soupI write about exceeding expectations in business quite often. I happen to think it’s one of the secrets to success in business and life.

The thing is, it’s not really that hard sometimes because people have grown to expect so little. Just giving a little something extra, after the deal has been agreed to, can go a long way towards creating good will and word of mouth.

For example, my wife and I tried out this new restaurant in town – . Meal was great, service very cheery, atmosphere appropriate, price in line. All of these things added up to a nice experience that had us agreeing to come back some time. But, when our server brought the check she also brought a pint of soup in a go container and told us to let them know what we thought of it.

Now I’m not just going back, I’m sitting here at my computer telling your about Cafe Augusta. As I said, that soup didn’t set them back much, but I had found memories of my visit the next day over a bowl of warmed up soup.

So, what your soup to go strategy? Can you add something to the box, repair something for no charge, provide a free analysis of other systems, or give free stuff from your strategic partners?

I would love to hear your stories and examples of this concept.

Image credit: avlxyz

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • 2wtx

    One of my favorite “free soups” at when we develop a website for a client is the creation of a personalized favicon, the small icon that most Browsers display in the address bar next to the website URL, in tabs, and in Favorites Folder.

    Most of our clients didn't even know they could have one, and are always thrilled with this finishing touch that they get for free.

  • guest

    did you even proofread that?

  • What've managed to do is give my high paying clients a copy of Timothy Ferriss book “The 4-Hour Workweek”. It teaches them how to free up some time to work on things that are important to them. It's included in a lavish goody bag filled with things that inspires them and helps them grow their business.

    This Lavish Goody Bag always gives a lasting impression. I’ve got some clients with the referral cards included in the bag.


    • I love giving books away – people who actually read them get so much value.

  • Free soup has been our most effective marketing strategy since we opened our Home Decor store several years ago. My wife continually out markets me with her “Free Soup” strategies that she uses on a daily basis. Being in the neighborhood when a customer is hosting a lunch or dinner(they don't eat, they stop buy and fluff things or something), placing soaps or candles in the bag(saying I think you might like this) and more. People wonder why we do not do more marketing. Pretty tough to beat “Free Soup.”

    P.S. She does it without even considering it is marketing! Probably what makes it work so effectively.

    • I agree most heartily with your PS part – authenticity is a great marketing strategy.

    • As you pointed out, it doesn't even need to be something big. I've ordered online from several companies that will throw in a few pieces of candy with my order. It costs them a few extra cents. It's a very small gesture, yet it works! I feel happy that they gave me a treat!

  • keganblumenthal

    Grand Slam Garage Sales is one of the youngest, fastest growing companies in the country. After being in business for less than 2 years and having had over 200 garage sales, GSGS is on the fast track to success. Focusing on franchising across the country starting early August, GSGS plans to be THE household name for garage sales. PLEASE VIEW THEIR NEW PROMO VIDEO FT. LIL FLIP!

  • I help my clients promote their business or make it easier for them to find the right help.

  • MoxieWorks

    I offer 30 minute small business marketing strategy session for free with no strings attached. In that session I listen to what they are currently doing and what their goals then help them see some easy solutions that they can start today. – It has been a great way to build clients and network.

  • James

    In my home inspection business, my “free soup to go” is a free re-inspection. Most of the inspectors I know make a minimum charge to return to a property, and some even charge full price for a return. I tell people up front that they will get a free re-inspection if they like, after repairs have been made or whatever the reason. My only surprise is that more people don't take advantage of my offer.

  • This is a great idea any business can adopt.
    Dr. Letitia Wright
    The Wright Place TV Show

  • lizgaige

    What a great example of how to stand out in a crowd (AND create loyal customers)! One of the best ways to go above and beyond, and be memorable, is to tap into what makes you amazing. It's not about copying what other people are doing, it's about being authentic and doing what you do in your own special way ( Once you figure that out, you can have a lot of fun with your “above and beyond” customer service ideas.

  • Great post and story, John. You always have a terrific nugget to share that keeps us thinking.

  • Great post and story, John. You always have a terrific nugget to share that keeps us thinking.