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If You Don’t Offer S’mores…You Should!

February 24 2010

Show me a man who cannot bother to do little things and I'll show you a man who cannot be trusted to do big things.
~Lawrence Bell

It was just a s’more.

smoreYes, I’m talking about a graham cracker, a little chocolate and a marshmallow. It probably had a cost of a half-cent to the business offering it, but that s’more made an impact. It symbolized a small act of kindness and generosity—with no expectations attached—that made a lasting impression.

And THAT, my friends, is what each of us MUST replicate if we want OUR businesses to last and thrive in today’s unpredictable economy.

People are interesting, aren’t they?

The personalities, the opinions, the baggage we all carry. But this “s’more experience” I’m going to tell you about reminded me of just how simple we can be…how little it actually takes to make us happy and to make a lasting impression. Let me explain…

If you’re ever in La Quinta, CA, you MUST eat at The Homestead Restaurant. Not only will you have one of the best meals of your life, but you’ll also get a massive lesson (from the welcome to the goodbye) in true, lasting and meaningful customer service. No matter what your profession—take note!

As we walked into the lobby of The Homestead for dinner, it was crowded—very crowded. Always a good sign for a restaurant. But I didn’t feel like I was in a restaurant. I felt like I was in a comfy country resort just relaxing the day away.

While waiting to be seated at our table, they placed us in front of a quiet fireplace with calming music playing in the background. I noticed young families, older couples, middle-agers, twenty-somethings…all types and ages of people around me. Another good sign.

Here’s where it starts getting really brilliant…

A nice young woman soon came around with a tray full of graham crackers, chocolate squares and marshmallows. You guessed it—complimentary s’mores while you wait.

We roasted our marshmallows together over the fire, and we had fun with that simple task. The gooey fingers, the delicious hot marshmallow melting into the cool chocolate and the crunchy graham cracker…makes your mouth water just thinking about it, doesn’t it?

Now, if that was not memorable enough, it got even better.

There was an elderly couple sitting next to us while we waited. The hostess recognized them because they’d come in and had lunch there that same day (she even remembered they’d had the chicken pot pie!).

As she was helping them get their ingredients off the tray, the elderly woman—rather sheepishlytold the hostess that they’d only come back to have a s’more. They weren’t going to eat supper, as they were still full from lunch, but just needed a little something sweet.

The hostess then made a decision that will dramatically increase revenue for The Homestead Restaurantguaranteed...

She said so sincerely, “You all come in ANYTIME for a s’moreit doesn’t matter if you eat a meal or not. We just love seeing you!”

You could tell they were so pleased and touched by her kindness. It was evident on their faces.

Now, you may be thinking, “How could THAT dramatically increase revenue? It was just one older couple and a s’more.”

Here’s the deal…

You know as well as I do that that couple will tell absolutely EVERYONE they know about their experience at The Homestead Restaurant in La Quinta, CA. However, the other 30-plus other people who were in the lobby waiting and listening will as wellme being one of them. Heck! I’m even writing an article about it that thousands will read!

That small act of kindnessthat inexpensive s’moreand those kind words will come back to that business ten-fold.

What are the “s’mores” of your business? And, no, I’m not saying to give your clients or agents or students s’mores every time you see them! You know what I mean…

What are the small touches, the meaningful words, the spirit of sincerity you offer that make a lasting and memorable impression on people?

For our clients, we simply send them a book we know they’d like. Not an expensive one. Just one we know would mean something to them based on what we’ve learned about them.

But these thingsthe small touchesdon’t have to cost money. In fact, some of the best ones don’t!

For example, we also make a point of being sure that every single communication people have with us or from us (whether in person, by phone or by email), is kind and personalized. For instance, you wouldn’t believe the compliments we get simply because we take a few extra seconds to add personal touches and comments in our email communications with people.

Here’s the bottom line:

If you want repeat clients…

If you want referrals…

If you want word-of-mouth marketing working for you…

If you want to be trusted with the “big things” in people’s lives…

Or if you just want to be a good person…

Practice the “s’more” style of customer service.

Give with no expectations.

Do those little things and you WILL be trusted with the big things.