they've set that up is that 100% of the water or 100% of the donations are going towards actually doing the installing the wells and they raise funds otherwise for the administration stuff of it.
Dean: I think that it's not like every dollar that you donate goes to actually building the well kind of thing. Now there's so many things of how do you want to sort of approach it, you know? How do you start out? Do you start out with a cause and build the trips? Do you start with the destination and sort of add-on all these things around that? Or do you start with one thing, like if you think about South Africa as an example and safaris what type of experiences are there available? And is that rhino experience a ongoing opportunity to build on or do you have to add more variety to it?
Because when you look at these would be like a marquee experience for somebody in their life, right? They're not going to be a different... Like you could imagine somebody funding different Donors Choose types of projects every month or every quarter or whatever, you know? But with the experience, they're only going to go on a safari once in their lifetime, kind of thing, or maybe rarely again or infrequently. It's not going to be like an annual thing that people go on, probably. You start to think, "Okay, how do we look at this?" Are you looking to take the same people on different trips every year or are you looking to take different people on the same trip? Which there's some stability to that in a way, right?
Chris: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, you're right. I think it's probably going to be a combination of both and certainly for launching we've got a minimum of one of these experiences for the 10 destinations that we're offering. But for some locations there is already a suite of options, such as Costa Rica where we have four different experiences on offer already. One with hammerhead shark conservation, one with spinner dolphin conversation, one is jaguar conservation. And the other is just spending time with an amazing guy who has managed to secure a large tract of biodiverse rich land in Costa Rica and walking with him and learning about the biodiversity of the area.
We could in theory, well, something could do all four of those experiences in one trip or they could come back regularly and do one each time. Or they may do, one trip to Costa Rica and one trip to Chile the next year because we do have one of these experiences in, as I said, in all of the 10 destinations that we're launching with.
This will get built out over time for sure, and that's happening even now. For instance for South Africa the rhino was one example but we also in neighboring Namibia have a similar concept with relocating desert adapted giraffes from areas where they're abundant, or relatively abundant, to areas where they're scarce and we can then extend the gene pool and thus improve their survival chances. That's a new one that we're just adding now so it's definitely an ongoing process to expand them. But I think certainly right now the biggest issue is is getting that first client and then we can figure out what they're going to go do after that once we get them on board.
Dean: Well, I think that's right, that's absolutely right. That's why was asking about, the danger with something like this is to get caught up in the excitement of the potential of how many different types of trips you could do or how you can apply this model. As opposed to narrowing the focus to one thing and really building that out, building a list and the way people are almost like an audience, you know? That if you look at this, if you take a 20 year framework or a 25 year framework to this, which is always very helpful thing to see, is that it changes the intensity or the need to feel like it all has to happen right now. But if you take, 25 years is 100 quarters which is an abundance of time, you could do anything in 100 quarters, right?
So you start to look at, with a sense of what the cover of the box looks like, what the big picture is. If it's global and it's involving travel you're getting the big pieces, the baseline things, it's high net worth and ultrahigh net worth families. That you're getting all the pieces that you do know for sure are part of this puzzle and then focusing on what is it that... Because the other element of it is going to be the charity element of it or the giving back element of it as you... How do you refer to what it is? The philanthropy element of it I guess is what you're saying, right?
Chris: Yeah, the philanthropic experience.
Dean: The philanthropic element of it, so you're wrapping that in an experience but the philanthropy is the main thing of it. Some people exercise their philanthropy through different filters, right? I would start to look at what are the contexts for this, that some people may have a heart for animals and some people may have a heart for humans or children or the oppressed for the afflicted or poverty or some may have a heart for nature and hate to see the rain forest being destroyed or these sensitive ecosystems being destroyed, right? But they're different people because some people who may have a heart for children don't feel that same way about rhinos or about a butterfly species that's about be extent. However you focus the lens of it you are going down. That kind of shapes who you try to attract, you know?
Chris: Yes, yeah, for sure.
Dean: So, one of the greatest stories that I've heard in recent memory is about wayfarer.com, do know that about Wayfarer?
