I was sailing off Corfu (a couple of years ago) when the weather turned rather unpleasant and we got storm bound for a day. We had made a run for a safe harbour the day before and now sat in a taverna at Sivota (Mourtos) on mainland Greece having breakfast. Outside there was thunder and lightning, and the rain was being blown sideways across dark, heavy sea. Our lead skipper confirmed what we already knew: there would be no sailing that day.
It was 9.30am, and at that moment forty plus people sat in the taverna, wondering how they would fill their day. There were children of all ages and it was pouring with rain outside.
It was then that the owner of the taverna swept into action! Out he came with trays of fruit juice; one for everyone and free of charge. Twenty or so minutes later he was back with more trays, this time full of glasses of water. A little while later he was back again with shot glasses of a coffee-based drink. Soon after there were bowls full of crisps and other nibbles; all gifts to us. Then a while later he was back with another ‘round’ of water.
The amazing thing was that most people had stayed in his taverna. Some had braved the rain outside and come back with books, homework and games. Everyone was settled in. And, guess what? It was now late morning. The first beers were ordered and then lunches were starting to be ordered.
This taverna owner was a very clever man. Every twenty minutes or so he gave us a reason to stay in his taverna; there were plenty more outside that we could have gone to. Each time we got a drink or some nibbles we had a reason to stay in his taverna. And, most of us stayed. And, most of us went on to buy drinks and lunch. Many stayed all day! We went for a walk.
Come back to your business
So, what can you learn from this? It’s simple. What can you offer your clients, which will get them to come back to your business, time and again, rather than try another?
If you need any ideas please give me a call.