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-And there's other opportunities out there. Like, for example, if you're already sending that out, there maybe other companies that are new, that are trying to get the word out about their company as well. So maybe you can kind of have a discussion with them about cooping and doing something together.
-So you're like, hey, John, you have a thank you letter company, or a stationary company. Will you pay for the cost of the mailer if I put your stuff in the package?
-Yeah, or-- OK, so, when Krispy Kreme came in to tell us that they were giving away thousands and thousands of donuts-- I mean, they were just, like-- they had a budget on how many donuts to give away. And so, I bet you, if you would have walked in there at the beginning when they were doing this, and said, I want to help promote your brand. Can I have a little coupon for a free doughnut? And every one of these people that I'm mailing some to, I'm going to send them a free doughnut. And they're going to think that I was amazing, and they're going to come visit with me.
-Beautiful man. A great basketball coach, there, folks. This is real talk, talking real. Go forth.
-So Don Calvert calls me, and we talked about what he's doing with the boys. And he's an amazing coach. And so we made him, for Chick-Fil-A, some coupons with his logo and everything on it so that he can give it away to these kids that are coming to the summer camps with him. It's promoting my brand. It's promoting my restaurant. But he's looking like a hero to all these guys. So they'll end up remembering him and myself, but it really is costing him nothing.
-You know, at Chick-Fil-A-- not Chick-Fil-A, but at Panera Bread, I used to meet every single customer at Panera Bread because I couldn't afford an office. And so, I would just meet every customer at Panera Bread. And they would say, well, can we meet at your office? And I'd say, well, let's meet halfway at Panera Bread. So I'd meet everybody at Panera Bread.
Well, there's a guy named Fareed who worked there-- F-A-R-E-E-D-- and a lady named Shelley. And I'd go in there so often. Well, one day I asked Shelley-- I said, Shelley-- because every day, I would buy the customers a salad or a beverage. Because you ask the customer, would you like a beverage. And a lot of the brides to be would say, yeah, I would. So I was buying coffees, like, every half hour for different-- probably eight times a day, literally. Eight times a day, I'm buying coffee.
And I said, Shelley, can I start getting some free beverages if I promise this will be my exclusive meeting destination for the future? And she's like, sure. Well, I found out later she didn't like that I asked about it. I did ask. She said, sure.
So I literally got to a point where I would walk in, and they would hop on that little microphone where they call out your order. And they were like, DJ Clay's here, folks. They would get me all the time. And I got free beverages, though. And I couldn't really afford much in the way of beverages back in the day, so that was a huge benefit for me.
-And it was all because you asked.
-And I think that's the important thing also, is, are you asking? You and I have talked before about, when I wanted to go on a trip to Hawaii, and I didn't want to pay for it. So I asked all my friends and other people for $25. I raised $4,000 in 10 days. And I went to Hawaii, and I didn't pay for it.
-I want to dovetail onto this principle, because this is a big one here. You have this philosophy called get off your--
-What does that mean?
-Well, you know what? We have not because we ask not. And you know what? If that person doesn't have the guts or the ability to say no, that's not necessarily my problem.
-So you recently asked people for $25 increments to get to Hawaii?
-Correct. And I prefaced it with, I have enough money to go to Hawaii, but I don't want to spend on going to Hawaii. Would you give me $25 so I can go to Hawaii?
-Was it $4,000 to go there?
-No, but I wanted to buy some stuff while I was there.
-OK. That's amazing. [CLAP] How recently did you do this?
-That was about a year ago. I went to a conference and I bought all the conference stuff. And I brought it all back, and I shared it with everybody.
-That is a beautiful-- I don't know if it's, like, a-- some people watching this right now are going, I don't know. I don't-- I don't-- why did you do it? I want you to clarify. Because this is-- I think some people might not understand what your-- why you did this.
-Well, the main reason I did it was I truly feel that, a lot of times, we don't have opportunities because we don't ask, because we're too scared to. And I figured, if I came up with the most ridiculous thing to ask for, and I was able to pull it off, I could prove to, for example, a single mom that might work for me that, you know what? If I can pull this off, then you can go and you can ask for a reduction in your cable bills or on your rent or whatever, and not be hung out. And I did get told no a lot.
-And some harsh no's, too.
-I got some harsh no's. I actually did.
-But you kept asking.
-And you went. Boom.
-Boom. Got it. Awesome.
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-Now here's another one here. Another quote from the book, he says, "In order to sell a product or service, a company must establish a relationship-- a relationship-- with the customer-- with the consumer. It must build trust and rapport. It must understand the customer's needs and it must provide a product that delivers the promised benefits." At Chick-fil-A you guys build a relationship.