Dean: Okay, Wayfarer is a huge home goods company here in the US, I guess they're only in the US if you haven't heard of them but they're up billions of dollars and they kind of came out of nowhere all at once. But what they did kind of behind the scenes and underground, they're like an Amazon kind of level competitor for home goods, furnishings and all the things for your house. They started out with, and built, 270 individual e-commerce sites that were very niche specific. So that they started out, the first one they did was allbarstools.com and everything they did was bar stools. Then they did everygrandfatherclock.com and ottomanempire.com and so it was all ottomans or all bar stools, all grandfather clocks, you know? Everyroosterplate.com and these things, all rooster décor.
They started by attacking the whole by really dominating the individual ones, right? That it was the place for bar stools. And so they started building these up, making them profitable and sustaining and then rolling into the next one and the next one and the next one and then all of a sudden they had 270 of them. Hundreds of millions of dollars in sales, and they rolled it all up, venture funded. Boom, they are wayfarer.com, now out of nowhere, this dominant thing with all of these customers. They stuck up on it, right? People look at, I want to be like Wayfarer and sell everything. It's the same kind of thing here where there's no way to launch a mature Hands up Holidays or Hands Up. What you calling this one?
Chris: Impact Destinations.
Dean: Impact Destinations, there's no way to launch a fully mature Impact Destinations. You got to start with one and you've got to build out that model from there. You look at these elements and you start say, "Okay, we can take the approach of attaching to a particular destination and look for the different flavors that people can exercise philanthropy while they're coming to South Africa." Because if you say South Africa is on any high net worth individual's lifetime bucket list, right? To go on a safari is kind of like cliché in a way, right? That If you ever see on Reddit, high net worth starter kits or something like that, right? That's your bucket list, is we're going on a safari or summering in the Hamptons or whatever all those things are, that's going to be on the list of life experiences.
Now you couple that then with that person who Is a philanthropist and has a particular interest in animals or nature or humans or children or oppressed or afflicted or all the different flavors of the kinds of way that people could add on to their safari destination, you know? You're saying, are you looking that your part of this would be a two or three day add on to a ten day safari itinerary or are you looking that you would manage the entire itinerary and this is one component of it?
Chris: The latter, so we would do the whole thing.
Dean: Okay, that's what you're looking for. Yeah, okay. It's kind of an interesting thing, then it comes down to are you, because you got to have all of the main things of a Safari, right? If you're saying that somebody is going to check that box for their bucket list you've got to provide all of those experiences that they would get in any of the other safaris, right?
Dean: In addition to we're going to add this experience of the rhino experience.
Chris: For instance in South Africa typically people don't just go on safari, they'll combine it with Cape Town. So for instance we've got a private dinner with Nelson Mandela's former jailer and helicopter flights to beautiful boutique vineyards and so on. So we're arranging a very high end what somebody would be doing for an overall trip to the destination.
Dean: Yes, gotcha. Then the other way that we think about that now is selecting the target audience here is do you look for people who are going to or interested in coming to South Africa and also interested in philanthropy? Or do you target it is philanthropy in the lead and a safari added on?
Chris: I think we'd have to go with philanthropy in the lead.
Dean: It changes the tone either way, right?
Dean: What did you say?
Chris: I think we're going to go with philanthropy in the lead.
Chris: Because that's our USP.
Dean: Yes, that's where when I look at it that this is all very valuable discussion, like to have this kind of thought process is. I'm wondering now out loud here about the possibility of what percentage of the people who are taking Safari are high net worth. Let's describe why you're saying height net worth particularly. What are they going to spend on these trips including the gift, like all in.
Chris: Yeah, well for instance that rhino relocation costs $50,000 per rhino so on a per head basis if you're traveling with a partner that's obviously $25,000 a head just for that experience. And so the rest of the trip, there's no hard and fast rule on that because it all depends on how long. But for instance we've got a sample itinerary on our website which is quite long, it's about 20 days, which is unusual for the site but that's what it is for Southern Africa and it's running at about $100,000 per person, so it's up there.
Dean: Yeah, no, I get it. Part of that thing is you got to reach, because it's the same people. Like you wonder, I would always look at the approach, like what's the minimum viable interest level? Like when you look at what we're looking the intersection of is people who are high net worth and are interested in South Africa and are then the intersection would be that they would be interested in this experience of relocating the rhinos.
