Zero is based here in town and like most businesses in the area they get zillions of requests from multiple PTAs and other worthy groups scrabbling for cash. Zero consented to giving one of their urban-cross bikes at cost for the live auction part of the evening. Cool. Someone was going home with a green ride and the school was going to get some more money.
When it came time to sell the bike during the live auction, one of the organizers rode it into the ballroom to great effect. The only sound was people cheering. Another organizer got on her cell phone and said that she had a 'phone bidder' on the line. The bidding went from $1000 to $7000 in a heartbeat and didn't slow down until there were two people left bidding at $11,000 (well over list price). The person on the phone then announced that she was talking to Zero and Zero said that they would give another bike if both bidders went in at $11,000. Sold! Two guys went home happy, the school got double the money and Zero Motorcycles got hundreds of new fans - me included.
It's not so extraordinary that people were willing to pay over list - we can chalk it up to the worthiness of the event and quantities of alcohol. What's extraordinary is that a business understood its relationship to its community and stepped up in a big way. My biking days are behind me but it won't stop me from being a rabid evangelist for them. If you're looking for a bike, check them out. You'll not only get one of the coolest sets of wheels going, you'll help out a great school.
- Fans can come from many sectors - even well outside your buyer persona.
- What are you doing outside the norm to find and create those fans?
- Your company's responsibility goes well beyond delighted customers. Look for ways to create delighted local communities, neighborhoods or schools. You'll benefit in the long run.