Turning Chance Encounters Into Business Deals

Tahiti Private Expeditions

PHOTO: Rodolphe Holler

My professional life is full of running into people by chance, and turning those chance encounters into working relationships. One such encounter in September is now a partnership that both of us expect to be fruitful and fulfilling.

Each year, I attend the Monaco Yacht Show in the end of September. It’s become a far bigger show in recent years, with a more frenetic pace. There simply isn’t enough time to sit down with everyone the way I want. Plus, because the show is so busy, either I run late or someone meeting me gets delayed (or both!). So, I joke that I do some of my best business as I scurry along the docks or wait for a fellow attendee. Inevitably, I run into someone good to catch up with, and even a brief two-minute chat turns into a golden opportunity to pursue further.

This past September, one such golden opportunity arose. Earlier this week, we formally announced our partnership.

I co-own another company called Superyacht Storytellers. It’s a boutique company that writes, designs, and publishes beautifully bound, custom coffee table books. We work with superyacht owners and industry companies, bringing their oral histories to new life. At the yacht show, while I was searching for a late-running rep, Christelle Holler of Tahiti Private Expeditions saw me. Christelle is not just one of the nicest people in yachting, she’s also one of the most professional. She and her husband Rodolphe co-own Tahiti Private Expeditions, which customizes dive services, logistics, and itineraries throughout the South Pacific. In fact, Tahiti Private Expeditions is the leader for these VIP experiences. It turns out, Christelle was trying to find a late-running appointment, too. When she posed the familiar question “What’s new?” I asked her if she had heard about Superyacht Storytellers. She hadn’t, so I gave her our 30-second elevator pitch (as any proper fellow professional would do!), and suggested we might collaborate.

Have you ever had a moment where a virtual light bulb goes off above someone’s head? That happened with Christelle. She was intrigued straight away. We arranged to talk further after the boat-show madness settled down. Within about a month of our additional talk, we had a deal. Her clients seek Tahiti Private Expeditions’ expertise in finding the best cruising and diving spots, and appreciate its discreet, personalized service. It provides an experienced dive guide to come aboard the clients’ yachts, so that they have even more memorable experiences. In addition, some clients celebrate special events in the course of their trip. Since Tahiti Private Expeditions sometimes sends a photographer or videographer along with the dive guide, Christelle realized that these experiences would make for a beautiful book.

In the course of customizing itineraries, Tahiti Private Expeditions will now inform select clients about what Superyacht Storytellers can do. If they’re interested, Christelle and her team will provide our contact details. This way, we can discuss directly the creative possibilities.

All of this because both of us were trying to figure out when our appointments would shake out. Life works in mysterious ways.

To read full details about the partnership, visit the Superyacht Storytellers blog.

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