Dean: So what's can be the star of it? Is it somebody that really has a heart for rhinos and so much so that they're going to go to relocate this rhino and add on a safari while they're there? Or is it someone who is high net worth and is going on safari anyway and if they knew that there was a chance to also impact this rhino that that they would be inclined to do that?
Chris: Yeah, I think of the two it's probably the latter, so they're going on safari anyway and it's not like their passion is rhinos but their passion is leaving a legacy, generally, let's say.
Dean: Yes, yes, I get it. So they're probably already maybe thinking about these trips, that they're probably already thinking about their bucket list but they're also thinking about their legacy always, right?
Chris: I think so, yes.
Dean: That's an overriding thing, right? It just so happens that they're looking at South Africa as well, so that's pretty exciting. Now the reason that I go down that path is there might be an easier way. Because that's going to be a subset of your particular thing, that they are high net worth, that they are already interested in South Africa, and they're interested in relocating a rhino, that that part of it is a subset of those other two things that have to be true, do you understand what I mean by that?
Dean: That if we take the concentric circles of the entire population of the United States, let's just use that as an example, the entire population of the United States. A subset of that is the high net worth and ultrahigh net worth families in the United States which would be a subset of that, then the next subset would have to be that they're interested in or planning a sometime trip to South Africa and a subset of that group would be people who also would be interested in relocating a rhino.
Dean: So when we look at it that the subset of the people who are going to South Africa that there's some inherent way that you may be able to kind of turn your lead generation into self liquidating or sort of a profit center? If you think about, it's very similar to what we did when I was running the painting company in college, we started another company called Name Droppers and we would have college girls go out and do surveys in the neighborhoods in the evenings and on weekends with a clipboard and checklists and asking, finding people who are planning on doing any home improvement projects over the summer. You've probably heard me tell that story about looking for any home improvement project, be it painting, roofing, deck, siding, driveway, doors, pools, all of that, anything that was a home improvement project over the summer. Our goal as a painting company was to find people who wanted to get painting done.
And so to put somebody out looking for that, if we're only looking for people who are going to do painting we're missing out on some of the opportunity, you know? At each subset of the thing. These people own homes and if all we're asking is, "Hey, are planning on getting any painting? Hey, are you planning on getting any painting?" We miss out on the, "No, but we need a new roof, or, "No, but we're thinking about putting in a pool," that all of those things, you miss out on that while you are there. And the value of that is it's valuable to somebody, you know? When you look at it, that it may be an opportunity for you to kind of think like a chess master and spend your lead generation allocation on something where just finding people, high net worth people, who are considering a trip to South Africa because that list has value to not just you. By doing it you're also going to find the subset of people who are interested in moving the rhino as well.
What would happen, are you only interested in doing the trips that have that element to it? You're not going to. You don't have any interest in being a general safari organizer or packager?
Chris: Well, really not as a main business but if we get a client that says for whatever It does happens with some of our repeat clients is they say, "Yeah, you've done a great job on the overall trip and so this time we don't want to do some of volunteering, we just want to do a normal luxury vacation." And so, yeah, we'll just do it for them of course.
Dean: Maybe that's how I would go with that, because all of those things have to be true in order to get your right person there, right?
Dean: That's how I would, I think, approach it if I were taking this Wayfarer type approach to it. That I would look at, and we could replace South Africa with whatever, Costa Rica or whatever your first one, I'm just saying that you need to hone the model down to a particular one and find people who are interested in that destination who are also high net worth or ultrahigh net worth and make those a cool thing, you know?
It might be that you have that opportunity that within South Africa all of the different opportunities that are available in addition to just be rhino, like you mentioned that there are other opportunities that somebody could do, that that makes sense that you find the people who are thinking about coming to South Africa and you put aside your need for it on the front and to be just the people that are interested in the philanthropy element of it, right? So I'm saying that for a profit activator two what would be more valuable for you, and maybe you find somebody who's already... You find somebody that you could be the beneficiary of what I'm recommending for you here, that if you had access to a list of high net worth individuals who have inquired about coming to South Africa, that that would narrow down your lead generation opportunities.