I know of a very specific example of a young boy who has cerebral palsy. And he and his mom came into your store, often I believe-- Keith. How often did they come in there? They're regular-- well, I wouldn't say regulars-- but I heard about them from other venues, but yet I saw them occasionally. And one day, you approached them. You said, hey, would you like to have a milkshake? Or what did you say?
-Well, I had actually heard through an organization I'm involved with that he had done a lemonade stand. And so I said, well, I did the world's largest lemonade and he did a lemonade stand and two people that when life give them lemons, we made something with lemons. So I said, we need to get together. And so I just reached out to his mom.
-Right there in the store?
-Well, I sent them an email but they were glad to come up to the store.
-How did you get the email?
-I asked. I started asking some people who might know them. I used Facebook.
-So you reached out to them. And you said, you wanted to help them sponsor their lemonade stand.
-And today this man-- and it's still growing-- at the time, you watch this, who knows where it's been taken at this point. But he's already raised about $40,000 for the charity he's trying to raise money for. And to take the story to the next level, this little entrepreneur-- it's hard enough, by the way, to have cerebral palsy and to write a business plan. But he did it with his eyes, using a technology where it allows them to look into the screen, using his eyes, and he can write and then it turns the words into statements that the machine makes.
-Correct. And now he doesn't have any use of his hands or his feet or his fine motor skills. So I want to make sure that everyone understands that.
-Nonverbal. He can't talk.
-And he built a business plan. And you helped him. And he asked you for some help along the way a little bit.
-But he's done great with his business plan. And if you get a chance to Google Keith Boyd or Keith's Ice Cold Lemonade. What's the web address?
-KeithsIceColdLemonade.com You can see this. The reason why I bring this story up about Keith is because you built a relationship with him. And I always tell people whenever you have a relationship, there's a relation shift-- like it shifts things. He's a customer who-- this is your counter and you're the store owner over here, and over here is the customer. And there's always money coming in. They're bringing you money. And you shifted and you came alongside and you said, let me help you, with your time, with your money. There's a shift that happened.
-And I don't know the number of people, but I know of personally probably at least a dozen people that have told me, I go to his Chick-fil-A, your Chick-fil-A, because of these kinds of things that you've done over the years. And I don't say that to build you up. I say it because it really-- before I knew you, I knew of you. And I knew of what you had done.
-So I want to ask you, you've helped the kid with cerebral palsy-- and this isn't about building you up-- just so owners can watch this. What are other things like this that you've done over the years? Let me get just a couple more so people can get an idea of the kind of things that you can do if you own a business? -And I'm not ripping on you. I'm just saying, it's a business that serves chicken. It doesn't seem like it's a deep business or a big world-changing-- but you've chosen to build relationships there. What are some other things you've done?
-You hear this all time, but we are in the people business. And one of the things I teach my people that's very important is that every life has a story. And every person that comes in has something going on in their life. We don't know what it is. So our job is to listen for opportunities. And we've really had some phenomenal opportunities.
-Again, we look at like if I was in the situation, what would help me? So, for example, we had one person that-- a friend of mine has a Christmas light company. And he said Arthur, you know everybody. And he said, we want to bless somebody this Christmas with Christmas lights. And so I asked my team, I said, do we know anyone that needs Christmas lights this season? And one of them said, well, actually a friend of ours has cancer and they're dying, and said, what do you think about doing that for them?
So I said, OK. So I hooked them all up and they went and set the Christmas lights. I said, tell you what, on the night that you're going to turn them on, why don't you let us know, and we're going to go ahead and cater it for you? We'll bring food. You can have your family there. And this is a true story.
The gentlemen-- he had a very severe case of cancer-- they turn the lights on and they had Chick-fil-A there. They had all the family there. They turned the lights on and he looked up at his wife and he said, honey, I told you I'd get the Christmas lights up. And literally about three hours later, he died... small business ideas.
And so, it's really about looking for opportunities to bless people. And that family, they come in all the time. And they give us a big hug. And they tell us what we mean to them. They will never forget about it. And they'll tell everybody about their relationship with us.
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-I know that if you are watching this and you have a business, you might be thinking, well, gosh, what could I do? I don't know if I could make a difference. Maybe I just have a pretzel stand. Maybe I just have a chicken business. I just have a DJ company. I just have a-- but when you build a relationship, it's not about what you give. It's about that you gave something. It's about giving what you cans.
