Friday, February 5, 2010

How to Guarantee You'll Buy a Winning Lottery Ticket

Doug Vickery from AirPlus Inc. in Corona, California shared this story with me and I thought I'd pass it along. Here it is in Doug's words...

This weekend I was in San Diego with my wife and she wanted to visit "The Worlds Largest" Bead Store - they offer wholesale discounts to the public. Huge place, well lit and organized, and I was wondering how many beads you'd have to sell monthly to cover the lease on 25,000 s.f.

While she was shopping this older guy approaches me and has in his hands a dozen 'quick pick' lottery tickets - all fanned out like a deck of cards. I'm immediately wary of some scam - but his explanation surprised me.

"This week the lottery is drawing for $43 Million and we'd like one of our customers to win it, so please pick one ticket, preferably the winning one."

Then, he adds, "If you win, all we ask is that you have a party here with the employees, they'd love to celebrate your good fortune."

Turns out he owns the place and uses this promotion (and a bunch of others) whenever the mood strikes to liven the place up.

I selected a ticket (wife has custody now) and we talked about it for 30 minutes on the drive home. It left an indelible impression - and I would guess it did the same for every customer that got one. All for $1.00. That fits my current budget and seems easy and original. The thing that set it apart was that he delivered it face to face (something my sales guy could easily do) and now I felt some desire to stay connected.
The lottery doesn't hold much appeal to me. I can still remember a business professor using the lottery as a way of explaining decision trees and expected value. We calculated the odds of winning the lottery and multiplied this times the cost of the $1 ticket. In the end, the lottery ticket was worth around 50 cents. Whenever I see people buying lottery tickets in the store, I'm always tempted to give them a 50% better return by taking their dollars and giving them 75 cents for each. However, giving lottery tickets to customers to build relationships, strengthen memorability, and strengthen the potential for future business seems like a winning strategy.

Finally, there's a way to buy a lottery ticket and guarantee you will win. Thanks Doug for sharing!

No comments:

Post a Comment