I was on a trip with my dad for a couple of days, and he told a story that stuck wit
h me - it was one that I hadn’t heard before. He was talking about the days when our family owned a dealership. As in most dealerships, there was a coffee area by the service center. We upgraded the old Bunn burners and diner coffee pots with white styrofoam cups to a Keurig type configuration with some thicker paper cups and even a selection of creamers. It was decadent - and the people loved it. He said that customers would stop in just to get a cup of coffee, and a few came by on their way to work every morning. Now some may think - those cheapskates, they’re just taking advantage - we should cut the coffee bar or put a limit on it.
But I loved my dad's response when asked how he handled it at a dealer meeting. He simply said, “I bought them lids.” He bought them lids so they could get their coffee to go. And then he went on to say how going to a dealership usually feels like going to a dentist - nobody really likes it, but they do it out of necessity. But he knew that having customers that actually WANT to stop in their dealership every morning to say hello and get a cup of coffee was a win.
Isn’t that what it’s all about? I wonder how much we spent in lids over the years, compared to how many people they told about the dealership they loved, spurring on word of mouth strategy that generated sales - not to mention their repeat business. The lesson? GET THE LIDS. Always get the lids.