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When I think about making a purchase of any kind (aside from my post-workout fast food meal – don’t judge me), I look first for the benefit the item will get me right away, and then I think of what I get from it down the road.
For example, I like to get coffee at my local gas station. I bought a travel mug from the gas station a few months back, and since I bought that mug, I get a discount on coffee, as well as one free coffee with every six fill-ups. I go fairly often, and can find out online how close I am to getting another free coffee.
The thing is, I could get coffee at any of the other gas stations in my area. The fact that I pass up the other guys is to earn my free refill. This gas station found a great way to entice me with a sweet looking mug, and they keep me coming back to earn that free refill. It’s not a big offering for the gas station, but for me, the customer, I love it. I earned that free mug of coffee, and I’m coming back in to start earning that next one.
This interest in getting free coffee has led to me making other purchases there, as well. If I’m already at this gas station for their coffee, I might as well fill up my car, or get a few candy bars. This gas station brought in a customer who makes purchases at their location all the time, and all they had to do was offer a small discount. Think about that for a minute. One small offering from the gas station turned this passive customer into a passionate one.
Think about your purchase habits, and why you choose one business over their competition. Chances are, it could have been started with a small offering.