If you truly care about the people you serve, you should be prepared to go the extra mile for them.
Because you care about them.
Because you truly want to help them.
Because you really think you have something to share that the world needs.
This is going to be a slightly personal post, but I hope it helps to explain the lesson I want to share.
One of my greatest passions in life has been wine.
If I had 100 lives, in one or more of them I would be a wine producer (or maybe a taster!).
The first time I really drank wine was when I joined the Cambridge University Wine Society. All of a sudden I had a whole new aspect of the world to explore. Not just the wine itself but the culture, history and stories behind the wine.
One day I went to a dessert wine tasting. It was the first time I had really tried dessert wine.
We were sitting in a beautiful hall in a Cambridge college, trying different wines paired with small samples of different desserts. I particularly remember some cantuccini, presumably served with vin santo. I thought the dessert wines were sensational- I had found my favourite wine style.
One of the wines was a Hungarian wine called Tokaji. I don’t think I had ever heard of it.
It is known as ‘Vinum Regum, Rex Vinorum’ – the wine of kings, the king of wines. It has an amazing history and the way it is produced is amazing.
When I tried this wine it was like a whole new category of experience had opened to me. All the other dessert wines, in fact everything else I had ever eaten or drunk in my life up to that point were forgotten in that brief moment.
I can’t describe the taste very precisely. Somehow it was sweet and yet savoury at once. It was powerful and yet light as air. It spoke to my very soul as if I had encountered it before- and yet it was thrillingly new.
Anyway, the point of this post is not to convince you to try Tokaji (though you probably should) or even to convince you to like wine.
It is simply leading up to my example….
In the years since that tasting, I haven’t had lots of Tokaji because it is pretty expensive, but I have had it now and again on special occasions. There is one type of Tokaji that I particularly wanted to try- the rarest and most special type. It is very very expensive and not that easy to get (I have only seen it for sale in the UK once or twice, for example).
It is called Essencia.
It was the greatest food or drink wish of my life that I try it once.
As I am currently living in Hungary I thought it might be possible but that it would probably be phenomenally expensive to buy a bottle. To my great excitement I found a wine shop around fifteen minutes walk away that offered it in small tasting measures.
How small? Well, below is the special tasting spoon designed by the wine producer. Essencia actually used to be sold in pharmacies because it is supposed to have rather magical qualities, so a spoon seems appropriate. I tried an amount of Essencia that didn’t even quite fill this spoon- and I shared it with my wife!
Trying Essencia was absolutely amazing, it was so intense that even this small serving was more than enough. The wine itself was a real experience, but it was the attitude of the staff that went the extra mile. There are three key things that they did:
1- They were consistent and authentic in their behaviour
From the manager replying to my emails to answer my many questions and arrange my visit to the staff at the shop on the day, everyone was friendly and keen to share their passion for the product. They made me feel that my own excitement was legitimate and not silly so I enjoyed the experience more.
How can you be consistent and authentic for the people you want to serve?
2- They made the experience special
In every way- the general design and cleanliness of the shop, the greeting I received, even the spoon- they managed to make things special for me. While it was the wine that was important to me, not these other things, they added to the experience.
How can you make things special for the people you want to serve?
3- They saw how excited I was- and did something extra
The most amazing thing was that they already had a customer who was just excited to be able to try Essencia- and was already happy to pay for the experience- and they found a way to make things even more special. The manager said they had arranged something extra for us and at the wine shop we found out that they were also letting us try two exceptionally special wines for free, just because they thought it would add to the experience of drinking the Essencia. Critically, they did this special thing without the expectation of anything in return. When I paid for the Essencia tasting I gave a small tip and they seemed so happy and grateful- they weren’t expecting it at all.
How can you go the extra mile for someone, even if they are already ‘sold’ on what you have to offer?
Remember, they had a customer who was already so happy to be visiting their store- but this meant that they had more to lose. If the experience had been bad for me, it would have been a major disappointment. As it is, I am praising them to everyone and wrote a glowing review on TripAdvisor.
I am prepared to go the extra mile to help The Influencer Tribe to have more influence so that they can have more of an impact on the world. I am always trying to find more ways to support, help and inspire them. I am not there yet- in fact I will never arrive at my destination. I am always going to try to keep learning and to offer more.
What are you prepared to do for the people that you want to serve?