I got a note from Sam’s teacher last night that his behavior was dramatically improved. I knew that he’d tried his best yesterday when Julia and I picked him up from school. He was beaming and couldn’t wait to show us the smiley face on his agenda.
Later, while he and I were at drum lessons, Julia took the other three to the library. Our lesson ran about thirty minutes long, so she took them up the street to Southern Range Brewing Co. When Sam and I walked up to join them the place was packed.
Now I’ve been this bar a time or two, and I’ve seen it pretty busy, but last night was something else. It was slam full with people spilling out the doors. Standing room only. In fact, the children were banished outdoors to play because there was no room for them to sit inside.
It was Trivia Night.
(Side note, lest you think us in poor taste: we weren’t the only people who brought their children to a brewery, so they were in good company.)
Anyway the place was packed and we got our butts kicked at trivia before heading home for supper.
I woke up this morning wondering why it was so packed last night. What was different?
Was it the beer? Nope, Dustin brews it right, but it’s always there.
Was is the service? Nope, the barkeeps do a great job but they’re always there.
Was it Kiki's pimento cheese? Nope. That’s good stuff too, but you can always get it there.
The difference was the trivia.
The trivia was the little extra, the add-on. The special touch that brought in an enormous amount of people on an otherwise mundane night. A simple idea that probably doubled or tripled their business while making a trip to the bar just a little bit better.
It didn’t take much effort. Dustin, the owner, called out the questions as teams wrote their answers on sheets of paper. After a set of questions the papers were exchanged and graded by another team. At the end of the night, the team with the highest score wins.
Trivia. So simple.
That got me thinking about my own business. Like Southern Range, we have add-ons that make our clients’ experiences just a little bit better. Things like including professional staging for our sellers at no additional charge and providing an up-front home inspection so there are no surprises later. We also have an in-house attorney so that folks don’t have to attend closings - they can sign right at our office.
People love that stuff, so we’re happy to do it. But the thing the love the most came from an idea that Lloyd had years ago.
We bought a moving van.
Moving is a mess, and can be really stressful. By handing over the keys to our van when people stop by to sign their paperwork we save them the step of having to rent a U Haul truck. It’s a simple thing that makes their lives a little bit easier and the experience of moving a little bit better.
To be honest, I was amazed. I didn’t think it would really matter to folks, but I was wrong. I run into clients all the time who moved years ago and they still talk about how great it was to just pick up our van.
Sometimes the simplest efforts yield the biggest results.