Here’s just one of many, many stories to drive this point home. I used to make the practice of giving away an absolutely free mug to a new customer if I felt they would be a candidate to come back over and over again. A gentleman named Derek and his young daughter came in one day to our smoothie store. Things were a little slow during that time and I spent some time talking with him, explaining our product enters service and how everything worked in our shop. He had never been before. He does happen to see our signing came in. I gave him a free mug, which cost me about a $1.25. I decided that I would give his daughter a free mug as well so I was out of pocket $2.50. However, they paid full price for two regular size smoothies. My food cost on the smoothies was about $2.50, so I essentially broke even on that deal. Here’s the magic. I remember seeing Derek about three years later in one of our five stores, a different location from where we visited the first time. As I spoke with him he mentioned to me that he was very grateful that I gave him such great service and was so kind to him and his daughter on his first visit and because of that he had been coming in at least two times per week to one of our stores for the past three years. Not only that, but he always spoke very highly of us and recommended that his friends and family also visit our smoothie store. The relationship and friendship that we developed to me was invaluable If those types of friendships and those types of things that really make me as a business owner wake up every day and get excited to go to work. But a by-Product of the great relationships we form with our customers is the economic side of things. Over those three years, Derek spent OVER $1560 in my business. He told me that the reason he did was because I gave them something for free and created such a great first visit for them. Wow! Can you see the power of free? Can you see the power of killer customer service? So take a look at your marketing and track how much it is costing you to acquire a new customer and how much that lifetime value is worth. If you haven’t checked this idea out I would highly recommend it. Okay so get back to creating the business you have always wanted. Remember…Love your Business…love your life.