I was online when I saw a banner ad for a major hotel. It was very simple. It was a photo of a phone charger plugged into an outlet and stated “From phone chargers to curling irons. You forget it. We provide it.” This advertisement really stood out to me because normally when searching for a hotel I think location and price, I’d never consider that this was something to expect from a hotel but it appealed to me. I’ve forgotten to pack a phone before charger when traveling. In my experience this isn’t something you notice you forgot until you need it. When you are in a strange city, you have an itinerary and don’t know your way around, so having to find the time and the place to get a phone charger can be very inconvenient.
After relating to the benefits of this service as a customer I decided to look at it as a business professional. Why offer this service? Why go out of your way to stock things that no one else in your field does? Things your business could run without? To stand out.
In a previous blog Why People Do and Don’t Do Business With You, we talked about how Apple Inc. continues to flourish in the electronics game at high prices because of the quality of their unique product. This is an example of standing out on a larger scale but the Hotel ad made me think of how even smaller scale activities can set your business apart.
Yes, we all have certain business guidelines depending on our different fields when it comes to client relations but a little goes a long way. Taking the time to send holiday cards to customers, a bereavement arrangement after a loss, flyers, and bringing coffee to a business meeting or even just offering them a beverage when they enter your office can sometimes set you apart.
Think of it like this: 5 minutes of your time today could stick with them 5 years from now.