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The Mover Conference Part 1 - Introduction and Keynote speaker

Dec 17, 2013
Delegates from a wide cross section of the moving industry gathered at Silverstone’s brand new multi-million pound exhibition and banqueting centre on 21-22 October for The Mover magazine’s first conference.

The event ran alongside the Movers and Storers Show, which also gave delegates the opportunity to visit stands and bring themselves bang up to date with the latest products and services.


The Mover’s Deputy Editor, David Jordan opened the conference by saying that the aim of the event was to bring people together from all levels of the moving industry, from those just starting out, to industry veterans who had spent a lifetime building successful businesses. The conference was truly open to everyone and its aim was to share ideas and experiences for the benefit of all concerned.


David explained that this was not going to be a ‘sit and listen’ conference and that active discussion and debate on the subjects raised during the business sessions would be the main thrust of the event.  Needless to say - this being the moving industry - there was no shortage of input from the floor, all given in a positive and good humoured spirit.


This was certainly a conference with a difference.  The more traditional five-star hotel and black tie gala dinner was replaced by a raucous party with live entertainment, a free bar and simple but excellent food, all served in David Coultard’s snoozebox Hotel in the heart of the Silverstone circuit.  Not surprisingly, day two of the conference was a few minutes late getting underway!


Keynote Speaker: Madam Becky

Words of wisdom from the world’s oldest profession


Here at The Mover we believe in doing things a little differently, so when it came to choosing a keynote speaker for our conference we decided to break with tradition and bring a little spice to the show. Becky Adams is a former brothel madam who for more than 20 years ran a successful business in the Home Counties delivering, as she puts it, excellent customer servicing where the client always comes first! Many of the lessons she learnt during her time in the sex industry can be applied to any business, including what is perhaps the world’s second oldest profession - the moving industry.


Becky’s talked about engaging with customers, not making assumptions about what they really want, and realising their fears and anxiety when they make contact for the first time. Becky gave an example of a typical punter calling Madam Becky’s for the first time. The nervous caller would say something like this. “Hello, how much is it to see Fifi for half an hour?” It would be easy just to give a price, but that would probably be the end of the conversation.


Although the punter is asking what Fifi’s service costs that’s not the main reason for his call, what he really wants is reassurance and to get a feel of what the place is like. So, instead of just saying £60, Becky would start a conversation by asking if he’d been before and inviting him to pop by and take a look at the facilities and merchandise before making a booking. It’s the same when somebody calls your company and asks the price of a move. They ask for a price because at that stage it’s the only question they can ask, but what they really want is to talk to someone they feel they can trust and help them in an unfamiliar situation. Some customers won’t have moved for many years and will be as nervous as Becky’s punter. Talk to your customers and be genuinely interested in them was the message.


Interestingly, while preparing for her presentation Becky phoned a number of removals companies and asked for a price to move a three-bed semi about 20 miles, none of them she felt, dealt with her enquiry in an engaging way and just gave the minimum of information.


Becky went on to talk about making assumptions about what people really want. “In my industry people would probably think the most popular girls would be 19- year old underwear models with blonde hair and firm trim figures, but actually that’s not true.  Most men prefer curvy women in their thirties and forties who are more experienced, rather than a teenage student who’s more interested in texting her boyfriend than doing the business and making the client happy.” 


Becky was making the point that it’s easy to make assumptions about customers, but that everyone is different and should be treated as an individual. Again, talking to customers and satisfying their individual needs is the key to success.


Following the presentation delegates were able to put questions to Becky and gain a rare insight into the world’s oldest profession. It was clear that making a success of keeping a brothel was a much more difficult task than running a removals company, but that engaging with people and treating them with kindness and respect is common to both professions.


Becky’s award winning book, Madam – Prostitutes, Punters and Puppets is available in bookshops and online – highly recommended!

Photos: Top -  Becky Adams delivers her keynote speech; above - book sales appear to be going well.

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