Give Clients Coffee…
One morning last week (like many other mornings), I was at The Mudhouse on Cherokee grabbing a coffee before work. (Side note- they have amazing scones too!) It was a busy morning and I was already coming close to running late as usual. As I stood in line I began to wonder, why do I feel the need to actually go to the coffee shop? I mean seriously…If I asked you if you would like a free coffee right now (from the office) or one that costs a few bucks that you have to wait 20 min for, what would you say? Logically, it’s a no-brainer. I could of easily purchased a plane ticket with the money I’ve spent there since August. (Or a few dinners at Brasserie at least!) Now I’m down to 2 people in front of me who are relentlessly quizzing the cashier/barista on the pastry selection. As I listen to their cheerful chatter, I take in the quirky art on the walls, the colorful handwritten chalk menus, and the sarcastic phrases scrawled about. I smile as I look at the Illustrattion of a thugged-out “Iced T” on the stainless tea brewer. It hits me (not “Iced T”), the realization that it’s not really about the coffee. It’s about the experience. It’s about the character, the energy of the place, the cheerful interaction and even the inspiration. There is a comfort level when you walk into a place where everyone is caffeinated and happy. I’m not paying for the coffee, I’m paying for the experience of the coffee.
One of the most caffeinated people I know is Matt McInerney of Ten8 Group (awesome creative shop that specializes in placemaking design). The first time we met with him and the rest of their team to discuss their marketing, I left feeling giddy. (Plus, I had cool new things to say, like “Holy Minestrone!”) I could not wait to get started on their website (should be live soon!). Their laid back office and big open wooden table welcomed us in. But above all, they were happy and smiled alot. The passion for their work resonated in the space. I was not the only one that enjoyed their office: apparently clients drop in often just to say “Hi” and hang out for a bit. It’s no wonder Ten8 has been successful: they’re a “coffee shop”. Clients spend more time with them because they enjoy the experience. Enjoying work…this is the key!
More time with clients = more opportunities for new projects = more revenue.
So brewing down to my point… I realized there in The Mudhouse that day that success is directly correlated with excitement -or- caffeination if you will. I’ve realized that our clients always leave meetings happy and beaming as well, but had never put more thought to it than “we really click” or “that client is going to be great to work with”. With that being said, I challenge you to make your own office a “coffee shop” & work at adopting this simple equation:
Caffeinate (smile), Stimulate (show passion for their work), Brew (execute your work), Repeat (keep the relationship going). You’ll be surprised how much a little coffee can go along way.