Chris: Yeah, which is pretty easy to find.
Dean: There is? Okay.
Chris: Well, in terms of like a South Africa specialist operator that would be interested in that list, for sure.
Dean: Yes, or maybe they have that list, right? Maybe it's the other way around, that it would be helpful for you to have that list of people who have inquired, you know?
Dean: Those are pretty high ticket items so I imagine that it's not something that somebody is booking on a whim.
Dean: Right, I imagine that most people, like I can't imagine the tour operators are any different than any other business that I've ever encountered in their ability or willingness to nurture long-term conversion with people.
Dean: That they probably, if they're not ready to book right now, there's a lot of people falling through the cracks, you know?
Dean: I think that there may be an opportunity to go to these tour operators and partner with them on reactivating their dead leads, people who inquired over the last two years about a trip but have not yet booked a trip. Because, you know, I imagine that these tour operators have been in contact with people to give quotes or catalogs or direct whatever it is and that not everybody that gets one is going to book and they're probably so busy running the during unit of their operation that nobody is following up with the people proactively. You know, I bet there's a lot of that.
Chris: Yeah, I'm sure you're right, yeah.
Dean: That may be an interesting thing, to do a nine word email to them, right? "Hey, you still interested in... " "Are you still planning the safari?" "Are you still interested in an African safari?
Chris: Yup, yup, I like it.
Dean: Yeah. They're so much fun around that but you've got to figure out, you've got to get the model figured out, right? The equation of it. Because if that model can work for South Africa it can work for Costa Rica and it can work for any other impact destination.
Chris: Yeah, yeah.
Dean: I think that's really the distinction that I see that will make the difference here, you know? For stepwise.
Chris: Do you have thoughts on, let's say we do pare everything down to, let's say, just South Africa for the sake of argument, on how to find those leads?
Dean: Well, so what I think what my job would be, that I would look at narrowing it down to, again, a specific area. So if you take pockets, like high net worth pockets, like I would look at narrowing it down to the minimum viable cohort as for experimenting because I want to convince 1% of the people 100% of the way. Not 100% of people 1% of the way, right? I'm saying you're kind of bootstrapping this, right? It's not venture funded with a huge marketing budget to just spend in indiscretion-atly, right? That you're looking to make the dollars they spend accountable, right? Yeah, you're not saving anything or there's no advantage in the scale of it.
Chris: None at all.
Dean: It's the intensity of it, right?
Dean: If we could narrow down the field to if you take the United States and there are however many high net worth or ultra high net worth individuals there, is how do you reach those people, right? How do you find those specific ones that. And there's so much that's available right now, I mean you can find the people who have the income level, the net worth level, that you're looking for and are on record, by on record meaning with a good list broker, on record as philanthropy minded animal causes. Like all those things that I'm sharing with you are all knowable, there's so much profile information that's available that you've got access to.
That, if you've got it down to 1000 of them and you were to start with a simple postcard offering the South African safari guide, you know? There's something, I think in that kind of thing, this would be the perfect kind of opportunity. There's a new postcard product here that is the largest postcard that you can mail, that's mailable by the post office, it's like 18 x 12 or something or 20 x 12, it's a giant postcard. I think that you can imagine a huge visual of a big rhino head on this postcard with offering the guide to South African safaris, you know? Something that, again, taking all the things that we know about profit activator two, which is just getting people to raise their hand for information, right? We're compelling them. The only box that we're looking to tick right now is the next viable commitment down. We know they're high net worth, we know that they're already inclined to animal philanthropy, and now all looking at is are they interested in South Africa? And then we narrow that down and introduce the idea of, in profit activator three, the education around both the safari options that are available, you know?
Yeah. And if they're not interested in that then you've got the option to either book the standalone trip with them or have a partner who books those trips. It's all the then people who for, whatever, all the reasons that somebody might not book a trip through you to have a solution for that, for them.
Chris: Yeah, love it.
Dean: That went fast, what's your take on everything that we have talked about? How is that landing with you here?
Chris: It's landing really well, thanks Dean. Yeah, it all makes perfect sense and I like the idea of the largest postcard. One quick question on that, do you think the guide should be a guide to South Africa trips in general or do we hint at the philanthropic component in that.
