You won’t believe what this tour guide didn’t know…

tour guide

Did you hear the one about the tour guide in Frankfurt, Germany who can’t speak or read German? 

This is no joke. 

In September, “Michael_S,” gave this guide a 1-star review after hiring him for a private tour around the city. 

From Michael’s review: “…this tour company has very poor standards for who qualifies as a tour guide. While it was clear we were not getting a professional/licensed guide, the guide (who was friendly and nice) did not speak or read German (a problem when one tours Frankfurt), had only been in Frankfurt from Indonesia for one year, and had not visited any of the museums we went to.” 


I found this review because Melissa and I are headed to France on Friday. 

(Shhhhhh! Don’t tell the burglars). 

We have an 8-hour layover in Frankfurt before we fly to Marseille. 

So we’re going to hire a tour guide and spend a few hours exploring the city. 

I take most reviews with a grain of salt. So I was not going to disqualify this tour company based only on Michael’s feedback. 

But then I read the company’s response. 

“Thank you for taking the time to share your honest feedback…” 

(So far so good.) 

“In all our information, we highlight that we provide unscripted walking tours through the city with a local…” 

(True but “unscripted” was not the complaint.)

“…just as you would see a city if you had a friend showing you around.” 

(Funny, if I visit Germany and hang out with my friend who is a “local,” I would expect him to speak and read the LOCAL LANGUAGE, and I would expect him to be familiar with top local sites.) 

“As they are not professional tour guides—they do not have a detailed knowledge of the city’s history that’s why we always share our concept and let our clients know when you book a tour with us.” 

Note: Here’s the “concept” the tour company shares on its site: “Connect with a Frankfurt local who will show you around their city like a friend and introduce you to the neighborhoods that they know and love. Gain an insight into German culture, traditions, and everyday life; visit only the sights that interest you; and receive recommendations on where to eat, drink, and shop.” 

(Ummm, when I read “…gain an insight into German culture, traditions, and everyday life…” I assume the guide has “knowledge of the city’s history.” 

And then, the kicker: “It is our hope that the conversations you had with your (guide) helped you connect with them on a personal level.”  

(Oh my!) 

I don’t believe customers are always right – especially some of the customers who post nasty online reviews. 

But poor Michael_S had a point here. 

This is a story about taking responsibility – or in this case, shirking responsibility – for your mistakes. 

It’s OK – in fact it’s critical – to say, “Sorry. We blew it…” when you blow it. 

Sorry we gave you set you up with a “local” who’s actually a recent (one year) transplant from another country. 

Sorry your guide didn’t know the local language. 

Sorry your guide wasn’t familiar with the sites you wanted to visit. 

It’s OK – in fact it’s critical – to say, “We’ve learned from our mistake, and we’ve taken steps to fix it.” 

Excuses, deflections, and sugar-coating don’t fly. They tell prospects you don’t get it. They tell prospects you don’t really care. 

That’s why Melissa and I will choose a different tour company on Saturday.

(I’ll let you know how that goes.) 

Before I go, Dean Isaacs and I will guide you to measure what matters in your marketing and sales. 

We’re hosting another 5in25 training tomorrow…

Metrics that Matter —
5 Things to Measure
in Your Marketing and Sales. 

 5 tips delivered in 25 minutes, followed by Q&A. 

When: Thursday, November 10, 5 p.m. ET, 4 p.m. CT

Where: Zoom meeting (linked shared on event details page)

RSVP: On LinkedIn event page.


As year-end planning begins, what goals are you setting? What metrics matter?

Marketing masters Dean Isaacs and Tom Ruwitch will reveal:

✅ The key metrics that TRULY measure marketing success.

✅ Which “vanity metrics” you should ignore.

✅ The reason smart marketers are willing to “lose money” to acquire a new customer.

…and more. 

This will be a 5-star training!

I hope to see you there. 

p.s. I help coaches, consultants, and business leaders discover and deliver powerful stories that captivate prospects and inspire them to act. Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”

3) Become a Story Power VIP in the Content Transformation Academy: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Weekly masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.

4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

5) Invite me to speak at an event: I can tailor a presentation that meets the specific needs of your organization. Informative. Entertaining. Virtual or live. Potential for continuing education credits when applicable for your group. If interested, reply to this email and change the subject line to “Speaking Engagement.” I’ll circle back to discuss the possibilities.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.