It's about-- And I remember that it was years ago. We had the Broken Arrow in Oklahoma-- kind of on a lighter note, in Broken Arrow, we had the Teacher of the Year. They always get a plaque. And I always thought, well-- and I don't mean to offend you if you're a teacher-- but I always thought, well, that's dumb. You're the best teacher in your district. Shouldn't you get some cash? If you work at Bank of America, you get a bonus. If you work at-- cool, I get a plaque. But shouldn't that come with a monetary gift?
ARTHUR GREENO: That's right.
-Well, I got in all sorts of trouble like you often do with various people. When it's city officials, they say, you can't do this. You can't do that. I kind of view that as a suggestion. And so I was told by one leadership person that I can't give away a cash prize to teachers because it's in violation of their whatever-- their rules. So I was like, well, I'm going to give them a cruise.
And I remember just the energy because I was volunteering for Junior Achievement at a local high school. And I remember one of the teachers like, so you're going to give away-- this is just be talking to another teacher. And I said, yeah, I'll give away a cruise. And they're like, how much is it worth? I said, I don't know, $3,000, $2,500. Let's say $3,000 maximum.
And the energy that was created-- all these teachers who admittedly, they told me, it's like towards the end of the year and normally we just kind of last month. We're doing our job, but we're not necessarily pushing to a final close here. We're not necessarily trying to-- it's not like it's a professional sports game, where you're trying to win in the final minute.
But these teachers started getting really competitive. It was amazing to see the hoops they'd jump through to try to win the Teacher of the Year, really just trying to push their kids to the best test scores and all these things they could do. And again, it was a shift that was like, here's a customer who they had hired us to DJ their wedding. And now, we are volunteering at the school and here we are doing something. And it was a meaningful relationship I still have today. And I know that everybody can do this.
CLAY CLARK: Now, I want to ask you, though, because you are the marketing guru. If I am a realtor and I don't have a tangible thing to give, you're saying I can do that for my-- what is something I could do if I'm a realtor and maybe I don't see as many customers as you have, what's something that I could do to build a relationship? Let's say I just sold a house to a family. What's something I could do to relation shift to build a relationship?
-Well, you've already sold the house.
-Yeah, I just sold it to them.
-You just sold a house to them. There's a number of things you can do. If you find out, for example, when their first day that they're going to be in the house, maybe you show up that night with a pizza. Not real expensive-- you can get one if it's a Monday night special for $6.00 and show up. But you're getting done at the end of the day and you're worn out packing and realtor shows us and says, I got dinner for you. Congratulations.
-You'll remember it.
-Absolutely. It makes it remarkable. It makes it stand out.
CLAY CLARK: Our Tulsa realtor got us chairs for the bar. There's a bar area in our kitchen and she bought us-- I don't know what the chairs cost, but they were nice. And they bought them for us as part of our moving-in gift. And back when I was a co-owner of a real estate company, we used to give the people who moved in one free family photo session. And the idea was, you can get your photos with your family taken at your new house. It's endless. But the point is, you've got to build a relationship.
How do you keep your staff doing it, though? How do you keep your staff and the people behind the counter-- because I've seen people who work behind the counter for you, 16, 17, 18, 20-year-old people, some of them are older than that, too-- but I've seen them build a relationship, too. But can you walk me through specifically how you teach them to build a relationship?
-Well, one of the things at the very beginning when they start with us, we make sure they have the right tools in place. So you get the 16-year-old that's kind of shy and they don't know. They're uncomfortable. They can barely even talk to girls. So we give them tools to do that with.
For example, when we have balloons at a restaurant, it's not just to give away to kids. It's also a tool for my 16-year-old to walk over and get a balloon and walk around the restaurant. And every little kid will say, I want a balloon. It gives you a chance to engage with that customer.
-So you created a reason to have a relationship.
-I love that.
-And so we just do it. We have these pepper grinders that are about this big and it looks like a club. So when you're walking towards a customer, they're either thinking you're going to whack them or they're just like, why does this guy have a pepper grinder? We say, would you like some fresh ground pepper on your salad or on your soup? And again, it's an opportunity to build relationships with them.
CLAY CLARK: Love it.
-And so we make sure that we have the tools for those young men and women to come through and do that. And over time, they just get to where it's like, I have a servant's heart. And they're looking for opportunities, whether it's hold the door open or umbrellas or whatever it may be.
-Everybody, you can do this. If you're watching this right now and you have a business or you're thinking about starting one, you can build a relationship. It doesn't require a big amount of money. It requires that attitude of gratitude where you're going to want to serve people and you're going to be grateful for the people you're working with, your customers... small business ideas.
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