When was the last time you were so impressed with an airport lounge that you took pictures, told all your friends and colleagues about the experience and wrote an article about it being an example for all professional services businesses to follow? Never? Neither had I … until now.

What if the experiences you created for your prospects and clients motivated them to do something like this for you? How much easier would it be to attract and retain Ideal Clients? How much less money, time and effort would you have to invest in traditional prospecting, marketing and selling systems?

My wife, Anne, and I were traveling recently to the U.K. for business and added a few days in Vienna on the front end of the trip to visit family. We were disappointed to have a four-hour layover at London’s Heathrow airport on the way from the U.S. to Vienna, but that was the best we could do. Then we discovered the Virgin “Clubhouse” airport lounge and that experience transformed a long layover into a relaxing afternoon.

First, we visited the British Airways lounge because that was the airline on which we had traveled from San Diego to London on our way to Vienna. Wholly unimpressed, we left. We happened to walk by the Virgin “Clubhouse” airport lounge and remembered that through a credit card perk we had access. We had plenty of time, so we decided to check it out. Wow! Every element of the experience was impressive. From the way we were greeted by the staff at the entry to every person and amenity inside the “clubhouse,” it was a superior experience to any we had on any airlines in any capacity.

While you read about the details, think about how this relates to the level of value and service you could provide to attract and retain financially successful clients. At the end of the article, there are a few questions that will help you and your team take your business to the next level.

First of all, consider the name. Every other airline has a lounge. Virgin has a “clubhouse.” As we entered the “clubhouse,” it was an expansive, open-floor plan. The decor was modern with lots of glass and plenty of natural light. Immediately to the left as we entered was a luggage check area with an attendant who greeted us with a warm smile and was ready to accept our carry-on bags and ensure their safety.

Most “lounges” have a self-service area with shelves by the door where you can store your luggage … at your own risk of theft. It’s always empty, as all the travelers tote their bags into the lounge because nobody wants to risk leaving their luggage on those unattended shelves. Moving further to the left of the luggage check area there was a complimentary shoeshine attendant who also greeted us warmly. Then there was an amazing sandwich, salad and seafood bar staffed by a friendly man who looked like a real chef prepared to make us whatever we wanted, fresh. It was more like a New York deli than a Subway sandwich shop. Most lounges have premade sandwiches and food at a crappy little self-service buffet. Next up was a sit-down restaurant with an excellent menu. Did I mention that this is 100% complimentary? Beyond that was a really cool bar area with a pool table, giant televisions displaying the current sporting events and a second level specializing in Grey Goose martinis.

On that second level there is also an open-air garden with plants, trees and seating. You remember, we are at an airport, right? In the center there is a variety of comfortable chairs and tables perfect for working or relaxing. Free Wi-Fi with no password required, of course. On the far wall, behind a glass wall, there is a series of very stylish living room environments where an entire family or group of friends could gather with some privacy for themselves and would not be a bother to the other guests in the lounge if they were engaged in conversation. Next, along that back wall, is the spa. That’s right, the spa! The spa has a salon where some of the guests were getting haircuts.

Did I mention this was all complimentary? We had a look at the spa treatment menu, which included a variety of facials, manicures, pedicures, haircuts and massages, and scheduled our chair massages. We then had a look around the shower and hot tub area. We were so thankful for our four-hour layover! And we were taking pictures like tourists visiting the Colosseum in Rome. We had time before our massages to have a bite to eat and returned to the sandwich, salad and seafood bar for our meal. Here are just a few of the many pictures we snapped, and if you want to see more, go to http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/us/en/travel-information/airport-guides/london-heathrow/clubhouse.html for more details and photos of the Virgin Clubhouse.

If this is how we’re treated on the ground, can you imagine how much better Virgin must be to fly? We’ve never flown Virgin Atlantic Airways. Do you think we will look for an opportunity to fly them now? Of course! And what airline will we think of every time we enter any other airline lounge for the rest of our lives? Not to mention the number of people who will read this article and go to their Web site as a result.

Perhaps the most entertaining part of the experience was on our return trip from London to San Diego a couple of weeks later when we asked the British Airways staff person inside our LHR departure terminal if there was a Virgin Clubhouse lounge in this terminal. She informed us that there wasn’t and, with sincerity, told us that the BA lounge was just as nice. She really had no idea that the competition was playing the game at a level she didn’t know existed.

The point of this article is not to encourage you to convert your office into a clubhouse. The point is to get you thinking about how you can play the FA game at a level your competition doesn’t know exists so you can attract and retain more financially successful clients. These clients are currently doing business with other advisors and institutions and you won’t inspire them to move to you by providing basically the same value and service a little bit better.

What about you, your firm and your team? How will you improve your client value and your client service to that level the competition doesn’t even know exists? What is your commitment to the highest possible standard? Will you examine every element of the prospect and client experience for ways to improve? Might you be resting on your laurels while some other FA in your community is quietly creating the financial services equivalent of the “Virgin Clubhouse” that will steal your clients away when they discover it exists? How will you improve the experience to retain your Ideal Clients? How will you improve your prospect and client experience to the level that will help you “rescue” Ideal Clients so they move from their existing FA to you? How can you play the FA game at a level your competition doesn’t even know exists?

Bill Bachrach is considered to be our industry’s leading authority on the subject of building high-trust client relationships. To learn more about how his company can help you create your Ideal Life by building an Ideal Business exclusively with Ideal Clients, go to www.billbachrach.com or call 858-558-3200.