Dean: No, I think of what you want to do is, we talked about more cheese, less whiskers, right? It's all cheese, it's just about the cheese at this point, the next level is that in order for somebody to be, I don't know what the right word is but it's like the father to the, or what do you call it? I wish I had paid attention in math but there's the superior or inferior, the subset is bigger, greater than the subset of the people who want to have the philanthropy, right? All we want to focus on is making sure that we're getting the largest possible pool of high net worth individuals who live in Boston, Massachusetts who are philanthropy minded with animal causes and are interested in South Africa. That's the next subset that we're looking for and then we're looking for the people that because we already know that they've got the money and they're philanthropy minded and we've got this opportunity now, you know?
Chris: Yeah. We can find that information out eventually.
Dean: Yes, of course, all within the guide, you know? Even within when people do the next things, you know? We may even, I'm just thinking now out loud if you may be able to but I wouldn't try it. Because again, what I would look for from this is to maximize the value of what you are doing because it's going to be such a micro subset of all the people who come to South Africa that are going to want to do that so I want to widen your pool as much as we can but also make that pool valuable to somebody else, you know? So that you can recoup the value of it.
Dean: Yeah. That may be, there are so much great stuff around that, but it may be even the opportunity for you to syndicate that model. Because if you figure out, with a thousand of these, that now you've got a model that can work, you know? Is it something that one in a thousand people would be interested in? Or how many people in a thousand would be interested in this? Or how we people who read the Robb Report are thinking this. Or how do you reach these people, that's really the next level of it, you know?
Chris: Yes, precisely.
Dean: Yeah. But I think that's a good start, that's the way I would look at it.
Chris: Yeah, yeah, fantastic.
Chris: Thank you so much Dean.
Dean: So there we go, are you in New Zealand for most all the time now or are you coming to the states or London.
Chris: Well, I've been to both those places relatively recently. I had some health issues which was preventing me from traveling but I'm sort of back on track and-
Dean: I remember you said that, yeah, yeah.
Chris: Yeah. And I'm off to Peru helping with a school trip, a school groups going out in a couple weeks time. Yeah, there's nothing booked going this way because it's back to London coming up. But particularly the states is very attractive, being our main source of clients.
Dean: Yeah, well there you go. I'm going to be over in your part of the world there in November this year.
Chris: Oh, really?
Dean: Yeah, I'm moving my annual Australia trip from August to November because I've gone five years in a row to Sydney in August and three of the five have just been a little bit too cold for me.
Chris: Yeah, I was going to say.
Dean: Yeah, and so I think if move it to November I'll be happier because I'd like it to be nice weather. I don't want it to be too hot but it was a little bit too cold this last year too, so November is for this year.
Chris: Nice, well let me know your dates.
Dean: I will, absolutely. It will be the second half of November but I don't know the specific dates yet but as soon as I do I'll let you know for sure.
Chris: Fantastic, I know I've got one trip to Bali in November but I don't know those exact dates myself. But yeah, I'd love to be able to reunite with you.
Dean: Yes, that would be awesome. Okay, well I really enjoyed it. I always love talking with you, Chris. It's a great thing.
Chris: Thanks, Dean, it's always a pleasure. Thank you.
Dean: Okay, I'll talk to you soon, bye.
Chris: Yes, bye.
Dean: And there we have it, another great episode, thanks for listening in. If you want to continue the conversation or go deeper into how profit activator is going apply to your business, two things you can do. Right now you can go to MoreCheeseLessWhiskers.com and you can download a copy of the More Cheese, Less Whiskers book and you can listen to the back episodes of course, if you're just listening here in iTunes. Secondly, the thing that we talk about in applying all of the eight profit activators are part of the Breakthrough DNA process and you can download a book and a scorecard and watch a video all about the eight profit activators at BreakThroughDNA.com. And that's a great place to start the journey in applying this scientific approach to growing your business, that's really the way we think about Breakthrough DNA, as an operating system that you can overlay on your existing business and immediately look for insights there. So that's it for this week, have a great week and we will be back next time with another episode of More Cheese, Less Whiskers.