Gourmet Food and Wine Tasting

A little over two years ago, I organized a charity fundraiser in my community for children in the foster care system. It was a gourmet food and wine tasting event along with a live and silent auction. The goal was to raise over $100,000.00. Anyone who has ever spearheaded a fundraiser, knows how labor-intensive they are even with hundreds of volunteers. One day, I called on a local French restaurant, Le Bilig and asked the chef if  he would be willing to donate a cooking demonstration class that would be auctioned off during the live auction. He graciously agreed and then signed off on all the paper work that committed him to the cause. The terms stated that the donation was valid for one year. Most donation packages have an expiration date.

Goodwill

Fast forward two years and three months later; I get an e-mail from the high bidder of the French cooking demonstration. She told me that she had never “gotten around” to scheduling the cooking class, which was for twelve people and was hoping she could redeem it now. I then offered to contact the restaurant on her behalf. I spoke to the co-owner, Monica (wife of the chef) and explained to her that I realized the donation had long expired and understood if they said no due to the current state of the economy.  She then shared a short story with me about how she herself had once been the winner of a live auction travel package to Mexico and it too had expired. (She had been pregnant and could not fly.) The donors had denied her request to extend it. She said she remembered having ill feelings about the incident and the way it was handled and therefore, did not want the person making the request of her to feel the same. She then agreed to honor the request being made of her on behalf of her chef husband and restaurant.  Now that is what I call over-delivering! It is no wonder that this little family-owned French Bistro is still in business while many restaurants and businesses are closing shop.  Bottom line? Le Bilig Kitchen CARES! Isn’t that what everyone wants from someone they do business with? They want them to care. Period. That small gesture, which was just a ripple, is going to turn into a tidal wave because of all the goodwill she has now created. That’s a lot of goodwill going around during a time when it is very easy to have a scarcity mentality. Another word that comes to mind is ABUNDANCE. I dislike the overuse of a word and abundance seems to be one of those words that is over used a lot lately, but Monica was definitely coming from a place of abundance.

How Do Your Customers Know You Care?

How are you over-delivering with your customers?  Are you coming from a place of abundance or scarcity?  Are you doing things in your business that will make others talk about your business and create buzz in a positive way? What kind of goodwill are you creating for your customers so that they can go out and refer more business your way? I believe there is a time when small business owners should definitely NOT over-deliver, but I will save that for another blog post soon.

By the way, we exceeded our goal of raising $100,000.00 and were able to place over 20 children in permanent family homes on behalf of Sierra Forever Families.

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