I wrote, earlier this summer, of a book I was reading The Secrets of Great Rainmakers.
In one of the chapters, the author tells a story of a tailor who turned 6into $60,000 in sales. The story goes that the customer needed suspenders repaired and shop after shop was unable to help him. The final shop offered to fix the suspenders and replace all of the buttons and asked no money. The customer was so impressed that the store manager was later able to point to $60k in revenue that came from that customer, his family, his friends and colleagues over the years.
But the sales generated came from the original FREE – no catch, no small print, no ulterior motives – 6 buttons.
Sounds like a fairy tale you tell your sales force before you tuck them into bed, doesn't it?
Who offers anything FREE anymore? Even buy one get one free offers usually end up costing something beyond the initial "buy one" portion of the deal.
My son is taking gym this summer so he can fit in all the courses he wants during the school year, well, that and summer gym is cool: rock climbing, bowling, swimming, canoeing and this week he's biking. 100 miles. 25 miles a day.
I picked him up yesterday and hear a tale of woe in which, as he biked, he kept dropping things which made him slower than the rest of the group. One of the things that kept falling off was his bike helmet. Turns out he was missing the clips that attach the helmet under your chin. A lot of good the helmet would have done if he'd actually fallen.
Anyway, the gym teacher pointed me toward a bike shop just up the road from the trail. We had a nice lunch together and then walked up the trail to the shop, helmet in tow.
The sales person suggested a new helmet as my son's was worn and an older model but said that he also had clips available to fix his existing helmet. Well, you can't blame the guy for trying to make a sale and the helmet is old, but my son will finish the bike requirements and probably never get on the bike again, so it didn't seem like a worthwhile investment.
The salesperson returned and had repaired the helmet and replaced the clips and said "no charge."
Now – we were clearly not shoppers and he probably figured out that we might not be shoppers in the near future. There would be no future $60k in bike equipment sales coming from my family.
Yet still he did the work, replaced the parts and all for no charge.
FREE was REALLY free.
Do you ever offer something free just cuz you can? What reaction do you get?
At Pearle Vision when someone would come in for adjustments or cleaning of their glasses most expected to pay a little something for the service; especially if we replaced nose pads or screws. But our policy was that cleaning and adjustments were free. Really free.
I loved the look of surprise and joy on their faces. Sort of the look on my face yesterday.
By the way – if you are in Peninsula, OH, the place is called Century Cycles, 330-657-2209.
Consider giving something free to a customer tomorrow and watch their face!
Deborah Chaddock Brown