Why 'free salads' are important to you business

A Free Salad at the Restaurant

Picture this. Man and wife go out to dinner at their favourite eatery. The wife orders a meal that comes with 3 pieces of fish. When the meal is served it turns out that each piece of fish is rather large. She does not finish the entire meal. In fact she leaves 2 pieces of fish un-touched.

A few weeks later it is dinner time. Although the man and wife are not very hungry they feel they should eat something to keep them going over-night until morning. They remember the generous portions that came with the fish meal at their favourite eatery and drive on over. As they enter the restaurant the clever wife suggests they order the fish and share the meal.

The husband enthusiastically agrees and places the order with the attendant. The attendant is switched on. He "up-sells" this customer to the next meal up-size which comes with 1 extra piece of fish. This means the husband and wife can have 2 pieces each. The "up-sized" meal comes with a choice of soup or salad. The husband chooses the salad. The couple are extremely impressed that, for very little extra money, they have bought one single meal that will truly feed them both.


Whilst waiting at their table for the meal to be served the attendant asks if they would like their salad before the fish is served. Believing this to be a good idea they thank the attendant for his helpful suggestion and they accept it without hesitation. They make a request that 2 forks come out on the salad plate so they can share it.

When the salad arrives at the table it is not one salad on one plate with two forks. This couple are not going to get what they ordered, nor what they expected, but they are going to get exactly what they didn't tell the attendant they wanted when they placed the order.

When the salad is served it is two salads, each on its own plate and, of course, each with its own fork - plus a knife plus a serviette. The attendant smiles and tells his delighted customers that this is at no extra charge.


How much do you suppose that extra salad cost the restaurant? Let's see:

1 piece of lettuce = $0.05
2 slices of tomato = $0.03
3 slices of cucumber = $0.04
Sprinkle of cheese = $0.15
Some Ranch Dressing = $0.03
Total Investment = $0.30


What do you suppose was the restaurant's Return on Investment? 2 x very happy lifetime customers who want to tell everyone they meet to dine there = $PRICELESS

By the way, next time you find yourself hungry in Riverside California, call on 3883 Pierce St, Riverside, CA 92503, or telephone (951) 637-2464 and be sure to ask for Sam. Tell him Wayne from StorMan sent you! ;-)


Another Free Salad... this time from a music store

But you don't have to be a restaurant to offer free salads. Listen to the "free salad" offered by The Guitar Centre! Their advertising slogan is, "We help people make music". You see, these clever folks have worked out that their customers don't buy instruments. Their customers buy the chance to "make music". Hence, The Guitar Centre's "free salad" is anything they can do to help their customer to make music! At The Guitar Centre you can play the instrument you want to buy as much as you like before you buy it. All of the gear is set up so you can do this. And I mean all of the gear.

At the Guitar Centre you can see, smell, touch, hear, and (of course) buy amplifiers, recording systems, lighting, cables, microphones, accessories, music lessons - the works! They supply a broad range of brands and all price levels.


And the customer gets to play with this stuff for as long as it takes for them to decide how much of everything they are prepared to buy. I would almost guarantee that the majority of their customers go in there and buy something of better quality than what they might have originally had in mind. I reckon they also buy additional accessories they hadn't thought they would get this time around. Why? Because, after having played with the gear, the customer has become an authority on false economy. Of course money need be no object because The Guitar Centre offers finance.

Additionally, in-store and via their website, The Guitar Centre provides all manner of value added services and products including CD duplication, gift cards, interviews with musical superstars and heroes, opportunities to sell one's own musical compositions and arrangements via i-tunes, probably access to gigs, networks, absolutely everything that gives a customer a reason to own an instrument and, by default, a reason to purchase the instrument from The Guitar Centre!


It is all about finding out what the customer wants and how they want it, and then giving it to them - just that way! Do you think the setting up of all of these supporting ideas required an investment of time and money far beyond the purchase price of most of the instruments they sell? Absolutely!

Do you think they looked at the costs normally associated of being in their business such as inventory, stock, premises and related overheads and said to themselves "Look we have done as much as any other instrument shop does to set up a retail store for our customers and so we are going to stop there and just expect the customers to come flooding into our store"? Or do you think they said "Despite the extra time and capital investment required we are going to ensure our customers shop with us instead of our competition by giving them more of what they want than anyone else!"?


Do you think they sell more instruments at a healthy ROI because of the extra value they offer to their customers? Do you think they ever have to offer discounts to get customers in the door? Actually, that last question was a trick question because of course they do! But do you think discounting "loss-leader" style creates more opportunity to do more profitable business?

So What Does a Free Salad in the Storage Industry look like? The first step to providing hugely lucrative free salad to your customers is to figure out what your customer really wants as well as how they want it. The second step is to offer what they want at a premium whilst giving the storage (the salad) away for free. Because I can assure you your customer is not interested in renting a unit from you. They are interested in meeting some need. Figure out what that need is, meet it, charge for it, provide the salad free, and then watch your revenue streams grow!


Still not sure how to let this salad thing work for you? Then StorMan will "walk the talk" and sponsor your salad for free. We have referred article recipients to before but if you have not been there yet go now because Sean will teach you all about how you can turn this stuff into cold, hard, revenue for you and your storage business!

When you go to subscribe to Sean's newsletters so he can teach you how to do this stuff. StorMan is prepared to sponsor your subscription to Sean's newsletter. When you visit and subscribe to his newsletter Sean will ask you how you heard of him.

Simply type in "StorMan" as the referrer and then sit back and wait for the information, and the wealth generation ideas, to flow - at no charge to you - compliments of StorMan!

- Wayne (VP Sales and Marketing, StorMan USA; 2007 - 2010)