When it makes sense to you but not your customer

The gas station attendant hurriedly exited his observation booth and yelled to the man loading a couple of blocks of ice into his truck.

“You can’t take those!”

The man loading the blocks looked confused. “What’s the problem?”

The attendant replied, “You paid for the crushed ice, not the block ice.” Even from my vantage point across the pumps I could see the customer’s eyes roll.

“They’re the same price!” the man responded.

“Actually, crushed ice is tax free, but the block ice has sales tax. You didn’t pay the sales tax.”

I wish I could describe to you the look on the customer’s face. It was a mix of “WTF” and “are you kidding me?” I had a similar look. Ice is ice!

So, why should you care? My bet is you have a crushed ice vs. block ice problem somewhere in your business. Many of us do, we just haven’t had our eyes opened to it.

It happens when we look too hard at the weeds.

It happens when we try too hard for perfect consistency.

In consulting, it happens when we charge $750 for “printing” on a half million dollar contract (WTF?).

In airports, it happens when we spend $250 in staff time clearing up a $25 missing receipt (are you kidding me?).

Where are the crushed ice vs. block ice problems in your business?

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Published on September 23, 2019

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