behind the wheel. After about 10 seconds, he motions towards us to roll down our window. Surprised, intrigued and a bit concerned, I lower the passenger side window.
“How’s that apple?” he asked.
“Great! I love apples for a snack,” my wife replied.
“I know… They’re so crispy and juicy. Can’t go wrong with an apple,” he stated. “Well, have a nice day” he finished with.
“You too,” my wife answered.
And like that, up went the windows and there ended the conversation. Not a typical occurrence for us, casual fruit conversation with a passerby in a vehicle. It was different, unexpected, and made us smile. It was a nice surprise for the day.
As small business owners, you have an opportunity every day to engage customers with an unexpected and appreciated surprise. One year, I remembering picking up long-stem carnations in a variety of colors and having the sales staff hand them out to all female customers who walked into the store on Mother’s Day Weekend. Unadvertised, non-promotional – Just a nice surprise for the women who came in. At the same business, we also created “private label” high-definition water we would offer to guests for free, a fun play on words customers could relate to, and would make them laugh and smile.
The pressure to differentiate yourself from other retailers and online competitors is real, and the ability to set yourself apart is possible. It can be as simple as saying “Hello,” or handing out a coupon, or offering a free bottle of water… or apple. Midwest Express Airlines (now defunct) was known as much for their in-flight chocolate chip cookies as they were for their two-across seating and amazing on-time arrival numbers.
Don’t miss your next opportunity to “wow” your customers with a memorable and smile-provoking surprise. It could be as easy as asking, “How’s that apple?” but will leave a positive and lasting impression.
Read. Learn. Laugh.
Random thoughts, comments & opinions.