It was a cold, dark, rainy night in 1997. Colin Beveridge and a friend were trying to hitchhike their way to Paris, and it wasn’t working out very well. Soaked and cold to the bone, they had little hope to flag a ride.
Suddenly, an icecream van drove up and pulled over. The driver had finished work and was on his way home. And hey, why would you not stop to pick up a hitchhiker?
That event made Colin into a loyal fan of the brand. I don’t know if it’s because Ben & Jerry’s tell their employees to just be really cool people, or if the driver acted on a whim, taking a risk – but it’s not relevant.
What matters is that ‘the brand’ did something that my friend Sandi Amorim told me about last week.
I was complaining a bit: I’d seen several leads come in that week, each of which seemed keen to work with me – but then they all went cold. An odd and rare occurrence.
So she said: “Martin, you need to surprise and delight.”
The very next day, I got an email from a lady in the U.S. She came in with a large project and a low budget, but she wanted to talk to me anyway.
I pulled up her site and called her. Right after we had said our hellos I asked her permission to provide a few tips on how to increase conversion on her site. (Simple things: I gave her a better call to action, told her to move her optin form, install ViperBar etc.)
She was thrilled. She was indeed surprised and delighted. The call went very well and within an hour we ended up settling on a brief at a third of the original size, with an big increase in budget.
Whether it’s you or your employees – always make sure your customer deals with a cool person.
Surprise and delight. It works.